ICC issues arrest warrant for Putin over alleged abduction of Ukrainian children
Why it matters:
The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over his alleged involvement in the abduction of Ukrainian children and teenagers.
The arrest warrants for Putin and another Russian official represent some of the first international charges issued since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
State of play:
Russia systematically relocated at least 6,000 children from Ukraine to Russia since the start of the war, a Conflict Observatory report published in February found. The forced deportation or forcible transfer of populations from land they lawfully occupy by occupying power is outlawed by the Rome Statute, which established the ICC.
What they’re saying:
“This is an important moment for the process of justice before the ICC,” Judge Piotr Hofmański, president of the ICC, said on Friday.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Russian-state media on Friday that Russia considers the ICC’s warrants “null and void” because it does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction.
The big picture:
It’s unlikely that either of the cases will make it to trial, since the ICC cannot conduct a trial unless the relevant people are in custody, and Russia is unlikely to turn over its own people over.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional background and reporting.