The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for Sergei Shoigu, the ex-Russian defense minister, and prominent Russian general Valery Gerasimov, due to alleged crimes during Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This brings the total number of arrest warrants against high-ranking Russian officials to six since Russia's military intervention in Ukraine began in February 2022. Among those charged is Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is accused of involvement in the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia. The ICC's decision was met with approval in Kyiv but dismissed as legally void by Moscow.

The ICC, based in The Hague, suspects Shoigu and Gerasimov of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity by orchestrating attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. According to the ICC, there are reasonable grounds to believe that both suspects are responsible for missile strikes by the Russian armed forces on Ukrainian electrical infrastructure between October 10, 2022, and at least March 9, 2023. Russia, which is not a member of the ICC, maintains that Ukraine's energy infrastructure is a legitimate military target and refutes allegations of targeting civilians or civilian infrastructure.

Ukraine, also not an ICC member, has granted the court jurisdiction over crimes committed on its territory since November 2013. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy praised the issuance of arrest warrants, stating that every individual involved in these strikes must face justice. Russia's Security Council, however, views the ICC's actions as part of a hybrid war against Moscow, noting that the ICC's jurisdiction does not extend to Russia.

Shoigu, a longtime ally of Putin, was pivotal in the war effort and was recently appointed secretary of Russia's powerful Security Council after being removed from his defense minister position. The ICC, lacking its own police force and depending on member states for arrests, faces uncertainty in bringing the Russian suspects to trial, especially given Russia's policy of not extraditing its nationals.

During the specified period, Russia is believed to have targeted numerous electric power plants and substations across Ukraine. ICC judges found that these attacks, which predominantly targeted civilian objects, constituted war crimes. More detailed charges remain confidential to protect witnesses and ongoing investigations. ICC prosecutor Karim Khan applied for these warrants in February, linking them to earlier warrants issued in March against top Russian commanders Sergei Kobylash and Viktor Sokolov.

Investigations in Ukraine are ongoing, with a focus on crimes committed against prisoners of war and civilians. The ICC has recently faced criticism, including from some of its allies, over its decision to seek arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli and Hamas officials. Despite this, the United States, which is not an ICC member, continues to support the ICC's investigations in Ukraine.