The Hague- based International Criminal Court (ICC) on March 17, 2023, announced an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on the war crime accusation of unlawfully deporting Ukrainian children. Along with the Russian President, an arrest warrant has also been issued for Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova.
However, since Russia is not a party to the ICC so it was unclear if or how Mr. Putin could ever end up in the dock. Complying with this situation, Moscow dismissed the orders as “void”.
More than 16,000 Ukrainian children have been deported to Russia since the February 24, 2022 invasion, according to Kyiv, where many were allegedly placed in institutions and foster homes.
ICC prosecutor Karim Khan told that Mr. Putin was now liable for arrest if he set foot in any of the court’s more than 120 member states.
He said the arrest warrants were “based upon forensic evidence, scrutiny, and what’s been said by those two individuals”.
According to ICC President Piotr Hofmanski the execution of the warrants “depends on international cooperation”.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev compared the warrants to toilet paper, while Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said they “have no meaning” for Russia.
Neither Russia nor Ukraine is a member of the ICC, but Kyiv has accepted the court’s jurisdiction and is working with Mr. Khan’s office.