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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Court Considers Genocide Claims

Lawyers representing Ukraine and Russia square off today at the International Court of Justice, arguing over the legal technicalities underlying the ongoing war. Ukraine accuses Russia of abusing international law by claiming its invasion of the country last February was an attempt to intervene and stop an ongoing genocide.

Article 1 of the Geneva Conventions requires signees—which includes Ukraine and Russia—to prevent and punish genocide. Russia has claimed Ukraine was systematically killing Russian-speaking populations in the eastern part of the country, obliging it to step in. Western officials have called the claims baseless, pointing out Ukraine has been fighting Russian-backed separatists in the region since Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

The high-profile proceedings are largely symbolic, as the ICJ has no enforcement mechanism. However, experts say a ruling in Ukraine's favor may help in any future restitution claims. This week's hearings will focus primarily on jurisdictional claims without digging into the merits of the arguments.

See updates on the war here.

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