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International Criminal Court in Hague issues arrest warrant for Putin

Friday, 17 March 2023, 16:15
International Criminal Court in Hague issues arrest warrant for Putin

Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin on 17 March, in the view of the situation in Ukraine.

Source: International Criminal Court press release, as reported by European Pravda

Details: Per the court's press service, Pre-Trial Chamber II issued arrest warrants for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova on 17 March 2023. The latter is the Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children's Affairs.


Putin and Lvova-Belova are suspected of committing the war crime of illegal deportation of children from the occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, which has been taking place since at least 24 February 2022.

Quote: "Pre-Trial Chamber II considered, based on the Prosecution’s applications of 22 February 2023, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect bears responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population and that of unlawful transfer of population from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, in prejudice of Ukrainian children," the statement said

Details: The Chamber notes that it considers the arrest warrants to be classified "to protect victims and witnesses, as well as to ensure the investigation".

"Nevertheless, mindful that the conduct addressed in the present situation is allegedly ongoing, and that the public awareness of the warrants may contribute to the prevention of the further commission of crimes, the Chamber considered that it is in the interests of justice to authorise the Registry to publicly disclose the existence of the warrants, the name of the suspects, the crimes for which the warrants are issued, and the modes of liability as established by the Chamber," announced ICC Acting President Piotr Hofmański

The said arrest warrants were issued based on motions filed by the Prosecutor's Office on 22 February 2023.

Previously: Earlier, The International Criminal Court (ICC) reportedly intended to open two war crime criminal cases connected with the Russian invasion of Ukraine: one about the kidnapping of Ukrainian children and the other about purposeful Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure facilities in Ukraine.

These cases will represent the first international indictments since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Updated: Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, stated that the decisions of the International Criminal Court "have no significance for Russia, in particular from a legal point of view".

According to Zakharova, Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and bears no obligations under it, "Russia does not cooperate with this body, and possible ‘prescriptions’ for arrest coming from the International Court of Justice will be legally null and void for us".


  • Last October, Maria Lvova-Belova, Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights, told Putin she had "adopted" a child abducted from Mariupol. She claims that as of October alone, up to 2,000 orphans from social institutions had been taken to Russia, and 350 children from Donbas had already been "placed" in foster families in 16 oblasts of Russia.
  • The Ukrainian side recorded the deportation of 16,221 children.

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