• D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG
  • D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
Semafor Logo
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG

Updated Jun 25, 2024, 12:22pm EDT
Europe
icon

Semafor Signals

ICC issues arrest warrants for two top Russian officials

Insights from Kyiv Post, Vedomosti, and Financial Times

Arrow Down
Russian Security Council's Secretary Sergei Shoigu.
Sergei Shoigu. Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Pool via REUTERS
PostEmailWhatsapp
Title icon

The News

The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for two top Russian officials, alleging they committed war crimes in Ukraine.

Former Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and chief of staff General Valery Gerasimov also allegedly committed crimes against humanity for targeting Ukrainian infrastructure and civilians, according to the Hague-based court.

AD

Russia is not a member of the ICC, which has previously issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin. The court relies on member states to make arrests, so it’s unlikely the suspects will face trial.

Ukraine cheered the news: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said “every criminal involved in the planning and execution of these strikes must know that justice will be served. And we do hope to see them behind bars.”

icon

SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today's biggest stories.

Russia derides ICC decision

Source icon
Sources:  
RIA Novosti, Vedomosti, Financial Times

The arrest warrants were immediately decried in Russia, with the Kremlin’s Security Council calling the decision insignificant and “part of the hybrid war of the West against our country.” Russia opened its own criminal case against the ICC last year, accusing the court of illegally accusing Putin of serious crimes. Even so, the growing number of ICC decisions may make life harder for Russian officials, as foreign governments will be under increasing pressure to detain Russian officials who are facing arrest warrants. Last year, Putin skipped a summit in South Africa to avoid ending up in a situation where Pretoria was legally required to arrest him.

Ukraine’s energy crisis will only get worse

Source icon
Sources:  
Kyiv Post, BBC, RUSI

Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, the core of the latest round of ICC warrants, have only ramped up in recent months. Kyiv has instituted rolling blackouts as half of its electricity-generation has been destroyed since March. The crisis will only get worse as winter approaches and the country’s energy demands increase, an expert at the Royal United Services Institute wrote: “The lack of power and heating will become life-threatening for the elderly and young, driving internal and external displacement,” unless the West bolsters Ukraine’s air defenses, Sam Cranny-Evans argued.

Trump allies mull peace deal that favors Russia

Source icon
Sources:  
Reuters, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs

Two former White House officials have briefed Donald Trump on a plan to stop military aid to Ukraine unless Kyiv agrees to negotiate with Russia, Reuters reported, as a growing number of the former US president’s associates push ideas for ending the war at odds with Ukraine’s peace plan. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee in this year’s presidential election, has said privately that he could end the war by forcing Ukraine to give up some territory, The Washington Post reported. But not all his allies appear willing to cut aid to Ukraine: Robert O’Brien, Trump’s former national security adviser, wrote in Foreign Affairs that “Trump’s approach would be to continue to provide lethal aid to Ukraine, financed by European countries, while keeping the door open to diplomacy with Russia.”

Semafor Logo
AD