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Russia rejected the ruling of the International Court of Justice in The Hague on the war in Ukraine. The United Nations’ top judicial body ruled on Wednesday that Russia must immediately cease all military activities in the neighboring country.

Russia must also not help the pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the International Court of Justice ruled. Thirteen of the fifteen judges voted in favor of the verdict. The two votes against were from Russia and China.

While the ruling is binding, the court cannot compel countries to abide by it. According to the Kremlin, both Russia and Ukraine must agree to the execution of the sentence. Russia does not agree with it, according to a spokesperson.

The case was brought by Ukraine. Russia had accused Ukraine of genocide against the Russian-speaking inhabitants of the country.

Moscow then recognized the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk and invaded the country, calling it a “special military operation” to protect Russians and Russians peaking people in Ukraine.

Russia did not participate in the case, nor did it make a statement.

Ukraine wanted to show in the International Court of Justice that there was no genocide in the country and that Russia had no valid reason to start the war. The International Court of Justice considered this proven and went a step further, ordering Russia not to help the pro-Russian separatists in the renegade regions.

In an initial response, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the ruling a “complete victory.” He did not seem to think that Russia would abide by the ruling, saying that “ignoring the order will further isolate Russia.”

Reporting by ANP and NL Times.

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