ICC issues arrest warrant for Putin


The International Criminal Court (ICC) is seeking the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin in connection with the forced deportation of Ukrainian children, according to a statement released by the court March 17. The ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II¬†also issued a warrant for the arrest of Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights. Both stand accused of the war crimes of unlawful deportation and transfer of children from occupied territories of Ukraine into Russia.

While Ukraine is not a party to the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, the country accepted the ICC‚Äôs jurisdiction for the purposes of “identifying, prosecuting, and judging the perpetrators and accomplices of acts committed in the Territory of Ukraine since 20 February 2014.”¬†(Jurist)

A new report¬†released¬†one day earlier by the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine found that Russian forces have conducted “indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks”¬†against civilians in violation of international humanitarian law. The commission described the people of Ukraine¬†as living under “a climate of unbearable uncertainty and fear,”¬†and urged further investigation and accountability.

The commission found that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine amounts to an act of aggression. The commission also identified numerous violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed by the Russian forces during the hostilities and occupation of Ukraine. The report found that many of these amount to war crimes,¬†including¬†willful killings, unlawful confinement, torture, rape, sexual and gender-based violence as well as unlawful transfers of detainees and children in Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine.

The commission also noted that “in a limited number of cases”¬†Ukrainian forces have been responsible for violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including some that may qualify as war crimes. (Jurist)

In addition to the ICC and UN Human Rights Council, the European Union and Ukrainian judicial authorities have also opened investigations into possible war crimes in Ukraine, amid growing international support for a special tribunal to try Russian officials.

Photo: OSeveno/WikiMedia

  1. Russia threatens to nuke Netherlands

    Yes, really.

    A top Russian official responded to the ICC indictment of Putin with yet another threat to use nuclear weapons.

    Former president Dmitry Medvedev, now deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, on March 20 said on social media: “It’s quite possible to imagine a surgical application of a hypersonic Onyx from a Russian ship in the North Sea on The Hague courthouse. So, judges, look carefully to the sky.”

    Medvedev said the strike would not trigger a war because “the court is only a miserable international organization, not the population of a NATO country.” Of course, the court is located in the Netherlands, a founding member of NATO. (Moscow Times)¬†

  2. Russia takes presidency of UN Security Council

    Russia on April 1 assumed the rotating¬†presidency of the United Nations Security Council for the month of April‚ÄĒdespite Ukraine urging members to block the move. The last time Russia had the presidency, February 2022, it launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. (Jurist, BBC News)

  3. HRW: Russian forces ran ‘torture center’ in Kherson

    Human Rights Watch Aptil13 released a report documenting the unlawful detention and torture of Kherson residents by Russian forces, which took place during their occupation of the Ukrainian city between March and November 2022. The report details numerous war crimes committed by Russian forces, including the willful mistreatment, torture, and killing of civilians and captured combatants. (Jurist)

  4. Russia issues arrest warrant for ICC prosecutor

    Russian authorities have placed International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan on a “wanted”¬†list in response to the ICC’s issuance of¬†an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin in March. Khan’s picture could be seen in the Russian Interior Ministry¬†notice, which described him as a man born on March 30, 1970 in Edinburgh, Scotland, but did not specify his offense. (AFP)

  5. NATO Parliamentary Assembly sees potential genocide in Ukraine

    NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly passed a declaration May 22 stating that Russia’s forced deportation of children from occupied regions of Ukraine potentially amounts to genocide. The resolution notes that:

    the forcible transfer of children from one group to another group with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group is an act of genocide according to the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948.

    The declaration resolves to “hold accountable the Russian regime, its co-aggressors in the Belarusian regime and all other perpetrators, including for the crime of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity and possible acts of genocide…” (Jurist)

  6. International Bar Association calls for Ukraine tribunal

    The International Bar Association (IBA) adopted a resolution May 27 calling for the creation of a special tribunal to try Russia for crimes of aggression in Ukraine. The resolution condemns Russia’s “war of aggression,” affirms the IBA’s support for Ukrainian sovereignty and urges UN member states to establish an criminal tribunal for Russian leaders. (Jurist)

  7. UN urges Russia to withdraw warrants for ICC judges

    The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) issued a statement Oct. 13 urging Russia to retract arrest warrants Moscow has issued since May against six senior International Criminal Court (ICC) judges. Senior ICC judges investigate and try persons charged with the gravest crimes, including genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression. (Jurist)