I.C.C. Issues Arrest Warrants for 2 Senior Russian Security Officials


The International Criminal Court said on Tuesday that it had issued arrest warrants for two top Russian security officials over strikes against civilian targets, delivering a stinging, if largely symbolic, condemnation of Kremlin’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

The Hague-based court accused Russia’s most senior military officer, Gen. Valery V. Gerasimov, and a senior member of the country’s security council, Sergei K. Shoigu, of directing a campaign of strikes against Ukraine’s power plants in the winter of 2022.

“The expected incidental civilian harm and damage would have been clearly excessive to the anticipated military advantage,” the court said in a statement on Tuesday, referring to the strikes. It issued the warrants on Monday.

Gen. Gerasimov and Mr. Shoigu, who until recently served as Russia’s defense minister, are longtime loyalists of President Vladimir V. Putin and are considered to be the architects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Their ambitious plans to take Ukraine’s capital in several days at the start of the war failed spectacularly at the cost of at least tens of thousands of Russian soldiers’ lives, bogging down the two nations in a war of attrition.

General Gerasimov and Mr. Shoigu are the latest Russian officials to be charged by the court. Last year, it issued arrest warrants for Mr. Putin and Russia’s children rights’ ombudswoman, saying they bore individual criminal responsibility for the abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Russia has said that it does not recognize the arrest warrants, or court’s jurisdiction, and that it denies war crimes. This makes it highly unlikely that Mr. Shoigu and Gen. Gerasimov will be taken into custody in the foreseeable future.



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