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Russian representatives skip UN court hearing on Ukraine

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Russian representatives on Monday skipped a hearing at the United Nations’ top court that focused on allegations of genocide in Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin used as a pretext to launch an invasion of the country.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) held the first of two public hearings on Monday in the case regarding “Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation),” according to Reuters.

Ukraine was scheduled to deliver its oral argument on Monday, and Russia was set to do the same on Tuesday. Tuesday’s hearing was canceled in light of Moscow’s boycott, Reuters reported.

Ukrainian envoy Anton Korynevych said Russia skipping the hearing “speaks loudly.”

“They are not here in this court of law: they are on a battlefield waging an aggressive war against my country,” he added, according to Reuters.

He said Moscow should “lay down your arms and put forward your evidence.”

Ukraine filed an application against Russia to the ICJ earlier this month, writing that Moscow “falsely claimed that acts of genocide have occurred” in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, the two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized as independent before launching his invasion.

Kyiv also said Russia “declared and implemented a ‘special military operation’ against Ukraine with the express purpose of preventing and punishing purported acts of genocide that have no basis in fact,” and wrote that Moscow is “now engaged in a military invasion of Ukraine involving grave and widespread violations of the human rights of the Ukrainian people.”

Ukraine is asking that the court to direct Russia to “immediately suspend the military operations” that began on Feb. 24, which “have as their stated purpose and objective the prevention and punishment of a claimed genocide” in the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, according to The Associated Press.

“Russia must be stopped and the court has a role to play in stopping it,” Korynevych said, according to the AP.

Tags ICJ International Court of Justice invasion Russia Ukraine United Nations Vladimir Putin

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