Espreso. Global

Victorious news of 853rd day of war: EU starts accession talks with Ukraine, International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Shoigu, Gerasimov

25 June, 2024 Tuesday

Ukrainian army counterattacks near Lyptsi, Ukraine's intelligence hits Russian ammunition depot in Voronezh region, European Court of Human Rights finds Russia violated rights of Ukrainians in Crimea, Spain delivers 2nd batch of Patriot missiles, Leopard tanks to Ukraine


EU starts accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova

On Tuesday, June 25, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the start of accession talks with Moldova and Ukraine. 

She made the announcement on her Facebook page.

"Congratulations to Moldova and Ukraine on opening accession negotiations. This is very good news for the people of Ukraine, Moldova, and the entire European Union," she wrote.

At the same time, the President of the European Commission warned that the path to EU accession "will be challenging but full of opportunities"

"Wishing you a successful start of the negotiations," Ursula von der Leyen emphasized.

International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Shoigu, Gerasimov

On Tuesday, June 25, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for former Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov.

The International Criminal Court's website reported the information. 

The arrest warrants were issued by the Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court, consisting of Presiding Judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala, Judge Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godínez and Judge Haykel Ben Mahfoudh. 

“Pre-Trial Chamber II considered that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the two suspects bear responsibility for missile strikes carried out by the Russian armed forces against the Ukrainian electric infrastructure from at least 10 October 2022 until at least 9 March 2023. During this time-frame, a large number of strikes against numerous electric power plants and sub-stations were carried out by the Russian armed forces in multiple locations in Ukraine,” the statement said.

The Court found that there were sufficient grounds to believe that the alleged attacks were directed against civilian objects, and for those objects that could be qualified as military objectives, the expected incidental harm and damage to the civilian population was excessive compared to the expected military advantage.

The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Russian commanders on the basis of motions filed by the prosecution.

Ukrainian Defense Forces counterattack near Lyptsi in Kharkiv region

Kharkiv city council member, Artem Revchuk, says Ukrainian Defense Forces are conducting counterattacks near Lyptsi.

He shared the information on Espreso TV.

"The fighting near Lyptsi continues, with the situation developing in Ukraine's favor. There are no indications of any Russian breakthroughs. The defense forces are conducting successful counterattacks in the area. Almost everyone in Ukraine has likely seen footage of a Russian soldier being captured near Lyptsi. According to him, all the forest strips near Lyptsi are littered with the bodies of Russian occupiers," Revchuk said.

He emphasized that the territory of the Kharkiv region will be liberated from the occupying Russian army.

"I hope that we will be able to liberate the territory of the Kharkiv region captured by the enemy. However, we need to think not only about the border of the Kharkiv region, but also about how to create a safe zone for our citizens. This applies to Kharkiv as well as to small towns and villages in the Kharkiv region," he added.

Ukraine's intelligence hits Russian ammunition depot in Voronezh region

On June 25, Ukrainian reconnaissance men struck a Russian ammunition depot in Olkhovatsky district, Voronezh region.

This was reported by Ukraine's Main Intelligence Directorate.

"During the night, a fire broke out at the shell storage sites, covering a total area of 3,500 square meters, and is still ongoing. Due to the size of the depot, it appears that explosions will go on for a long time," the statement said.

Earlier, the governor of the Voronezh region, Alexander Gusev, said that on the night of June 25, two Ukrainian aircraft-type drones were allegedly destroyed over the region.

Spain delivers 2nd batch of Patriot missiles, Leopard tanks to Ukraine

On June 21, the second batch of long-range missiles for Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems sent by Spain arrived in Ukraine.

El Mundo reported the information, citing a source in the Spanish government.

As Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles noted during the May 25 meeting of the Ministerial Contact Group on Ukraine's Defense, the Patriot system is a crucial part of an "important delivery" scheduled for June.

The new aid package from Spain also includes a batch of Leopard battle tanks, various types of ammunition, including 155mm artillery shells, anti-drone systems, optoelectronic surveillance and tracking systems, and remote weapon towers.

European Court of Human Rights finds Russia violated rights of Ukrainians in Crimea

The European Court of Human Rights has recognized systematic violations of Ukrainians' rights by Russia since its February 2014 occupation of Crimea.

Marharyta Sokorenko, Commissioner for ECHR Affairs, reported this.

The ECtHR unanimously confirmed Russia's administrative practices:

  • Disappearances with inadequate investigations.

  • Ill-treatment and unlawful detentions.

  • Unlawful imposition of Russian laws, undermining Crimean courts' legitimacy.

  • Forced Ukrainian citizenship changes to Russian.

  • Systematic mass searches.

  • Transfer of convicts to Russia.

  • Assaults on non-Russian religious leaders, leading to beatings and property seizures.

  • Blocking of non-Russian media, including Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar stations, with ongoing journalist harassment.

  • Bans on peaceful assemblies, attacks on organizers.

  • Private property expropriation.

  • Closure of Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar schools.

  • Freedom of movement restrictions between Crimea and Ukraine.

  • Discrimination against Crimean Tatars.

  • Violations of political prisoners' rights, with no return to Ukraine and brutal treatment.

"Today, June 25, 2024, the decision effectively dismantled Russia's decade-long claim of respecting human rights in Crimea," Sokorenko wrote.

She added it was the first time an international court held Russia accountable for widespread, systematic human rights violations in occupied Crimea.

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