The Hague, 4 March 2022 (TDI): The International Criminal Court(ICC) opened an investigation into potential war crimes by Russia in Ukraine.

Karim Khan, a British lawyer who was appointed as the International Criminal Court’s top prosecutor, stated that the crisis in Ukraine is an opportunity to show that those responsible for war crimes may be held accountable.

Footages this week of cluster bombs and artillery strikes on Ukrainian cities persuaded the world’s top war crimes prosecutor to open an inquiry, backed by lots of countries opposed to Russia’s invasion.

“I have the impression that the entire world is watching, the world expects more,” Khan said. He further added that he has sent an advance team of investigators and attorneys to the area.

“Any facet that targets civilians or civilian objects straight targets is violating the law.” Since Russian tanks moved into Ukraine on February 24, in the largest military offensive on a European state since World War Two, at least 249 civilians have been killed, according to the United Nations.

As Russian forces lay siege to cities, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russian troops of escalating their bombardment on civilians in recent days.

This week, an unprecedented 39 member states, including the majority of European Union members and the United Kingdom, petitioned the ICC to launch an inquiry after publicly accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime of war crimes.

Khan has admitted that the Ukraine inquiry brings “a myriad of challenges, opportunities, and difficulties.” After eight years of preliminary work on events dating back to Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014, the ICC was able to launch a fast-track inquiry into Ukraine this week, thanks to a request from member states, but Khan said his office is short on resources.

“Everything is required,” he stated. “From lawyers to prosecutors, analysts and military expert, forensics, language experts, and psychosocial assistance,” says the statement.

“When we watch buildings being blown up, there is definitely a lot of emotion involved,” McIntyre said, “but international humanitarian law – or the law of war – does not totally reduce injuries to persons or their property. It can take a little collateral damage.”