Umamah Bakharia | email@example.com
2 min read
17 March 2023 | 20:20 CAT
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over alleged war crimes in Ukraine.
The court in a statement released on Friday says the warrant was issued over Putin’s suspected involvement in the unlawful deportation and transfer of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.
“There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility” for the child abductions “for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others (and) for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts,” read the statement.
The ICC, even though it has no powers to enforce its own warrants, has also issued a warrant for the arrest of Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for children’s rights in the office of the Russian president, on similar allegations.
However, Russia has denied committing atrocities since it invaded Ukraine in February 2022, adding that it rejects the ICC’s move as null and void.
“The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view,” says Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in a Telegram channel after the announcement by the ICC.
The warrants by the international body came a day after a United Nation backed inquiry accused Russia of committing wide-ranging war crimes in Ukraine.
Even though United States is not a member of the ICC, in a statement the US State Department said that “there is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes and atrocities”.
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin, meanwhile, hailed the ICC’s announcement on Putin.