During his speech at The Hague, where the International Criminal Court (ICC) is located, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized the need to hold Russian leader Vladimir Putin accountable for his alleged war crimes in Ukraine. Zelensky stated that a different version of Putin, who should be punished for his criminal deeds in the capital of international law, is what everyone wishes to see at The Hague.
“I’m sure we will see that happen when we win,” he said, adding: “Whoever brings war must receive judgement.” The ICC in March had issued an arrest warrant for Putin for allegedly deporting children from war-ravaged regions of Ukraine. On the flip side, Russia has rejected ICC’s allegations and jurisdiction over its conflict with Ukraine, which it prefers to call a “special military operation.”
Key points from Zelensky’s speech at The Hague
Zelensky again called for setting up a war tribunal to hold Russia accountable for its “war crimes” in Ukraine.
Zelensky claimed that Russia committed 6,000 war crimes in April alone, which led to the death of at least 207 Ukrainian civilians, including children.
He also thanked the Dutch leadership for its unwavering support to Ukraine and for supplying it with weapons. He reiterated that a war is won by “force of arms.”
He referred to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine as “the war we didn’t want, the one we have to make the last – and we will do it”
The speech comes in the backdrop of ‘Ukraine drone strike’ controversy
Ukraine delivered his speech in The Hague a day after Russia accused Ukraine of attempting to strike the Kremlin with its kamikaze drone. The Kremlin said it perceives the attack as an attempt on Putin’s life.
Russia’s ex-president Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday called for the “physical elimination” of Zelensky. The leader said, “After today’s terrorist attack, there are no options left aside the physical elimination of Zelensky and his cabal.”
Russia accuses the US of masterminding the attack
The Kremlin on Thursday blamed the US for orchestrating the drone attack. The Kremlin said in a statement, “Decisions on such attacks are not made in Kyiv, but in Washington. Kyiv only does what it is told to do.”
Ukraine has denied its involvement in the attack, while some reports suggest that Russia could have staged this attack to use this as a pretext for the impending escalation.