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International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Putin over war crimes in Ukraine

17.03.2023 16:45
The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of being responsible for war crimes committed in Ukraine, news agencies reported on Friday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir PutinPhoto: EPA/Alexei Danichev/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN

The Hague-based court said Putin was allegedly responsible for unlawful deportation of children and unlawful transfer of people from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.

Separately, the court issued a warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia's Commissioner for Children's Rights, on the same charges, the Reuters news agency reported.

The top war crimes prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, opened an investigation into possible war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Ukraine a year ago, according to Reuters.

Khan last month visited Ukraine to investigate Russia's campaign of missile and drone attacks on energy facilities, according to news reports.

In April last year, Khan inspected sites of mass murders in the Ukrainian towns of Bucha and Borodyanka. He said in a media interview at the time that Ukraine had become "a crime scene" amid Russia's brutal invasion of the country.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said on a visit to Kyiv last year that “those responsible for crimes against the Ukrainian people must be punished by international tribunals.”

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said that Putin is a "war criminal" who is committing "genocide" in Ukraine.

Putin is a war criminal and what he's responsible for in Ukraine is simply beyond one's imagination," Morawiecki said in a media interview in May last year.

"I think we should create an international tribunal to trace the crimes and make justice again when the war is over," he added at the time.

Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said in the Hague, the Netherlands, in July that “war criminals will be brought to justice and sentenced." He added: “Thanks to the efforts of the international community, investigations against them will continue and, no matter how long it takes, they will be brought before the court and sentenced.”

Poland’s First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda this month told a United Nations conference in Warsaw that Ukrainian children were “the most innocent victims" of Putin's war.

Russian forces have perpetrated “a wide range of war crimes” during their assault on Ukraine, including willful killings, systematic torture and deportation of children, according to a new report from a UN-supported inquiry.

Friday is day 387 of Russia’s war in Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters, icc-cpi.int