ICC issues arrest warrants for two Russian military commanders for alleged war crimes in Ukraine

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Sergey Kobylash, commander of Russia’s Long-Range Aviation, and Viktor Sokolov, commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, according to a court order published on Tuesday.

The court order alleges that Kobylash and Sokolov are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine, including the launching of attacks on civilians and civilian targets.

The court said it had reasonable grounds to believe Kobylash and Sokolov bore individual criminal responsibility for alleged crimes committed between 10 October 2022 and 9 March 2023, whether it be for committing these acts jointly or through others, for ordering said crimes, or for failing to exercise proper control over the forces under their command.

The content of the warrants were being made public in order to prevent further war crimes being committed, the court order added.

Sergey Kobylash, born in the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa, has headed Russia’s Long-Range Aviation since 2016. Before that he fought in the Chechen wars and the invasion of Georgia in 2008.

Viktor Sokolov, who was born in Bender, a city in the unrecognised republic of Transnistria, a Russian-speaking breakaway region of Moldova, has commanded the Black Sea Fleet since September 2022.

In March 2023 the ICC issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for the unlawful deportation of children from occupied Ukrainian territories to Russia.

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