International Criminal Court opens field office in Kyiv

September 15, 2023

The office of Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General announced Thursday that the International Criminal Court (ICC) was opening a field office in Kyiv to track Russian war crimes.  

“Its work will help strengthen cooperation between Ukraine and the International Criminal Court. It will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the response to the crimes that Russia continues to commit against Ukraine and Ukrainians on a daily basis,” said Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Andriy Kostin.

The ICC said in a statement that the office in Kyiv is its largest outside of The Hague, and that the ICC has already registered more than 104,000 war crimes amid Russia’s aggression against Ukraine—a tally that rises daily.

The ICC’s announcement came one day after the European Parliament adopted a resolution officially recognizing Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko an accomplice in the war crimes of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine. The law-making branch of the European Union accused  Lukashenko of enabling “Russia’s unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine” and thus is directly responsible “for the destruction and damage caused to Ukraine.”

Back in March, the ICC issued arrest warrants for both Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, for war crimes in Ukraine related to the abduction of Ukrainian children.

Later that same month, the United States threw its support behind the creation of a special tribunal to prosecute the crime of aggression amid Russia’s war in Ukraine, with U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack comparing the tribunal to the prosecution of Nazi leaders in Nuremberg after World War II.

On social media Thursday, Prosecutor-General Kostin wrote, “Unlike Russia’s criminal regime, Ukraine has nothing to hide. Together with the entire civilized world, we are united by one goal—to ensure the aggressor is held accountable for all the crimes perpetrated. This is the key to restoring and maintaining peace for Ukraine and the world.”

PHOTO: Andriy Kostin, ICC announcement in Kyiv

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