On Friday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for alleged war crimes, specifically the abductions of Ukrainian children.
In the announcement of this unprecedented warrant, the ICC said that Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”
A warrant was also issued for Maria Aleseyevna, the Commissioner of Children’s Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation.
Regarding both suspects, the ICC said there are “reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect bears responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population and that of unlawful transfer of population from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, in prejudice of Ukrainian children.
BREAKING: The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes pic.twitter.com/6DtlChpmv6
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) March 17, 2023
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In February, the Humanitarian Research Lab at Yale’s School of Public Health released a report that concluded “all levels of Russia’s government are involved ” in the transfer of Ukrainian children out of their country.
The lab’s director, Nathaniel Raymond, said, “We have identified at least 43 facilities in this network of camps, institutions that are holding Ukrainian children or have held Ukrainian children. This network stretches from one end of Russia to the other.”
In response to the ICC’s warrants, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova showed little concern, saying, “The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view.”
Neither Russia nor the United States are members of the ICC.
“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,” Zakharova said.
Although Russia does not recognize the authority of the ICC, Ukrainian prosecutor Andriy Kostin believes that this warrant will send a message to other world leaders.
“Now, if Putin leaves Russia, he would be arrested and surrendered to ICC,” said Kostin. “World leaders will think twice before shaking his hand or sitting with Putin at the negotiating table. It’s another clear signal to the world that the Russian regime is criminal.”