On March 17, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the Commissioner for Childrenʼs Rights Maria Lvova-Belova.
This is stated in the court statement.
The court declares that Putin is probably responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of children from the occupied territories of Ukraine.
"There are reasonable grounds to believe that Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes and for his failure to exercise proper control over civilian and military subordinates," the ICC stated.
Commissioner for Childrenʼs Rights Maria Oleksiivna Lvova-Belova is also responsible for the deportation of Ukrainian children. Arrest warrants were issued on the basis of statements submitted by prosecutors of the International Criminal Court on February 22, 2023.
The spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Maria Zakharova stated that the decisions of the International Criminal Court have no significance for the Russian Federation, because Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and has no obligations towards it.
The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine stated that Putin should now be arrested and brought to court outside Russia — this applies to countries that have ratified the Rome Statute. In total, Ukraine recorded the deportation of more than 16 000 children from the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv and Kherson regions, the real figure may be much higher. 308 children were returned.
- In 2014 and 2015, Ukraine appealed to the ICC with requests to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of Ukraine. In 2022, the necessary changes to the legislation were adopted, which allowed the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to fully carry out investigations in Ukraine. In the near future, a representative office of the Prosecutorʼs Office of the International Criminal Court will be operational in Ukraine.