The Hague-based International Criminal Court's readiness to launch a full-fledged investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in occupied Crimea and Donbas means recognition of Russia's involvement in the events in Ukraine.

Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna announced this on Ukraine 24 TV channel.

Read alsoKuleba: Hague court announces decision to probe into Russia's war crimes in Ukraine

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She explained that in the future, the investigation would proceed in stages.

"The decision to launch an investigation is the end of the first period of preparations for the beginning; this is in fact recognition of Russia's role in committing crimes against humanity in Ukrainian territory. In the future, the investigation will not proceed quickly, but in stages, in keeping with procedures. We have no fears. But it is obvious that Russia will use all possible tools, including hybrid ones, to sabotage this process," Stefanishyna said.

Asked about a time frame for the trial, the official said: "There is more than enough evidence of Russian aggression today. I think that not a single trial at the International Criminal Court, in particular that concerning Ukraine, could proceed quickly. Some cases have been considered for decades. I hope it won't be that long for Ukraine."

Hague court's decision to probe into Russia's war crimes in Ukraine

  • On December 11, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced that prosecutors at the International Criminal Court in The Hague had announced the decision that there was every reason to probe into the war crimes committed by the Russian Federation in Crimea and Donbas.
  • He noted that "international justice is not quick, but inevitable." "The day will come when Russian criminals will certainly appear before the court," the minister added.