In a move that could clear the way to investigations of possible war crimes in Ukraine's bitter conflict with Russian-backed rebels, Kiev has accepted the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, backdated to early 2014.

While Ukraine is not a member of the court, it can voluntarily accept its jurisdiction. Last year, Kiev filed a similar declaration accepting the Hague-based court's jurisdiction for possible crimes committed from November 2013 until February 2014.

Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda opened a preliminary probe into possible crimes in Ukraine following last year's move, and after Tuesday's action she will likely now expand that to cover possible crimes committed in the country's conflict-hit east since then.