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Top UN court says Ukraine case over Russia’s invasion can go ahead

The United Nations’ top court on Friday said that it will move forward with a case brought by Ukraine over Russia’s justification of its February 2022 invasion.

Kyiv had asked the court to declare it did not commit genocide in eastern Ukraine - a claim made by Russia as a pretext for launching its attack.

Ukraine filed the the case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) just days after Russia launched its invasion on February 24, 2022, citing Moscow’s invocation of the Genocide Convention to justify its assault.

Russia has objected to the proceedings and said it is legally flawed. During hearings in September last year, lawyers representing Moscow urged judges to throw out the entire case.

Ukraine is asking the court to rule “that there is no credible evidence that Ukraine is responsible for committing genocide in violation of the Genocide Convention in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine.”

However, the court said it did not have the jurisdiction to rule on all submissions put forward by Ukraine, including the claim Russia’s invasion itself violated the Genocide Convention and that Russia’s recognition os separatist territories in eastern Ukraine also breached the convention.

The ICJ’s decisions are binding but it has no power to enforce its rulings.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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