UN Court stops Russia from further military operations in Ukraine

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Photo credit: Nation

Russia has been told to suspend its military operations in Ukraine immediately, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had ruled on Wednesday in The Hague, Netherlands.
A vote thirteen against two, with Vice-President Kirill Gevorgian of Russia and Judge Xue Hanqin of China dissenting, the ICJ ruled that Russia “shall immediately suspend the military operations that it commenced on Feb. 24.”

The ruling is in response to a suit filed by Ukraine on Feb. 27, where the country accused Russia of committing genocide, yet justify its military aggression.
It’s not clear yet whether Russia will accept the judgment, as the court has no direct means of enforcing its rulings.
A tweet after the ruling, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that the majority decision “fully reinforces my repeated appeals for peace.”
The ICJ asked Russia to immediately suspend its attacks and cease all military operations as they were based on Moscow’s stated purpose of preventing or punishing Ukraine for committing genocide.

The court also noted that Russia had decided not to participate in oral proceedings and later, presented a document setting out its position that in this case, the court lacks jurisdiction and requested it to “refrain from indicating provisional measures and to remove the case from its list.”

While delivering the ruling, the President of the court, Joan Donoghue of the US, outlined that the necessary conditions were met to give the ICJ the authority to indicate provisional measures.

The President said the conditions were met to give ICJ provisional measure, namely that the rights asserted by Ukraine are plausible and the condition of urgency was met, as acts causing irreparable prejudice can “occur at any moment.”

“Indeed, any military operation, 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,” she said.

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”.

“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,” she explained.

The judges were unanimous in their order that both parties refrain from any action that might “aggravate or extend the dispute…or make it more difficult to resolve.”

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