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UN court to hold hearings on Ukraine’s case against Russia.

UN court to hold hearings on Ukraine’s case against Russia.

On Tuesday, the International Court of Justice, the United Nations’ highest court, opened hearings for a case Ukraine brought against Russia regarding Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its arming of rebels in eastern Ukraine before the full-scale invasion in February 2022. The Ukrainian government is seeking reparations from Russia for attacks on regions, including the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July 2014. All 298 passengers and crew members were killed in the attack by Russia-backed rebels. The four-day hearing will take place in the court’s Great Hall of Justice and features lawyers from both sides presenting legal arguments to support their case.

Amid Europe’s deadliest conflict since World War II in Ukraine, lawyers for Kyiv are presenting their case, followed by Russia on Thursday. The next week, each side will present evidence, and judges are expected to take months to issue their verdict. This case is one of several legal proceedings against Russia linked to Ukraine. Kyiv is arguing Russia violated the 1948 Genocide Convention by falsely accusing Ukraine of committing genocide and using that as a pretext for the Feb. 24, 2022, invasion in another separate case brought by Ukraine. The world court issued a preliminary order, calling on Russia to stop hostilities – a legally binding ruling which Moscow ignored.

Furthermore, a few miles away, at the International Criminal Court, judges issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on charges related to the deportation and illegal transfer of children from Ukraine. Russia is not a member of the court and does not recognize its jurisdiction. Additionally, a Dutch domestic court convicted two Russians and a pro-Moscow Ukrainian for their roles in downing MH17 last year and sentenced them in their absence to life imprisonment. Ukraine also has another case against Russia at the International Court of Justice over its invasion last year. The Netherlands and Ukraine are suing Moscow at the European Court of Human Rights over MH17.

The hearing on Tuesday is part of the case Kyiv brought in 2017, concerning Russia arming rebels in eastern Ukraine and curtailing the rights of ethnic Tatars and other minorities after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. In a preliminary ruling, the court ordered Russia to stop limiting “the ability of the Crimean Tatar community to conserve its representative institutions.” Russia, however, has always denied involvement in the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, which was shot down by a Soviet-era missile over eastern Ukraine.

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