Russia/Ukraine: ICC issues arrest warrants for top Russian commanders for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity  

Responding to the International Criminal Court (ICC) issuing arrest warrants against Lt. Gen. Sergei Kobylash and Adm. Viktor Sokolov, of the Russian Armed Forces, each allegedly responsible for the war crimes of directing attacks at civilian objects and of causing excessive incidental harm to civilians or damage to civilian objects, as well as the crime against humanity of ‘inhumane acts’, Erika Guevara Rosas, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research, Advocacy and Policy, said: 

“By issuing arrest warrants for Kobylash and Sokolov, the ICC has demonstrated that it will pursue cases to the top of the chain of command.  As Russia conducts missile strikes that continue to decimate Ukraine’s critical civilian infrastructure, the ICC has served notice that those alleged to have committed war crimes will be brought to justice, no matter their rank.  

‘The ICC’s arrest warrants rely entirely on being carried out by states. Therefore, in addition to ICC fugitives, President Putin and Ms Lvova-Belova, the international community must  ensure that  Mr Kobylash or Mr Sokolov are immediately arrested and surrendered to the ICC if they leave Russia.” 


According to a press release from the International Criminal Court, there are “reasonable grounds to believe that the two suspects bear responsibility for missile strikes carried out by the forces under their command against the Ukrainian electric infrastructure from at least 10 October 2022 until at least 9 March 2023. During this timeframe, there was an alleged campaign of strikes against numerous electric power plants and sub-stations, which were carried out by the Russian armed forces in multiple locations in Ukraine.” 

There are currently 124 states parties to the Rome Statute, and Putin and Lvova-Belova’s arrest warrants are binding in 125 states (124 states parties plus Ukraine, which granted the ICC jurisdiction over its territory for crimes committed there since 2014).   

On 20 October 2022, Amnesty International noted that Russian attacks seriously damaged about 40% of the country’s energy facilities and amounted to war crimes.  

Amnesty International has been documenting war crimes and other violations of international humanitarian law for ten years. All of Amnesty International’s outputs published to date can be found here.