The United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered Russia to immediately suspend military operations in Ukraine.
This was disclosed by the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on “Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation)”
By a vote of 13 to 2, with Russia’s Vice-President Kirill Gevorgian and China’s Judge Xue Hanqin voting no, the ICJ ruled that Russia “shall immediately suspend the military operations that it commenced on 24 February.”
What you should know
The Court recalled that Ukraine applied to Russia on February 26th, alleging “a dispute” over the interpretation, application, and implementation of the Genocide Convention.
Ukraine said that after falsely accusing the inhabitants of the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts of genocide, Russia launched and carried out a “special military operation” to prevent and punish the alleged crimes.
The judgement, which is the first by the ‘global court’ since the Russian invasion began, comes in response to a lawsuit submitted by Ukraine on February 27 accusing Russia of misusing the notion of genocide to legitimize armed aggression.
Although the ICJ’s decisions are final, press reports have raised doubts about Moscow’s willingness to follow them, and the court has no direct means of implementing them.
Why Russia must stop war- UN ICJ
In delivering the ruling, President of the Court Joan Donoghue of the United States mentioned that the negative impact to life and property is inevitable “Indeed, any military operation, in particular, one on the scale carried out by the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine, inevitably causes loss of life, mental and bodily harm, and damage to property and to the environment,”
On behalf of the world court, she continued, “the civilian population affected by the present conflict is extremely vulnerable,” adding that Russia’s aggression has resulted in “numerous civilian deaths and injuries
…significant material damage, including the destruction of buildings and infrastructure.”
She explained that the “attacks are ongoing and are creating increasingly difficult living conditions for the civilian population. Many persons have no access to the most basic foodstuffs, potable water, electricity, essential medicines or heating. A very large number of people are attempting to flee from the most affected cities under extremely insecure conditions,”
What was the court ruling
- By thirteen votes to two, the Russian Federation shall immediately suspend the military operations that it commenced on 24 February 2022 in the territory of Ukraine;
- By thirteen votes to two, the Russian Federation shall ensure that any military or irregular armed units which may be directed or supported by it, as well as any organizations and persons which may be subject to its control or direction, take no steps in furtherance of the military operations referred to in point (1) above;
- Unanimously, both Parties shall refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve.”