ICC issues arrest warrant for Putin 3rd in national level

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Putin proudly visits Crimean Children’s Center – Donetsk, Ukraine

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday (local time) on charges of illegally relocating children from occupied Ukraine. This is the first time the ICC has officially identified a high-ranking Russian figure as a suspect since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year. According to Reuters, it is the third time that an arrest warrant has been issued for a head of state, after former President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan and former dictator Muammar Gaddafi of Libya.

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In a statement posted on its website that day, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II said, “Based on the prosecution’s claim on the 22nd of last month, there are reasonable grounds to believe that President Putin is responsible for the war crimes of illegally relocating children from occupied Ukraine.” said so. The judge judged that these crimes began at least on February 24 last year, the day of the invasion. An arrest warrant has also been issued for the same charges against Maria Alexeevna Livova-Belova, a member of the Office of the Russian President for Human Rights for Children.

According to the ICC, Russia appears to have carefully planned the abduction and forced displacement of Ukrainian children. “The cases we have seen include the abduction of at least hundreds of Ukrainian children from orphanages and child care centers and their forcible relocation[to Russia],” said ICC Prosecutor General Karim Khan. The law has also been amended to make it easier for families to adopt. It is unacceptable that children are treated like spoils of war.”

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In a recent CNN interview, ICC Prosecutor General Khan saw that President Putin could eventually be brought to court like a Nazi war criminal, but it is predicted that it will be difficult in reality. When an ICC arrest warrant is issued, the State party must fulfill the arrest and extradition request, as Russia withdrew from the ICC in 2016. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskovler called it “absurd and ineffective”.

According to Reuters, President Putin paid an unannounced visit to Crimea on the 18th, the 9th anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and visited a children’s center and an art school. It is reported that President Putin arrived by driving a car to Sevastopol, a port city in the southwestern part of Crimea. The AP analyzed that President Putin seems to have chosen children’s centers and art schools as places to visit in response to the ICC’s decision. He also visited Mariupol in Donetsk, Ukraine, which was occupied in May of last year, on the 19th as an inspection car, the Russian state news agency TASS reported.

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Source: Donga

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