ICC Issues Arrest Warrant For Russian President Putin

ICC Issues Arrest Warrant For Russian President Putin

By Kenneth Ebelemi | Sub Editor on March 17, 2023
Russian President Vladimir Putin
FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to Governor of Magadan Region Sergey Nosov via videoconference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, on Oct. 21, 2022. | Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, a member of Putin’s government, for their alleged involvement in forcibly deporting thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia, according to an ICC news release on Friday, March 17, 2023.

Lvova-Belova is the commissioner for children’s rights in the Office of the Russian President, and the ICC accuses her of orchestrating the scheme to remove Ukrainian children from their homes and send them to camps for political reeducation.

The ICC has charged both Putin and Lvova-Belova with “unlawful deportation of population (children)” and “unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.” The statement alleges that Putin is responsible for these war crimes both directly and through his subordinates.

The US and several European governments have accused Putin’s administration of forcibly deporting Ukrainian children to Russia, where they undergo political reeducation. Lvova-Belova’s efforts allegedly included the forced adoption of Ukrainian children into Russian families and the “patriotic education” of Ukrainian children, among other measures. Russia has denied these allegations, calling them “absurd.”

The ICC’s announcement comes after months of work by special investigation teams, and it represents the first international charges to be brought since the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine. The court was reportedly planning to open two war crimes cases, the first of which would focus on Russia’s alleged abduction of Ukrainian children, according to the New York Times. The second case would address Moscow’s targeting of civilian infrastructure, including water supplies and gas tanks.

The ICC’s decision to issue arrest warrants against Putin and Lvova-Belova marks a significant development in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The move is likely to exacerbate tensions between the two countries and could lead to further international sanctions against Russia.


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