Day 383: ICC to open first war crimes cases tied to Russian invasion of Ukraine

Situation around Bakhmut

On March 13, the Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attacks on the Bakhmut axis. Fighting continues to rage in the city of Bakhmut. 

“The Russian forces continue to keep their main efforts on offensive operations on the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiyivka, Maryinka, and Shakhtarsk axes. They do not give up the intention to reach the administrative borders of Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in an evening update Monday.

“In the past day, the enemy carried out 29 air strikes and six missile strikes,” the message reads. A missile strike on Znob-Novhorodske in Sumy region hit an agricultural college, killing one civilian and injuring five others, the General Staff said. 

Two Russian missiles struck a school in Avdiyivka, in Donetsk region, killing one civilian. The Russians also launched more than 10 attacks from multiple launch rocket systems.  

International Criminal Court to open first two war crimes cases against Russia

The International Criminal Court intends to open two war crimes cases tied to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and will seek arrest warrants for several people, The New York Times said, quoting current and former officials with knowledge of the decision who were not authorized to speak publicly.

The cases represent the first international charges to be brought forward since the start of the war and come after months of work by special investigation teams. They allege that Russia abducted Ukrainian children and teenagers and sent them to Russian re-education camps, and that the Kremlin deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure, the article reads.

China wants to broker peace in Ukraine

Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to travel to Russia to meet his counterpart Vladimir Putin as soon as next week, Reuters said, quoting sources with knowledge of the matter. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has not yet responded a request for comment from Reuters. The Kremlin declined to comment. 

Chinese leader Xi Jinping plans to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi for the first time since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, likely after he visits Moscow next week to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Wall Street Journal said, quoting sources familiar with the matter. The meeting is expected to take place virtually. 

Russia shows no signs of readiness for peace talks, Peter Stano, EU lead spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy said Monday, commenting on China’s attempts to broker peace in Ukraine. “Russia has remained very cold and ignorant to any meaningful peace proposals. Instead Russia is escalating and escalating its atrocities against Ukraine’s civilian population and infrastructure,” Stano told a news conference in Brussels.

“You can be an honest peace broker if you don’t take sides. When it comes to Russia and Ukraine, China is taking sides. China refuses to acknowledge who is the aggressor and who is the victim,” Stano said. So far, Russia’s response to peace initiatives has been unconstructive, he added. “For peace you need two, for war you need one. Russia is not ready to stop its ongoing slaughter in Ukraine,” the EU lead spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy said. 

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For many centuries, russian propaganda has successfully shaped the myth of great russia and the invincible russian people. It managed to do this much better than actually winning on the battlefield. In most wars, russia itself was the aggressor, invading foreign territories in order to continue ideological expansion. Each russian ruler was evaluated by how much he increased the territory of russia – if he had lost some territories he was right away deemed an incapable leader. Watch Ukraine in flames #367 to find out about the extensive history of russian wars of aggression and imperialistic ambitions.


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