Russia not responding to International Criminal Court amid war crimes investigation, prosecutor says

There is much for lawyers to consider as allegations of war crimes pile up, as Global Security Editor Rohit Kachroo reports

Russia has not responded to the International Criminal Court (ICC)'s war crimes investigation, the ICC's prosecutor has said.

Karim Khan has requested contributions from Moscow but has received "no response", he told ITV News.

Ukraine, on the other hand, has been more forthcoming - Mr Khan has been able to meet President Zelenskyy, foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba and various other top officials.

The ICC launched its investigation earlier this month, amid Ukraine's rising civilian death toll and a widespread destruction of property. The probe could target senior officials believed to be responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide.

"It seems there’s reasonable grounds to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the court are being committed," Mr Khan said, but stopped short of blaming Russia.

The prosecutor did, however, give an insight into the investigation, which is being watched closely by many human rights groups and the ICC's member states.

Mr Khan said ICC staff are gathering evidence from using sources such as testimonies, satellite imagery, intercepted communications and open source investigations.

There has been "no response" from Russia to the International Criminal Court's investigation into allegations of war crimes, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan tells ITV News

He also suggested the court should analyse ITV News coverage of the war, such as footage of shelled residential buildings.

Mr Khan announced the probe after dozens of the ICC's member states urged him to take action.

The UK was among the countries calling for a probe, with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss saying scrutiny of Russia's "barbaric acts" was "urgently needed".

Mr Khan told ITV News the UK has been "immensely supportive" during the investigation.

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For instance, he said, Britain has pledged £1 million "to the office of the prosecutors trust fund and secondments to be used across all situations by my assessment of need".

However, Mr Khan added: “We need the stamina to realise justice isn’t done in a day.”

States accusing Russia of committing war crimes have highlighted reports of Russian cluster bombs, and an increase in attacks on Ukraine's civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and theatres.

Karim Khan says that the ICC may want to view footage captured by ITV News, which may show weapons being used against civilians

To be classed as crimes against humanity, attacks have to be part of what the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, calls “a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population”. The use of munitions such as cluster bombs also likely will, if confirmed, qualify as war crimes because of their indiscriminate nature.

The ICC can only put a suspect on trial in The Hague if they are arrested. The court doesn’t have a police force to detain suspects and relies on international cooperation to enforce its arrest warrants. Under ICC rules, suspects can’t by tried in their absence.

On Monday, the UN confirmed the deaths of 902 civilians in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began. It warned the real death toll is likely to be considerably higher.