The International Criminal Court launched an investigation of Russia’s war crimes in Georgia in 2008


The International Criminal Court sanctioned the prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to initiate an investigation of war crimes committed during the armed conflict in South Ossetia in 2008.

As South Ossetia is not recognized by the international community, from the point of view of international law the military conflict took place on the territory of Georgia.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established for the prosecution of perpetrators of war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Countries become parties of the ICC, and the crimes committed by their citizens fall into its jurisdiction, if the country has ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Georgia has signed and ratified the Statute. Russia has signed the Rome Statute in 2002, but has not ratified it.

The ICC Prosecutor suspects that murder and forced resettlement of Georgians were conducted by military in South Ossetia with possible participation of the Russian army. It should be noted that in the legal field citizens of South Ossetia are addressed as citizens of Georgia.

According to the information in the possession of the prosecutor of the ICC, 18,500 people were evicted from the territory of South Ossetia, and 113 ethnic Georgians were killed.

According to South Ossetia, about 1,600 civilians were killed in the conflict. The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, which opened a criminal case on genocide, said that 162 civilians were killed.