International Criminal Court Expected to Launch War Crimes Cases Against Russians Over Ukraine War
International Court Seeks Arrest of Russian Officials for War Crimes in Ukraine; Charges to Cover Child Deportations and Civilian Targeting;
Wagner Chief Claims Russian Forces Are Advancing; China's Xi Jinping May Visit Moscow and Speak with Ukraine's President Zelenskiy.
The International Criminal Court is expected to launch war crimes cases against Russian officials for forcibly deporting children from Ukraine and targeting civilian infrastructure, which could include the crime of genocide.
If approved, this will be the first international war crimes cases arising from Moscow's invasion.
Moscow is likely to reject any arrest warrants against any of its officials, but an international war crimes prosecution could deepen its diplomatic isolation and make it difficult for those accused to travel abroad for fear of arrest.
News of the potential international charges came as Moscow appeared on the cusp of one long-sought diplomatic breakthrough, with several sources suggesting China's President Xi Jinping could visit Russia as soon as next week.
China and Russia struck a "no limits" partnership in February of 2022, weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, and the two sides have reaffirmed the strength of their ties in public.
On the ground, both sides described relentless fighting in Bakhmut, a small ruined city in eastern Ukraine that has become the main focus of a Russian winter campaign involving hundreds of thousands of freshly conscripted reservists and mercenaries.
The months-long fight for Bakhmut has become Europe's bloodiest infantry battle since World War Two, described as a meat grinder by both sides.