International Criminal Court Issues Arrest Warrant for Putin Over Ukraine War Crimes
A WARRANT OF ARREST has been issued for Vladimir Putin for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping of Ukrainian children.
The International Criminal Court has accused the Russian dictator of “illegally deporting” children from Ukraine, which is a violation of the Geneva Convention and a war crime.
In September, investigation into Ukraine’s missing children revealed that thousands of children were deported during Putin’s invasion.
There are now “reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Putin bears individual criminal responsibility” for the crimes, according to the court in The Hague.
The arrest warrant was hailed by Ukraine as a “historic decision.”
During its disastrous one-year invasion of Ukraine, Moscow has repeatedly denied allegations of atrocities.
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Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, dismissed the arrest warrant as meaningless.
She stated, “The decisions of the International Criminal Court are meaningless for our country, including from a legal standpoint.”
“As far as we are concerned, any recipes for arrest issued by the international court will be null and void.”
The court also issued an arrest warrant for Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, on similar charges as Putin.
According to the report, there are “reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect is responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation” of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.
The court added, “it is in the interest of justice… for the existence of the warrants to be made public.”
According to the Geneva Convention of 1948, it is a war crime to forcibly transfer children and change their nationality or civil status.
Dmytro Kuleba, the foreign minister of Ukraine, applauded the decision and remarked, “The wheels of justice are turning… international criminals will be held accountable for kidnapping children and other international crimes.”
Andriy Kostin, the prosecutor general of Ukraine, added: “This is a landmark decision for Ukraine and the international legal system as a whole.
“The decision made today is a historic one. However, this is just the beginning of a long journey to restore justice.”
Thousands of children have been kidnapped or taken to Russian-controlled areas, and only a small number have been reunited with their families in Ukraine.
At least 6,000 Ukrainian children have been taken to re-education camps across Russia, including Crimea and Siberia, for “pro-Russia patriotic and military-related education”, according to a Yale University study.
The report indicates that the number is “likely considerably higher.”
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Yale researcher Nathaniel Raymond stated that Russia was in “clear violation” of the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the treatment of civilians during the war.
Russia has attempted to portray the relocation effort as saving orphans or bringing children for medical care, but parents claim their children were kidnapped or they were coerced into agreeing to the relocation.
The study claimed that Putin’s aides, including Lvova-Belova, were intimately involved in the operation.
She was formerly charged with “barbaric treatment of children.”
It is feared that thousands of Ukrainian children were taken from occupied regions and adopted by Russian families more than a year after Russia invades Ukraine.
The move by the ICC came a day after an UN-mandated investigative body accused Russia of committing a variety of war crimes in Ukraine, including torture and forcing children to watch their family members being raped.
The news of the arrest warrant also preceded a planned visit to Moscow by Chinese President Xi Jinping the following week, which is expected to significantly strengthen ties between the two countries.
A year ago, International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan opened an investigation into possible war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Ukraine.
During four trips to Ukraine, he reportedly investigated allegations of crimes against children and attacks on civilian infrastructure.
Wayne Jordash, a Kyiv-based international human rights attorney, predicted that the arrest warrants for Putin and Lvova-Belova would not be the last.
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“More will arrive in the coming months, “Jordash said.
“This must serve as a warning shot across the bow. The prosecutor is simply filing something in the case file.”
In 2000, Russia signed the Rome Statute, but never ratified it to join the International Criminal Court.
In 2016, it finally withdrew its signature.
Russia was under international pressure at the time due to its 2014 seizure and annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its airstrike campaign in Syria in support of President Bashar al-war. Assad’s
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev likened the arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin to toilet paper.
“There is no need to explain WHERE this paper should be used,” he said alongside an emoji of toilet paper.
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