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ICC opens office in Kyiv to investigate Russian war crimes

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 14, 2023 5:40 PM 2 min read
Ukraine's Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin and Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Karim Khan in Kyiv on Sept. 14, 2023. (Photo: Prosecutor General's Office)
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The International Criminal Court (ICC) has opened a field office in Kyiv, Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin announced on Sept. 14.

The office has been set up to "increase the effectiveness and efficiency of responding to the crimes that Russia continues to commit against Ukraine and Ukrainians every day," Kostin said.

The office is the largest ICC field office outside of The Hague, according to the Prosecutor General. The court has seven field offices around the world.  

Kostin thanked Karim Khan, the chief prosecutor of the ICC, for the "colossal work" the court carries out to bring criminals to justice.

"We are doing our utmost to ensure that the ICC experts can see the aftermath of the aggressor's crimes with their own eyes and draw their independent conclusions," Kostin said.

"Unlike Russia's criminal regime, Ukraine has nothing to hide," he added.

In March, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian official overseeing the forced deportations of Ukrainian children to Russia.

The Ukrainian government has identified around 20,000 Ukrainian children who have been forcibly deported from Russian-occupied territories.

The ICC believes that Putin “bears individual criminal responsibility” as the leader of Russia for the crimes committed against Ukrainian children.

In response, Russia issued an arrest warrant for Khan in May. The court called the measure "unacceptable" and "coercive measures," and said that Russia's actions would not stop it from trying to hold war criminals accountable.

Stolen generation. Russia systematically abducts children from Ukraine, gives them to Russian families
Editor’s Note: The story is based on the documentary Uprooted, published by the Kyiv Independent’s War Crimes Investigation Unit. Russia is systematically deporting Ukrainian children from the occupied part of Ukraine against their will – which constitutes genocide according to one of the five defi…
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