1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

The Hague: Center to probe Russia's war in Ukraine opens

July 3, 2023

The center has been set up to investigate the crime of aggression in Ukraine, which the International Criminal Court (ICC) cannot prosecute. The US, which is not an ICC member, is also part of the initiative.

ICPA prosecutors in the Hague
A new office for the investigation of Russia's invasion of Ukraine has opened in The Hague as a joint initiative of Ukraine, the US, the EU and the International Criminal Court (ICC)Image: Peter Dejong/AP/picture alliance

An international center to investigate Russia's invasion of Ukraine opened in The Hague on Monday.

The International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression (ICPA) includes prosecutors from Ukraine, the European Union and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Center opens to probe Russia's war in Ukraine

What else do we know about the center?

The United States, which is not a member of the ICC, will also participate in the newly-opened center.

Among the officials are Ukrainian prosecutor general Andriy Kostin, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan, US Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite and EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, Eurojust said.

The EU said that the center had the "ultimate aim of prosecuting those responsible for the invasion" of Ukraine.

"We will leave no stone unturned to hold Putin and his henchmen accountable," EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen vowed on Monday.

In a statement marking the  opening of a center for prosecution of Russian invasion in Ukraine, she said the aggression continues to bring unspeakable horrors, every day.

The center is expected to collect evidence and prepare charges against Kremlin officials. Eurojust has already opened a central database for evidence on war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Ukraine's prosecutor general said the opening of the centre was a "clear signal that the world is united and unwavering on the path to holding the Russian regime accountable for all its crimes."

Kostin said that the office would help fill a "gaping hole in accountability for the crime of aggression."

EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said the initiative showed that Kyiv's allies would "stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes."

ICC flag in The Hague
The ICC, also based in The Hague, cannot investigate the crime of aggressionImage: Vincent Isore/IP3press/imago images

Kyiv demands prosecution of invasion

The ICC had previously opened an investigation into the issue of alleged child deportations by Moscow but has no mandate to probe the broader crime of aggression. The court has issued an international arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin over the allegations.

The Ukrainian government has been demanding a special war crimes tribunal after hundreds of bodies were discovered in the central Ukrainian town of Bucha in April 2022.

In April 2023, Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte to discuss the establishment of a tribunal to prosecute Moscow.

sdi/ab (AFP, dpa)