Ukraine’s foreign minister on Friday accused Russia of attacking a kindergarten and orphanage in what he described as “war crimes and violations of the Rome Statute.”
"Together with the General Prosecutor’s Office we are collecting this and other facts, which we will immediately send to the Hague. Responsibility is inevitable," Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter, referring to the UN International Court of Justice.
Tensions started escalating late last year when Ukraine, the US and its allies accused Russia of amassing tens of thousands of troops on the border with Ukraine.
They claimed Russia was preparing to invade its western neighbor, allegations consistently rejected by Moscow.
Defying threats of sanctions by the West, Moscow earlier this week officially recognized Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states, followed by the start of a military operation in Ukraine on Thursday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the operation aims to protect people “subjected to genocide” by Kyiv and to “demilitarize and denazify” Ukraine, while calling on the Ukrainian army to lay down its arms.