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ICC Issues Arrest Warrant for Putin Over Ukraine War Crimes

On Friday, March 17, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of war crimes related to the abduction of children from Ukraine after his invasion of the neighboring country last year. Yale University, backed by the US, released a report that states Russia has taken approximately 6,000 Ukrainian children into 43 camps and other establishments as part of an extensive organized system.[0]

According to the International Criminal Court (ICC), there is sufficient evidence to suggest that each suspect is responsible for the violation of international law by unlawfully deporting people and transferring population from Ukraine to the Russian Federation, particularly impacting Ukrainian children.[1] The International Criminal Court wants both Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia's commissioner for children's rights, for unlawfully transferring and transporting Ukrainian children to Russia.[0]

Not being a signatory of the Rome Statute, which created the International Criminal Court and is currently endorsed by 123 nations, Russia is highly unlikely to have President Putin visit any nation that did sign the Statute in the foreseeable future.[2] Were he to travel abroad, there is no certainty that he would be taken into custody, seeing as the countries he visited would have to be willing to detain him.[3] Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, announced to the media on Friday that the Russian Federation does not accept the authority of the International Criminal Court, therefore making the warrant “null and void.”[4]

Neither Ukraine nor the United States are part of the ICC, however Ukraine has given the court permission to exercise jurisdiction over its land.[2] President Joe Biden of the United States asserted that the International Criminal Court's (ICC) decision to issue an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin was justified, citing the Russian president's obvious war crimes in Ukraine.

The International Criminal Court has taken an initial step towards holding those accountable who have violated international standards, perpetrated unprovoked invasions, committed war crimes, and perpetrated genocide. Nonetheless, more must be done to emphasize that such abhorrent behavior must not be tolerated by the global community.[5] Poland is about to send four MiG-29 planes to Ukraine, marking a significant upward step in military backing for Kyiv.[6] At the Munich Security Conference in February, Vice President Kamala Harris declared that the United States has determined that the Russian government has perpetrated crimes against humanity in Ukraine.[7]

The International Criminal Court is carrying out its duties.[8] The judges, acting as a court of law, issued arrest warrants.[9]

0. “Biden says Putin has ‘clearly committed war crimes’ and ICC charges are justified” The Independent, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/putin-war-crimes-ukraine-icc-hague-b2303380.html

1. “Russia: ICC's arrest warrant against Putin is a step towards justice” Amnesty International, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2023/03/russia-iccs-arrest-warrant-against-putin-step-towards-justice

2. “ICC Issues Arrest Warrant for Putin” Voice of America – VOA News, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.voanews.com/a/icc-issues-arrest-warrant-for-putin-over-ukraine-war-crimes-/7010144.html

3. “Will Vladimir Putin Actually Be Arrested for ICC Warrant?” TIME, 17 Mar. 2023, https://time.com/6264280/vladimir-putin-icc-warrant-arrest/

4. “Putin's Allies' Fears Come True” Newsweek, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/putins-allies-fears-come-true-1788649

5. “Vladimir Putin: Wanted by ICC for Crimes Against Children” Center for European Policy Analysis, 17 Mar. 2023, https://cepa.org/article/wanted-for-crimes-against-children-vladimir-putin/

6. “Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 387 of the invasion” The Guardian, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/mar/17/russia-ukraine-war-at-a-glance-what-we-know-on-day-387-of-the-invasion

7. “Biden says ICC’s arrest warrant for Putin is ‘justified’” New York Post , 18 Mar. 2023, https://nypost.com/2023/03/17/biden-says-iccs-arrest-warrant-for-putin-is-justified/

8. “Russia: International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Putin” UN News, 17 Mar. 2023, https://news.un.org/en/story/2023/03/1134732

9. “Vladimir Putin Is Officially A Wanted Man” BuzzFeed News, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/davidmack/icc-vladimir-putin-arrest-warrant-war-crimes

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