ICC issues arrest warrant for Putin over alleged war crimes in Ukraine
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over alleged war crimes in Ukraine.
According to a statement on its Twitter handle, the Hague-based court said 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 aforementioned crimes,” it said.
The ICC 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.
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The judges considered issuing secret warrants but decided that making them public could “contribute to the prevention of the further commission of crimes”.
The warrants came a day after a United Nations-backed inquiry accused Russia of committing wide-ranging war crimes in Ukraine, including the forced deportations of children in areas it controls.
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin hailed the ICC’s decision.
“The world received a signal that the Russian regime is criminal and its leadership and henchmen will be held accountable,” he said in a statement on social media. “This is a historic decision for Ukraine and the entire system of international law.”