The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin. The court has accused Putin of committing war crimes, including the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia. The alleged crimes were committed in Ukraine during Russia’s full-scale invasion, which began on 24 February 2022.
Moscow has denied all allegations of war crimes during the invasion, but the ICC has charged Putin with being directly involved in the deportation of children. The court claims to have reasonable grounds to believe that he committed the acts himself, as well as working with others.
In addition to Putin, the ICC has also issued a warrant for Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova. The court alleges that both Putin and Lvova-Belova failed to exercise their rights to stop others from deporting children.
Despite the arrest warrants, the ICC has no power to arrest suspects and can only exercise jurisdiction within countries that are signed up to the agreement that established the court. Unfortunately, Russia is not a signatory to this agreement. As a result, it is highly unlikely that either Putin or Lvova-Belova will be extradited to the court.
This latest move by the ICC is sure to escalate tensions between Russia and the international community, particularly since the country has previously refused to cooperate with the court. However, the ICC remains committed to holding those responsible for war crimes accountable, and this latest warrant shows that even world leaders are not immune to prosecution.