“The simple thing is, as we speak, children, men and women, young and old, live in terror,” said International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan at the opening of the Ukraine Accountability Conference in The Hague Thursday (14/7). ), which was attended by representatives from about 40 countries.
Khan said a “overarching strategy” was needed to bring those guilty of war crimes in Ukraine to justice.
Ukraine has given the ICC jurisdiction over crimes committed within the country, opening the door to an ICC investigation, as neither Ukraine nor Russia is a member of the ICC.
Ukrainian officials say Russian missiles hit Vinnytsia, a city in central Ukraine, on Thursday (14/7), killing at least 23 people and wounding more than 100.
Police said three missiles hit an office building in the city center, which is about 270 kilometers southwest of the capital, Kyiv. The attack, which originated from a Russian submarine in the Black Sea, damaged residential buildings in the area and set fire to 50 cars in a nearby parking lot.
“This is an act of Russian terror,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told participants at the ICC meeting in a video speech.
The governor of Vinnytsia, Serhiy Borzov, said Ukrainian air defense systems shot down four other missiles in the region.
With a population of 370 thousand, Vinnytsia is one of the largest cities of Ukraine. Thousands of people from Eastern Ukraine, where Russia has concentrated its offensive, have fled since the start of the war in late February.
President Zelenskyy said a child was among the dead. “Every day Russia destroys the civilian population, kills Ukrainian children, aims missiles at civilian objects where there are no military targets. What is this if not an act of open terrorism,” Zelenskyy wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
Russia has denied targeting civilians in Ukraine.
War continues to rage in Eastern Ukraine. But Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Thursday that despite the ongoing onslaught, Russian forces have not made significant territorial progress in recent days. [uh/ab]