An arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin was issued by the International Criminal Court due to the war crime accusation of deporting Ukrainian children unlawfully.
The court, based in Hague, also issued an arrest warrant against Russia’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights Maria Lvova-Belova on similar grounds.
Moscow’s response was dismissing the orders as void whilst Ukraine welcomed the announcement. The President of the war-torn country, Volodymyr Zelenskyy described it as a historic decision.
International Criminal Court issues warrant of arrest for Putin. The historic decision, from which historical responsibility will begin. pic.twitter.com/cUW0WbeGKJ
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 17, 2023
It was revealed that 16,000 Ukrainian children have been deported to Russia since the invasion, with Kyiv reporting that many of them were placed in institutions and foster homes.
AFP was informed by ICC prosecutor Karim Khan that Putin was now liable for arrest if he set foot in any of the court’s over 120 member states. The warrant was issued and backed by forensic evidence and scrutiny.
The ICC also stated that judges found there were reasonable grounds to suspect Putin’s criminal responsibility and thus grant the warrants.