The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced in a press statement on Friday that it has issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and government official Maria Lvova-Belova. The purported plan to deport thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia centers on Lvova-Belova, a government employee.
They are “allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of the population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.” the ICC claimed of Putin and Lvova-Belova.
The essential context: Putin’s administration, according to the United States and other European governments, has carried out a plot to forcefully deport thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia, typically to a network of dozens of camps where the youngsters endure political reeducation.
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“Lvova-Belova’s efforts specifically include the forced adoption of Ukrainian children into Russian families, the so-called ‘patriotic education’ of Ukrainian children, legislative changes to expedite the provision of Russian Federation citizenship to Ukrainian children, and the deliberate removal of Ukrainian children by Russia’s forces,” the US Treasury said in September.
She works for the Russian President’s office as a commissioner for children’s rights. The International Criminal Court released a statement on Friday saying there are “reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes,” either by personally committing them or by “his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates.”
Russia has called allegations of forced transfer “absurd” and claimed it does its “best” to keep children with their families. After many US media sites claimed that the ICC planned to start two war crimes proceedings related to the invasion of Ukraine and issue arrest warrants against “multiple people,” the ICC has now made official their intention to do so.
The New York Times reports that the International Criminal Court (ICC) was planning to launch its first case related to Russia’s suspected kidnapping of Ukrainian children. The second scenario involves Moscow’s “unrelenting” attacks on civilian infrastructure including water and gas pipelines.
According to the New York Times, the cases would be the first international charges to be brought since the beginning of Russia’s conflict. This would be the result of months of inquiry by special ICC investigation teams.
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