| 21 February 2024, Wednesday |

Russian defaults to appear before U.N. court hearings on Ukrainian war

Russia boycotted proceedings before the United Nations’ top court on Monday, during which Ukraine will argue that Moscow erroneously interpreted genocide legislation to legitimize its invasion and will seek an emergency order halting hostilities.

Hearings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) commenced at 0900GMT without legal representation for Russia.

The court expressed sadness at Russia’s absence.

The Russian Embassy in the Netherlands did not respond to a request for comment.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Russia’s “special military action” is needed “to protect people who have been subjected to bullying and genocide” – meaning those whose first or only language is Russian – in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s suit argues that the claim of genocide is untrue, and in any case does not provide legal justification for invasion.

The case centers on the interpretation of a 1948 treaty on the prevention of genocide, signed by both countries. The treaty names the ICJ as the forum for resolving disputes between signatories.

  • Reuters