Allegations of war crimes against Vladimir Putin
March 20, 2023 - Russia’s top investigative body has said it has opened a criminal case against the International Criminal Court prosecutor and judges who issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin on war crimes charges.
The move is a symbolic gesture of defiance, three days after the ICC accused Putin and his children's commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova of the war crime of deporting children from Ukraine to Russia.
A report published in February by the Humanitarian Research Lab at Yale School of Public Health as part of the Conflict Observatory said Russia has held at least 6,000 Ukrainian children in sites in Russian-held Crimea and Russia whose primary purpose appears to be political re-education.
It is highly unlikely that much will come of the arrest warrant for Putin and Lvova-Belova – the ICC has no powers to arrest suspects, and can only exercise jurisdiction within its member countries – and Russia is not one of them.
However it could affect the president in other ways, such as being unable to travel internationally.
- Russia defies Putin arrest warrant by opening its own case against ICC (Reuters)
- Factbox: Who are the Ukrainian children at the heart of Putin arrest warrant? (Reuters)
- Russia’s Systematic Program for the Re-education and Adoption of Ukraine's Children (Yale School of Public Health)
- Putin arrest warrant issued over war crime allegations (BBC)