Russian attacks continue after Putin’s arrest warrant
Kyiv, Ukraine — Widespread Russian attacks have continued in Ukraine after the International Criminal Court decided to issue an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights.
Ukraine was attacked by 16 Russian drones on Friday evening, the Ukrainian Air Force announced in the early hours of Saturday. Writing on Telegram, the air force command said 11 out of 16 drones were shot down “in the central, western and eastern regions”. Among the targeted areas were the capital, Kyiv, and the western province of Lviv.
Kyiv city administration chief Serhii Popko said Ukrainian air defenses had shot down all drones heading towards the Ukrainian capital, while Lviv regional governor Maksym Kozytskyi said on Saturday that three of the six drones had been shot down, with the other three hitting a district. bordering Poland. According to the Ukrainian Air Force, the attacks were carried out from the eastern coast of the Sea of Azov and the Russian province of Bryansk, which borders Ukraine.
Ukraine’s military also said in its regular update on Saturday morning that Russian forces in the past 24 hours had launched 34 airstrikes, one missile strike and 57 anti-aircraft fire. The Facebook update says falling debris hit the southern province of Kherson, damaging seven homes and a kindergarten.
According to the Ukrainian statement, Russia continues to focus its efforts on offensive operations in the industrial east of Ukraine, concentrating attacks on Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Marinka and Shakhtarsk in the Ukrainian province of Donetsk. Pavlo Kyrylenko, regional governor of Donetsk province, said one person was killed and three injured when 11 towns and villages in the province were shelled on Friday.
Further west, Russian rockets hit a residential area overnight from Friday to Sunday in the city of Zaporizhzhia, the regional capital of the partially occupied province of the same name. No casualties were reported, but houses were damaged and a food establishment destroyed, said Anatoliy Kurtev of the Zaporizhzhia city council.
The International Criminal Court announced on Friday that it has issued an arrest warrant for Putin on war crimes charges, accusing him of personal responsibility for child abductions in Ukraine, alongside Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova.
This is the first time the international tribunal has issued a warrant against a leader of one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
This decision was immediately rejected by Moscow – and welcomed by Ukraine as a major step forward.
Its practical implications, however, could be limited as the chances of Putin being tried at the ICC are highly unlikely as Moscow does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction or extradite its nationals.
British military officials said on Saturday that Russia was likely to expand conscription. In its latest intelligence update, the UK Ministry of Defense said MPs in the Russian Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, introduced a bill on Monday to raise the age of conscription for men at 21-30, compared to 18-27 currently.
The ministry said that at present, many men between the ages of 18 and 21 apply for exemption from military service because they are in higher education. The change would mean that they would eventually have to serve again. He said the law will likely pass and come into force in January 2024.
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