International centre for investigating Russia’s war crimes inaugurated in The Hague

03.07.2023, 13:30
International centre for investigating Russia’s war crimes inaugurated in The Hague - Photo
Deputy Head of the Presidential Office of Ukraine Andrii Smyrnov. Photo by Valentyna Polishchuk /

The International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA), designed to investigate and collect evidence of Russia's war against Ukraine, started its operations in The Hague on Monday.

Hosted by the European Union agency for criminal justice cooperation, Eurojust, the Centre "will be key to investigate Russia's crime of aggression against Ukraine and facilitate case building for future trials," the European commission said in a statement.

Composed of selected national prosecutors, the Centre "will provide a structure to support and enhance ongoing and future investigations into the crime of aggression and contribute to the exchange and analysis of evidence gathered since the start of the Russian aggression."

The ICPA is the first step towards the establishment of a special tribunal for prosecuting the crimes of Russia’s aggression, deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office Andrii Smyrnov told

"The Centre is the first international institution since the end of the Second World War to investigate the crime of aggression committed by representatives of the political and military leadership of a country, so this is a truly historic moment," he said.

Mr Smyrnov believes the ICPA’s activities should lay the groundwork for future trials on Russia’s crime of aggression, including as part of a future special tribunal.

"So we believe that the creation and launch of the Centre is the first necessary step towards the special tribunal, because after the investigation, there must be a trial."

The United States is actively involved in consultations on the establishment of the special tribunal and supports the creation of a judicial mechanism for the crime of aggression against Ukraine, the official added.

"Our American colleagues are at the centre of the process of ensuring accountability for the crime of aggression against Ukraine," Mr Smyrnov stressed.

"We are convinced that together we will find answers to all questions and create a special tribunal."

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