Warrant for Putin’s Arrest has been Issued by the International Criminal Court

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On Friday, the International Criminal Court announced that it has issued a warrant for the arrest of President of Russian Vladimir Putin on charges of war crimes in connection with his suspected role in the kidnapping of children from Ukraine.

In a statement, the court claimed that Putin was guilty of the “war crimes of illegal removal of a population consisting primarily of children and that of Children’s population shifts due to illegal immigration” from occupied parts of Ukraine to the Federation of Russia.

In a similar vein, it issued an arrest warrant for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the Russian Federation’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, on Friday.

The ICC pre-trial panel said it had “reasonable grounds to assume” both suspects were responsible for the war crimes of children from Ukraine are suffering as a result of illegal population transfers and deportations that have taken place in occupied territories of Ukraine and have been carried out by the Russian Federation.

The prosecution and the office of the prosecutor in Ukraine have spent the better part of the past year collecting evidence from a wide variety of national and individual sources. Pamela Falk of CBS News reported earlier in the week that International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan was planning to try to obtain arrest warrants issued for the individuals who are suspected of being involved in the kidnapping of Ukrainian children and the bombing of civilian infrastructure.

Khan made his most recent trip to Ukraine at the beginning of this month. In a statement, he shared his thoughts, saying, “As I prepare to depart Ukraine, I am left with the impression that the movement towards justice is gathering speed.”

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement in response to the arrest warrants, saying, “The judgments handed down by the ICC do not have any bearing on our country in any way, especially from a legal standpoint. Russia is not a signatory of the International Criminal Court to the Rome Statute; hence it is exempt from any duties that arise out of that document.”

Lvova-Belova is defending her behavior despite being accused of being the program’s driving force behind the relocation of children. “What I want to say is the following: first, it is wonderful that the international community has recognized the work that has been done to assist the children of our nation, that we do not abandon them in the conflict zone, that we remove them from it, and that we do everything we can to make their lives better, and that we surround them with loving and caring people. All of these things have been appreciated by the international community,” she stated.

According to reports by David Martin of CBS News, if Vladimir Putin were to be indicted for a crime, he would become a wanted man on the international stage.

According to Judge Richard Goldstone, who served as a lawyer in charge of investigating and prosecuting war crimes in Bosnia during the 1990s, it is not easy for a head of state to fear that they would be imprisoned when they step foot in a country that is located in either Europe or North America.

Martin was told the following by Ambassador Beth Van Schaack, the official at the State Department who is in charge of compiling evidence that could assist in proving that Russia is perpetrating crimes against humanity in Ukraine: “It is impossible for him to escape Russia at this point. Because there is an excessively high possibility that he could be apprehended and brought before a judge or jury, it is impossible for him to ever be permitted to travel internationally.”

The same is true for some other Russian citizens who have been accused of committing war crimes.

“They will be able to get away with some of it as long as they remain in Russia,” Van Schaack said, “but from what we’ve seen, Offenders do not remain inside the borders of their native states.” They want to go vacationing somewhere or shopping in Europe, but when they try to do either of those things, they get identified, which triggers the authorities to act. And our communities have never been more intertwined than they are right now.”

In an interview with CBS News, Alex Whiting, a professor of law at Harvard who formerly served in the office of the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, explained, The initial stage is the issue of arrest warrants towards holding individuals accountable for war crimes. This step indicates that there is proof that crimes against humanity were committed during the war and that specific individuals are responsible for them. Those who have been charged with these crimes will forever run the risk of being arrested or turning themselves in, in particular if they visit one of the 123 member states of the court.

Even though Vice President Biden has referred to Vladimir Putin as a “war criminal” and has called for him to be brought to justice, the United States is not a member of the ICC  because it has never ratified the treaty that established the institution in the first place.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, CBS News has been looking into allegations of torture and other war crimes committed by Russian forces. Chris Livesay, a correspondent for CBS News, conducted interviews in the month of August with children from Ukraine who had been taken against their will to Russian territory, where they were later rescued and transported once again to Ukraine.

The U.S. State Department-funded research from Yale’s Humanitarian Research Lab in February, which found that children are being transferred from Ukraine to Russia at all levels of the Russian government.

“Within this network of camps and institutions, we have located at least 43 locations that are currently holding Ukrainian children or that have previously held children of Ukraine. This network is able to reach all parts of Russia, including the most remote regions “Nathaniel Raymond, director of the laboratory, stated this during a briefing on February 14th.

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