The International Criminal Court issues an arrest warrant for Putin for alleged war crimes

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The International Criminal Court issues an arrest warrant against Putin for alleged war crimes

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant this Friday against the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin< /strong>, as allegedly responsible for war crimes for the deportation and illegal transfer of children from the occupied areas of Ukraine strong>to the Russian Federation. In addition to the warrant against Putin, the court has also issued a second arrest warrant for the presidential commissioner for children's rights in the office of the president, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova , for the same accusation.

“This is an important moment in the ICC justice process. The judges have reviewed the information and evidence presented by the prosecutor (Karim Khan) and have determined that there are credible charges against these individuals for the alleged criminals.” menes”, announced the president of the court, Piotr Hofmanski . The order now obliges all countries that are members of the tribunal to arrest Putin and Lvova-Belova if they enter their territory, a long shot but adding pressure. against Moscow and that it will limit the It will slow down your movements and increase your speed. its isolation at the international level.

Although the CPI has not quantified the number of children affected, the government of Volodimir Zelenski considers that since the start of the war, just over a year ago, the Russian authorities reportedly deported more than 16,200 minors. Of these, the kyiv authorities only reportedly managed to return 308 minors. A study published in mid-February by Yale University warned of the systematic use by the Kremlin of a network of 43 centers where they would have been relocated to be re-educated to al less than 6,000 Ukrainian children.

“The incidents identified by my office include the deportation of at least hundreds of children taken from orphanages and foster homes for minors. Many of these children, as we denounce, have been given up for adoption in the Russian Federation” and “the law was modified, through presidential decrees issued by President Putin, to expedite the granting of Russian citizenship, making it easier for them to be adopted by Russian families”, he specified. The chief prosecutor, Karim Khan considers that these events demonstrate Moscow's intention to smuggle them. to permanently remove these children from their own country.

“Reasonable grounds”

According to the court, based in The Hague, the crimes would have been committed “allegedly in the occupied territories of Ukraine at least since February 24, 2022”, the date of the start of the war launched by the Kremlin. . “There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Putin is individually criminally responsible for the aforementioned crimes,” the court said in a statement, pointing out the existence of indications that suggest that the the Russian top leader has committed the acts of which he is accused “directly, jointly with others and/or through others” and of “failing to exercise adequate control over the civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts” or that they “permitted their commission and were under their effective authority and control.”

Although the orders are secret to protect victims and witnesses and to safeguard the investigation, the court considers that since the alleged crimes are ongoing and that the publication of the same can help prevent Should the crimes continue to be committed, it is in the interest of justice to authorize the public disclosure of “the existence of the warrants, the names of the suspects, the crimes for which orders and forms of responsibility are issued”.

Satisfaction in kyiv and Brussels

The announcement of the TPI, created in 2002 and which has been investigating crimes of war or crimes against humanity committed by the Russian Army for a year, has been received with full satisfaction from Kiev. The attorney general, Andriy Kostin, has described the decision as “historic” for his country and for the international law system, while the presidential chief of staff, Andriy , has warned that this is “only the beginning”. “The wheels of justice are turning: I applaud the CPI's decision to issue arrest warrants against Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova for the forced transfer of Ukrainian children,” he celebrated. The Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmitro Kuleba, posted on his Twitter account.

The same satisfaction was expressed from North Macedonia by the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, for whom “there can be no impunity” in the war against Ukraine. “This is an important decision of international justice for the people of Ukraine. The EU has always made it clear that those responsible for waging an unlawful, unjustified and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine must be brought to justice. This is only the beginning of the process of rendering accounts and demanding responsibility from Russia and its leader for the crimes and atrocities that they are committing in Ukraine,” he said at a press conference. /p>

From Moscow, meanwhile, the main defendant along with Putin has puffed up her chest. “It is great that the international community has appreciated the work done to help the children of our country,” she said in statements collected by the RIA Novosti news agency. Lvova-Belova, who last month declared the who had “adopted” a child from the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, currently under Russian control, has stressed that the ICC decision validates his work to “help the children of our country ;yes” but “makes no sense” nor does it have “any meaning” because “Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and has no obligation under it.” Russian authorities signed the Statute in 2000 but never ratified it to become members of the ICC and finally withdrew their signature two years after the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2016.< /p>