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Ukraine uses UN court to accuse Russia of financing rebels

Roman Kolodkin, head of the legal department of the Russian Foreign Affairs ministry, left, looks at the Ukraine delegation table at the World Court in The Hague, Netherlands Picture by Peter Dejong/AP

Ukraine is taking Russia to the United Nations' highest judicial body, accusing Moscow of financing separatist rebels and racially discriminating against ethnic Tartars and Ukrainians in the annexed Crimean Peninsula.

Kiev is also asking the International Court of Justice to order Russia to pay compensation for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014.

The Amsterdam-to-Kuala Lumpur flight was shot down with a surface-to-air missile over conflict-torn eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

Hearings started yesterday before a 16-judge panel at the ornate Peace Palace in The Hague into Ukraine's request for the court to impose "provisional measures" while the case proceeds, including ordering Russia to prevent any financing or arming of pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine and to stop discriminating against Tartars in Crimea.

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