Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the bombardment of Kharkiv, which killed dozens of civilians, was a war crime.
“Today, Russian forces brutally fired on Kharkiv from jet artillery. It was clearly a war crime,” Zelensky said in a late-night address Monday.
“Kharkiv is a peaceful city, there are peaceful residential areas, no military facilities… the Russians knew where they were shooting,” Zelensky added.
Zelensky said eyewitness accounts of civilians targeted deliberately during Monday’s attack on Ukraine’s second-largest city.
“There will definitely be an international tribunal for this crime — it’s a violation of all conventions. No one in the world will forgive you for killing peaceful Ukrainian people,” Zelensky said.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) said it is looking to launch its investigation into the allegations.
There is a “reasonable basis” to believe war crimes or crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine, ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan said.
Khan added that his investigation would look into alleged crimes arising from the fighting, including violations dating back to the initial Russian invasion in 2014.
Though neither Russia nor Ukraine are members of the ICC, Kyiv has accepted the court’s jurisdiction.
Amnesty International also called for an investigation into the assault on Kharkiv as a possible war crime.
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused Russia of “barbaric Russian airstrikes against innocent civilians, including children,” and pledged more military aid for Ukraine.
Zelensky said that in five days, 56 missile strikes and 113 cruise missiles were launched in Ukraine by Russian forces.
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