United Nations General Assembly. Photo: EPA-EFE / JUSTIN LANE
It is day 625 of the war in Ukraine.
Overnight, Russia has been denied a seat on the UN Court of Justice, a deported Ukrainian teenager in Russia has appealed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for help, and the Ukrainian military has attacked several boats in Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
Russia denied seat on UN court for first time
Russian judge Kirill Gevorgian has not been re-elected to the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ), meaning that for the first time since the UN’s creation in 1946, Russia finds itself without a voice on the body.
Gevorgian, who has been vice president of the court since 2021, will be replaced by Romanian judge Bogdan Aurescu.
“The UN has begun to cleanse itself of Russia’s malicious influence. For the first time in UN history, its member states denied Russia the right to administer justice on their behalf in the International Court of Justice,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted on Thursday, adding: “The world sees who destroys international law instead of protecting it.”
The ICJ is presided over by 15 judges elected for nine-year terms by the UN General Assembly. Ukraine brought a case against Russia for genocide last year.
Teenager from Mariupol appeals to Zelensky for help returning home
A teenager from the occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol who was forcibly taken to Moscow by Russian troops and put into foster care last year, has appealed directly to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to help him return home.
Bohdan Yermokhin, 17, made the appeal via his lawyer, Kateryna Bobrovska, just days after receiving a letter from the Russian military instructing him to report to a military recruitment office once he turns 18 next month.
“My name is Bohdan Yermokhin, I’m in Russia now, and I ask you, Volodymyr Oleksandrovych, to help me get back home,” Bobrovska said in a video on Yermokhin’s behalf.
Ukrainian military intelligence reports successful attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet
The Ukrainian military attacked several Russian landing ships in annexed Crimea overnight, the country’s military intelligence agency, the GUR, said on Friday.
"As a result of a nighttime operation on the territory of temporarily occupied Crimea, troops hit small landing ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet,” the GUR statement said, adding that the boats had been carrying armoured vehicles.
According to Ukrainian newspaper Suspilne, two Russian ships were hit near the village of Chernomorskoye in annexed Crimea. The Krymsky Veter Telegram channel, citing eyewitnesses, reported that a Russian military barracks in Chornomorske had also come under fire.
The Russian Defence Ministry has not yet commented on the incident, though it did announce that the Russian military had intercepted two Ukrainian drones over Crimea overnight.