The International Criminal Court on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on war crime charges for illegally deporting Ukrainian youngsters.
The Hague-primarily based International Criminal Court stated it had also issued a warrant against Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights, on equivalent charges.
Moscow dismissed the orders as “invalid”. Russia is no stranger to the ICC, so it was unclear regardless of whether and how Putin could ever finish up on the dock.
War-torn Ukraine welcomed the announcement by the International Criminal Court, with President Volodymyr Zelensky hailing the “historic selection”.
The court’s shock announcement came hours following other news that could considerably impact Russia’s war in Ukraine, like a go to by Chinese leader Xi Jinping to Moscow and much more fighter jets for Kiev’s forces.
A lot more than 16,000 Ukrainian youngsters have been deported to Russia due to the fact the February 24, 2022 invasion, according to Kyiv, with quite a few reportedly placed in institutions and foster residences.
International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan told AFP that Putin was now liable to arrest if he set foot in any of the court’s much more than 120 member states.
He stated the arrest warrants had been “primarily based on the forensic proof, the interrogation and what the two people stated.”
“The proof we presented focused on crimes against youngsters.” “Youngsters are the most vulnerable component of our society,” Khan stated.
The ICC stated the judges discovered there had been “affordable grounds” to doubt Putin’s criminal duty and granted Khan’s request for the warrants, which had been issued as early as February 22.
ICC President Piotr Hofmanski stated that the execution of the order “depends on international cooperation”.
For the duration of a meeting with Putin in mid-February, Lvova-Belova stated she had adopted a 15-year-old youngster from the devastated Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.
“Now I know what it suggests to be the mother of a youngster from Donbas – it really is difficult perform, but we appreciate every single other, that is for certain,” she told Putin.
She added that “we evacuated the children’s residences to secure locations, arranged for their rehabilitation and prosthetics and offered them with targeted humanitarian help.”
The arrest warrant for Putin, the existing head of a UN Safety Council member state, is an unprecedented step for the ICC.
Established in 2002, the ICC is the final resort for the world’s worst crimes, when nations can’t or will not prosecute suspects.
Prosecutor Khan launched an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine just days following the Russian invasion.
Khan not too long ago posted photos from a go to to Ukraine of empty cots in an empty orphanage and stated the investigation into the alleged youngster abduction was a “priority”.
“It is touching,” he stated. “One particular sees empty cradles and empty beds lined up with photos of these youngsters on the walls.”
Zelensky, who met with Khan throughout his go to, welcomed the arrest warrants for his nemesis in Moscow.
“Historical selection from which historical duty will commence,” Zelensky stated.
Ukraine’s Western allies also welcomed the move.
US President Joe Biden stated the order was “justified” and “created a quite robust point”, noting that the United States is not a member of the ICC.
“There is no query that Russia is committing war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine, and we have been clear that these accountable have to be held accountable,” a State Division spokesman stated. “The ICC prosecutor is an independent actor.
Britain known as the selection “welcome” and the European Union stated it was “just the starting”. Human Rights Watch stated it was a “large day for quite a few victims” of Russian forces.
The Kremlin rejected the orders.
“Russia, like a quantity of distinctive nations, does not recognize the jurisdiction of this court, so from a legal point of view, the choices of this court are null and void,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev compared the orders to toilet paper, even though Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated they had “no significance” for Russia.
The ICC’s Khan, on the other hand, stated there had been “so quite a few examples of people today who believed they had been beyond the attain of the law”.
“Appear at (Slobodan) Milosevic or Charles Taylor or (Radovan) Karadzic or (Ratko) Mladic,” he stated, referring to a string of war criminals from the former Yugoslavia and former Liberian President Taylor who faced justice.
Earlier in the day, Beijing and Moscow announced that Chinese leader and strategic ally Xi will be in Russia subsequent week to sign an agreement that will usher in a new era of ties.
The United States has accused China of contemplating arms shipments to assistance Russia’s campaign — claims Beijing has strongly denied.
The arrest warrants come a day following UN investigators stated Russia’s forced transfer and deportation of Ukrainian youngsters to places beneath its handle amounted to a war crime.
Investigators stated parents and youngsters spoke about youths who had been notified by Russian social solutions that they would be placed in foster care or adopted.
Neither Russia nor Ukraine are members of the ICC, but Kiev has accepted the court’s jurisdiction and is cooperating with Khan’s workplace.
Russia denies accusations that its soldiers committed war crimes. Specialists say they are unlikely to ever hand more than the suspects.
As fighting continues to rage in Ukraine, Kiev on Friday welcomed news that Slovakia would donate 13 MiG-29 warplanes.
Ukraine has lengthy sought fighter jets from its Western allies, while it is in search of mainly modern day American-created F-16s.
(Other than the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV employees and was published from a syndicated feed.)
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