Breakfast Briefing with Gleb Bogush

Prohibited Means of Lawfare: Russia’s Wartime Criminal Justice


After a year of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Russian authorities began actively resorting to criminal justice, initiating cases and conducting trials, including on charges of war crimes, against Ukrainian prisoners of war and civilians. The number of such cases increased significantly in the spring of 2023, when the investigation of Russia’s war crimes by Ukraine intensified and the International Criminal Court released two first arrest warrants in the Ukraine situation.

Russia’s activity can be interpreted, among other things, as an attempt to engage in “lawfare” to resist ongoing efforts to build an international coalition for accountability. This is concerning as it could further worsen the humanitarian situation and jeopardize the prospects of peace. The briefing scrutinizes this practice of the Russian authorities from the standpoint of international humanitarian and international criminal law.

About the speaker

Gleb Bogush is a Postdoctoral Researcher at iСourts, the University of Copenhagen. Before 2022, he worked as an Associate Professor of Public International Law at the HSE University in Moscow, Russia. His main area of interest includes international criminal law, especially the International Criminal Court, the law on the use of force, and international humanitarian law.

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See a list of all the Breakfast Briefings for Autumn 2023.