March 29, 2023 11:00 pm
  • By Antoinette Radford &amp Frank Gardner, BBC safety correspondent
  • BBC News

17 March 2023

Updated two hours ago

Image supply, Getty Photos

Image caption,

Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, for the duration of a meeting final month

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The court alleges he is accountable for war crimes, and has focused its claims on the unlawful deportation of young children from Ukraine to Russia.

It says the crimes had been committed in Ukraine from 24 February 2022 – when Russia launched its complete-scale invasion.

Moscow has denied the allegations and labelled the warrants as “outrageous”.

It is extremely unlikely that considerably will come of the move – the ICC has no powers to arrest suspects, and can only exercising jurisdiction inside its member nations – and Russia is not a single of them.

Having said that it could impact the president in other strategies, such as getting unable to travel internationally.

In a statement, the ICC mentioned it had affordable grounds to think Mr Putin committed the criminal acts straight, as effectively as operating with other individuals. It also accused him of failing to use his presidential powers to quit young children getting deported.

When asked about the ICC’s move, US President Joe Biden mentioned “effectively, I assume it really is justified”. He noted that the US is not signed up to the ICC, “but I assume it tends to make a incredibly powerful point”. Mr Putin “clearly committed war crimes”, he mentioned.

Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, is also wanted by the ICC for the similar crimes.

In the previous, she has spoken openly of efforts to indoctrinate Ukrainian young children taken to Russia.

Final September, Ms Lvova-Belova complained that some young children removed from the city of Mariupol “spoke badly about the [Russian President], mentioned awful factors and sang the Ukrainian anthem.”

She has also claimed to have adopted a 15-year-old boy from Mariupol.

The ICC mentioned it initially regarded as maintaining the arrest warrants a secret, but decided to make them public in the occasion that it stopped additional crimes from getting committed.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan told the BBC: “young children cannot be treated as the spoils of war, they cannot be deported”.

“This kind of crime does not have to have a single to be a lawyer, a single demands to be human getting to know how egregious it is,” he mentioned.

Reactions to the warrants came inside minutes of the announcement, with Kremlin officials immediately dismissing them.

Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov mentioned any of the court’s choices had been “null and void” and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev compared the warrant to toilet paper.

“No have to have to clarify Exactly where this paper ought to be employed,” he wrote on Twitter, with a toilet paper emoji.

Having said that Russian opposition leaders welcomed the announcement. Ivan Zhdanov, a close ally of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, tweeted that it was “a symbolic step” but an essential a single.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned he was grateful to Mr Khan and the criminal court for their choice to press charges against “state evil”.

Ukraine’s Prosecutor Basic Andriy Kostin mentioned the choice was “historic for Ukraine”, whilst the country’s presidential chief of employees, Andriy Yermak, lauded the choice as “only the starting”.

Video caption,

WATCH: Can Vladimir Putin basically be arrested?

But mainly because Russia is not a signed member of the ICC, there is incredibly tiny possibility that Vladimir Putin or Maria Lvova-Belova will seem in the dock at The Hague.

The ICC relies on the cooperation of governments to arrest individuals, and Russia is “of course not going to cooperate in this respect”, Jonathan Leader Maynard, a lecturer in international politics at King’s College London, told the BBC.

Having said that Mr Khan pointed out that no-a single believed Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian leader who went on trial for war crimes in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, would finish up in The Hague.

“These that really feel that you can commit a crime in the daytime, and sleep effectively at evening, ought to possibly appear at history,” he mentioned.

Legally, even so, this does present Mr Putin with a issue.

There is also a level of embarrassment for the Kremlin, which has constantly denied allegations of Russian war crimes, that such an influential, pan-national physique as the ICC just does not think its denials.

Leave a Reply