International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant against Russian dictator Putin

17 March, 06:45 PM
A platform with the figure of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in a blood bath at a carnival in Duesseldorf, Germany, on February 20 (Photo:REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen)

A platform with the figure of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in a blood bath at a carnival in Duesseldorf, Germany, on February 20 (Photo:REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen)

In an unprecedented move, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has called for the arrest of a sitting head of a permanent member of the UN Security Council after the court issued an arrest warrant for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, the ICC said in a press release on March 17.

The court also issued an arrest warrant for human rights commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova.

According to the ICC, 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.

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“There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes, for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others, and for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts, or allowed for their commission, and who were under his effective authority and control, pursuant to superior responsibility,” reads the report.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin emphasized that now the Kremlin head is officially suspected of committing an international crime — the illegal forced transfer of Ukrainian children.

“This means that Putin should be arrested and brought to court outside of Russia,” he wrote on Facebook.

“And world leaders will think twice before shaking his hand or sitting down at the negotiating table with him. The world has received a signal that the Russian regime is criminal, and its leadership and accomplices will be held accountable.”

As previously reported, Putin had been planning to attend the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, this September.

Kostin called the decision historic for Ukraine and the entire international law system.

US newspaper the New York Times reported on March 13 that the ICC intends to open two war crimes cases tied to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and will seek arrest warrants for several people.

According to the NYT, the cases represent the first international charges to be brought forward since the start of the conflict and come after months of work by special investigation teams.

The cases allege that Russia abducted Ukrainian children and teenagers and sent them to Russian re-education camps, and that the Kremlin deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure.

The Office of the Prosecutor General recorded the deportation of more than 16,000 children from Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, and Kherson oblasts, but the real number may be much higher.

So far, Ukraine managed to bring 308 children back home.

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