The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over war crimes charges relating to his alleged involvement in the abduction of children from Ukraine. According to an AP report, the ICC said Putin "is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of the population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation." The court also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the Commissioner for Children's Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, on similar allegations. However, any trial of Russians at the ICC remains a long way off, as Moscow does not recognize the court's jurisdiction and does not extradite its nationals.
The ICC prosecutor Karim Khan has visited Ukraine four times since opening an investigation a year ago. The court has found "reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect bears responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population and that of unlawful transfer of population from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, in prejudice of Ukrainian children." The ICC stated that "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."
Putin is unlikely to face trial anytime soon, as Ukraine is not a member of the ICC and Russia has repeatedly stated that it does not recognize the court's jurisdiction.
On Thursday, a UN-backed inquiry cited Russian attacks against civilians in Ukraine, including systematic torture and killing in occupied regions, among potential issues that amount to war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity. The sweeping investigation also found crimes committed against Ukrainians on Russian territory, including deported Ukrainian children who were prevented from reuniting with their families, a "filtration" system aimed at singling out Ukrainians for detention, and torture and inhumane detention conditions.
Despite the ICC's move, Putin is unlikely to face trial anytime soon, as Ukraine is not a member of the ICC and Russia has repeatedly stated that it does not recognize the court's jurisdiction.
[With information from AP]