ICC issues arrest warrant for Putin over alleged war crime of ‘unlawful’ deportation of Ukrainian children
The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and another Russian official involving allegations of war crimes around the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia.
The arrest warrant is thought to mark one of the first charges against Putin for war crimes in Ukraine, part of a global effort to hold the Russian president and the Russian Federation accountable for atrocities beginning with the full-scale February 2022 invasion.
An arrest warrant was also issued for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, commissioner for children’s rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, who the ICC alleges “bears individual criminal responsibility” for the forced deportation of Ukrainian children from Russian-occupied territory to Russia.
“It is forbidden by international law for occupying powers to transfer civilians from the territory they live in to other territories. Children enjoy special protection under the Geneva Convention,” ICC President Judge Piotr Hofmański said in a video statement on Friday.
The arrest warrant marks a stunning global rebuke against Putin, even as the chance of bringing the Russian leader into custody of an international court of law is remote at best.
“The ICC is doing its part of work. As a court of law, the judges issued arrest warrants that execution depends on international cooperation,” Hofmański said.
The warrants and the authority of the ICC were rejected by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova.
“Russia does not cooperate with this body, and possible ‘recipes’ for arrest coming from the International Court of Justice will be legally null and void for us,” according to a statement posted in Russian on the Foreign Ministry’s Telegram channel.
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