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Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba has said the government is preparing to present claims of war crimes by Russia to The Hague following its invasion.
Kuleba shared the news in a post on Twitter today, February 25, one day after Vladimir Putin announced a 'special military operation' in Ukraine.
Troops have targeted multiple cities with air strikes or shelling for more than 30 hours, and today the country has been accused of attacking 'a kindergarten and an orphanage', according to Kuleba.
Today’s Russian attacks on a kindergarten and an orphanage are war crimes and violations of the Rome Statute. Together with the General Prosecutor’s Office we are collecting this and other facts, which we will immediately send to the Hague. Responsibility is inevitable.— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 25, 2022
The foreign minister did not provide details on the locations of the buildings which had been attacked, though reports shared online indicate a kindergarten was damaged in Kyiv following an explosion in the country's capital.
The Guardian reporter Emma Graham-Harrison sharing an image of a severely damaged building and explained: 'Windows at a nearby kindergarten and tax office blown out too.'
Other social media users have reported that an orphanage in Vorzel, Kyiv was attacked, with one claiming the building was 'shelled' while another wrote it was targeted with 'ammunition and the rocket system “Grad”'.
Crater left by an explosion just beside an apartment block in Kyiv.— Emma Graham-Harrison (@_EmmaGH) February 25, 2022
Locals say there are no military targets in the area. Windows at a nearby kindergarten and tax office blown out too. pic.twitter.com/6d1ej1Goau
Russian Soldiers have fired ammunition and the rocket system “Grad” into an orphanage with 50 kids in Vorzel, Kyiv region who luckily were uninjured as were at the back of the building. At the moment the state persecutors office are taking measures for their evacuation #Ukraine— Belarus Free Theatre (@BFreeTheatre) February 25, 2022
In his post, Kuleba described the attacks against a kindergarten and an orphanage as 'war crimes and violations of the Rome Statute'.
He continued: 'Together with the General Prosecutor’s Office we are collecting this and other facts, which we will immediately send to the Hague. Responsibility is inevitable.'
The Rome Statute refers to the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which was adopted in 1998 and is supported by more than 120 countries, though not including Russia.
In a statement cited by Reuters, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan said today that the court may investigate possible war crimes in the country.
Khan said: 'I have been closely following recent developments in and around Ukraine with increasing concern. I remind all sides conducting hostilities on the territory of Ukraine that my office may exercise its jurisdiction and investigate any act of genocide, crime against humanity or war crime committed within Ukraine.'
The court can investigate alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine regardless of the nationality of the alleged perpetrators.
Kuleba's announcement comes after Boris Johnson indicated that Putin could face war crime charges for the invasion, telling MPs 'anyone who sends a Russian into battle to kill innocent Ukrainians' could be brought to court. Johnson added yesterday that the UK is working with allies to set up a 'particular international war crimes tribunal for those involved in war crimes in the Ukraine theatre'.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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