Vladimir Putin wanted by the International Criminal Court – The Kremlin calls this decision “scandalous and unacceptable” | world news

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of abducting children in Ukraine.

He also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, Russia‘s Commissioner for Children, over similar war crimes allegations.

The Kremlin said Russia finds the issues raised by the ICC “outrageous and unacceptable”.

They added that the warrants are “null and void” because Russia does not recognize the ICC and has not signed the Rome Statute – the treaty that underpins the permanent global war crimes tribunal.

Last Ukrainian War:
Detailed updates as judges issue warrant against Putin; promise of new jets

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Putin’s arrest warrant, a “historic moment”

Meanwhile, Ms Lvova-Belova said her arrest warrant validated her work “helping the children of our country”.

In a statement, the court alleges that russian president is “responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of population (of children) and illegal transfer of population (of children) from the occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation”.

The ICC said its pre-trial chamber concluded there were “reasonable grounds to believe” that the two suspects are responsible for the alleged war crimes and that Putin “bears individual criminal responsibility”.

Russia brought thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia but presented the program as a humanitarian campaign to protect abandoned children and orphans in conflict zones.

Sky News’ international affairs editor Dominic Waghorn said the chances of Putin being tried are slim.

Assessing the warrants, Waghorn said there was “a long list of people” who were charged but never had their day in court.

“Unless the war goes very badly for him — he’s removed from power and he’s handed over — he’s unlikely to stand trial,” Waghorn said.

Read our December report:
CCTV shows chilling moment Russian FSB agents and soldiers roam Ukrainian children’s orphanage

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CCTV shows Russians hunting Ukrainian orphans

How many children have been abducted from Ukraine?

The exact number of children abducted in Ukraine is unclear, with different organizations offering different estimates.

Waghorn said: “A respected human rights group in America estimates that 6,000 children have been deported to Russia, the Ukrainians estimate it’s more like 16,000, and the Russians themselves have said that since 2014, 700,000 children have been abducted from Ukraine.”

Andriy Yermak, Ukraine’s presidential staff chief, said Ukraine has cooperated closely with the ICC and is currently investigating more than 16,000 cases of forcible deportation of children to Russia.

So far, Ukraine has managed to obtain the return of 308 children.

Waghorn suggests that the motivation for mass abductions is two-fold – older children can be trained to serve in the military while younger children are useful for Russian propaganda purposes.

“We have recently seen Ukrainian children and orphans parade at events in Moscow and parade in front of the Russian population. [with Putin] by saying we are saving these children, we are doing a good job, trying to reinforce their claim that they are indeed saving Ukrainians from themselves,” Waghorn said.

Arrest warrant makes diplomatic solution more problematic

Dominic Waghorn - Diplomatic Editor

Dominique Waghorn

International Affairs Writer


Sky News was the first to reveal video evidence of Russian soldiers searching a place of refuge in Ukraine for children.

In December, we released chilling CCTV footage of an orphanage in Kherson where 15 children were taken away at gunpoint by the Russian military and released claims that much younger children suffered the same fate in another nearby orphanage.

An independent study claims that 6,000 children were taken away by the Russians, the Ukrainians say the real figure is more than double that amount.

Throughout this war, there have been repeated reports of children being abducted, kidnapped, or simply persuaded to go with the Russians and never return.

We have seen children resurface at events in Russia, including some presided over by President Putin himself, parades by Russians claiming to have saved them from war, and the Ukrainian government that Moscow claims is Nazi-run.

These allegations are now the substance of International Criminal Court arrest warrants that go to the top of the Russian government as well as President Putin’s children’s rights commissioner, Mara Lvova-Belova.

She was seen on Russian state TV crying, she says happily, after adopting Ukrainian orphans she claims to have saved.

She was not ashamed to brag about what happens to Ukrainian children. She claims to believe that she saves them.

Outside of Russia, she is seen as leading a system by which Ukrainian children are actually trafficked to Russia.

Evolution is very important. This makes hopes that a diplomatic solution to this conflict can be negotiated much more problematic.

It also puts pressure on countries that have been ambivalent about Russia’s invasion by abstaining in UN votes condemning it and joining Moscow’s efforts to avoid sanctions.

ICC War Crimes Investigation

In a press conference, ICC President Piotr Hofmanski said the warrants were “an important moment in the justice process”.

He also said the judges handling the case “have determined that there are credible allegations against these individuals for the alleged crime.”

“Their execution [of the warrants] depends on international cooperation,” he said.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan opened an investigation into possible war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Ukraine a year ago.

Mr Khan has pointed out in previous trips that he is also looking at the targeting of civilian infrastructure and alleged crimes against children, who enjoy special protection under the Geneva Convention.

Ukraine is not a member of the Court but has granted the ICC jurisdiction over its territory.

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Zelenskyy called the ICC’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Putin ‘historic’

Ukrainian and international response

In his nightly address to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called it “a historic decision, from which historic responsibility will begin.”

“The head of a terrorist state and another Russian official have officially become suspects of a war crime,” he said.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly welcomed the ICC mandate which he said would “hold those at the top of the Russian regime, including Vladimir Putin, to account”.

“Work must continue to investigate the atrocities committed,” he wrote on Twitter.

White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said: “There is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine, and we have made it clear that those responsible must be held accountable. held responsible”.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said the warrants were “just the beginning of holding Russia accountable for crimes and atrocities in Ukraine”.


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