ICJ directs Russia to immediately suspend military operations in Ukraine
The Court also observed that it did not possess any evidence substantiating Russia’s claims that genocide had been committed by Ukraine in the Donbas region.
In a move that could be treated as a great morale booster for Ukraine and set back Russia at the international level for waging war against Ukraine, the Highest Court of the United Nations has directed Russia to immediately halt its war against Ukraine. The court has also said that it is deeply concerned about Russia using its force to attack Ukraine.
"The Russian Federation shall immediately suspend military operations that it commenced on 24 February on the territory of Ukraine, pending the final decision in the case", declared presiding Judge Joan Donoghue. Expressing concern over the lives of civilians, the court said that by waging war the Russian Federation raised serious issues in international law," Justice Donoghue said.
It may be noted that after being invaded by Russia, Ukraine took up the matter to an international court seeking justice. Interestingly, India's judge at the ICJ, Justice Dalveer Bhandari too voted in favour of Ukraine.
Justice Bhandari was nominated to the ICJ entirely for the support of the government and various missions over a period of time.
Justice Bhandari has voted against Russia using his own sense of justice, however, his stand is different from that of India on the Ukraine-Russia war.
India has abstained from voting on the Ukraine-Russia issue in the UN and instead called on both sides to focus on negotiations and end hostilities.
Meanwhile, Kyiv has alleged that Russia is illegitimately trying to justify the war. Ukraine also accused Russia of giving false information about any genocide taking place in the Donetsk and Lugansk areas of Ukraine by the Ukrainian government.
Ukraine later filed a petition before the ICJ appealing the Court to order Russia for an immediate suspension of all military operations in Ukraine.
"Russia must be stopped, and the court has a role to play in stopping that," Ukraine's representative Anton Korynevych told the ICJ last week.
Besides urging the Court to order for suspension of war, Ukraine has also sought security to be guaranteed by international forces, as it rejected proposals pushed by Russia for it to adopt a neutral status comparable to Austria or Sweden.
Meanwhile, Russia has not rejected the order stating that ICJ has no jurisdiction to issue any such order to Russia. Going a step further, Russia has said that it has called for war only for its ‘self-defence’.