Ukraine, Russia Face Off At The International Court In The Hague

The Ukrainian government is asking the International Court of Justice, the United Nations' highest court, to fine Russian Federation for "intervening militarily in Ukraine, financing acts of terrorism, and violating the human rights of millions of Ukraine's citizens".

"Thousands of innocent Ukrainians have already suffered deadly attacks", she said.

They include an order to halt financing to rebels in eastern Ukraine and to stop discriminating against non-Russians in Crimea.

Initial hearings will last through the week, but the court can sometimes take years to reach a verdict, according to US -funded Radio Free Europe.

Moscow has long denied arming the rebels and has said the case is motivated only "by political interests".

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Kiev says that Moscow has "largely failed" to respond to its efforts to reach a resolution in the dispute and that "further negotiations would be futile". ICJ hearings in #Ukraine v. #Russia Case open on Monday 6 March at 10 am (The Hague) https://t.co/bygSbqEo2a. In view of Russia's defiance of worldwide condemnation of its actions in Ukraine since 2014, a subsequent ruling is likely to have little effect on Moscow. But Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko took to Facebook, making no secret of his feelings on the matter.

"The truth is stronger than weapons!" he wrote. Ukraine says separatist forces, backed by Russian Federation, have carried out terrorist acts including the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in 2014, which killed 298 passengers and crew.

Ukraine also accuses Moscow of mistreatment of Crimea's Tartar and ethnic Ukrainian populations since it annexed the area in 2014.

While UN member nations are bound to abide by the tribunal's decisions, in reality whatever decision the court reaches is unlikely to have much concrete effect on the ground.

  • Megan Austin