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Top UN court resumes hearings in Ukraine genocide case against Russia

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 18, 2023 2:29 PM 2 min read
An inside view of International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands on July 23, 2018. (Abdullah Asiran/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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The United Nations' International Court of Justice (ICJ) has resumed hearings on Ukraine's lawsuit against Russia over false allegations of genocide that Moscow used to justify its full-scale invasion.

From Sept. 18 to Sept. 27, the Hague-based court will hold public hearings on preliminary objections raised by Russia. Lawyers for Moscow will try to prove the UN's principal judicial organ does not have jurisdiction to hear the case, while Kyiv will urge the ICJ to proceed to hearings on the substance of Ukraine's claims.

Ukraine's lawsuit is supported by 32 intervening states who will make their statements on Sept. 20.

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The list includes 26 countries of the European Union, excluding only Hungary, as well as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Liechtenstein, and the U.K. It is reportedly the largest number of countries to ever join another nation's lawsuit at the Hague court.

Ukraine filed the lawsuit against Russia at the Hague in February 2022, arguing that the Kremlin had used false claims about acts of genocide in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts as a justification to launch an all-out war against Ukraine.

In its lawsuit, Ukraine "emphatically denies" that such genocide has occurred, aiming "to establish that Russia has no lawful basis to take action in and against Ukraine for the purpose of preventing and punishing any purported genocide."

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Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in the op-ed section are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of the Kyiv Independent. On May 8, the world honors the memory of those who sacrificed their lives defending the world from Nazi German dictatorship. This victory

Kyiv's lawyers also accused Moscow of "planning acts of genocide in Ukraine," adding that Russia "is intentionally killing and inflicting serious injury on members of the Ukrainian nationality."

The parliaments of eight countries, including Ukraine, have already recognized the acts committed by Russian invading forces as genocide.

Another intergovernmental tribunal in the Hague, the International Criminal Court (ICC), has issued arrest warrants against the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova for the mass abduction of Ukrainian children.

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Ukraine increases defense spending by almost $12 billion in 2024.

"Financing the needs of Ukrainian forces is now a top priority. Additional funds for weapons, fortifications, and salaries for servicemen are a critical component of countering the military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine," Deputy Defense Minister Yurii Dzhyhyr said.
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