The International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague has recognized the annexation of the Crimean peninsula as a military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and a Russian occupation of Ukrainian territory. This is according to the annual issued by the Prosecutor of the Hague-based International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda on November 14, 2016.
“According to information received, the situation in the Crimea and Sevastopol is equivalent to the international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation,” a preliminary report from ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda stated. “This international armed conflict started not later than February 26, when the Russian Federation employed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the territory of Ukraine without the consent of the government of Ukraine,” themoscownews.com quotes the document.
The law on international armed conflict is applicable to this situation and after March 18, 2014 to the extent to which the events in the Crimea and Sevastopol will be equivalent to the continuing state of the occupation, the author of the report stresses.
Most of UN member states did not recognize the 2014 referendum in Crimea. G7, NATO member states, the European Union, the Council of Europe regarded the Russian actions as aggression and violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
In April 2014, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada adopted a law declaring Crimea and the city of Sevastopol city the territory seized as a result of ‘the armed aggression of the Russian Federation’.
Belsat TV journalists were witnessing the dramatic moment of the beginning of the annexation: