Vladimir Putin found guilty of war crimes as ICC issues arrest warrant

The International Criminal Court has officially issued an arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin over war crimes committed in Ukraine, here is everything you need to know.

ICC issues arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin over war crimes in Ukraine
© Contributor / Getty Images
ICC issues arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin over war crimes in Ukraine

The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his children's rights commissionner, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, over 'unlawful deportation' of Ukrainian children during Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In an official ICC statement published today, Putin and Lvova-Belova are accused of deporting people and children from Ukraine to Russia.

Discover our latest podcast

The statement reads:

Today, 17 March 2023, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “the Court”) issued warrants of arrest for two individuals in the context of the situation in Ukraine: Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Ms Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova.
Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, born on 7 October 1952, President of the Russian Federation, is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation (under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute).

Unlawful deportation of children

Deportation of people, and especially children, is considered a war crime by the ICC, which gave them enough ground to issue these arrest warrants. They argue that both Putin and Lvova-Belova are responsible for the deportation of millions of people when Russia invaded Ukraine, following the President's orders.

The ICC initially planned on issuing secret arrest warrants, to avoid panic, but chose to make them public in an effort to incite Russian soldiers to stop war crimes in Ukraine, and to send a powerful message to the entire world stage. The statement goes:

The Chamber considered that the warrants are secret in order to protect victims and witnesses and also to safeguard 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.

The Kremlin has said they do not recognize the authority of the International Criminal Court. It has also denied accusations since 24 February 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine. Moscow has said they took in children who were forced to flee the fighting, and not deported.

Read more:

Vladimir Putin’s elaborate plan to take over this country revealed

Vladimir Putin may be forced out of power as Russian diplomat reveals he 'can be replaced'

What is a War Crime according to the ICC?

According to Reuters, a war crime is defined as a breach of the 'post-World War Two Geneva Conventions'. This is an agreement which outlines the laws that are meant to be followed by countries who are in war. They add:

Breaches include deliberately targeting civilians and attacking legitimate military targets where civilian casualties would be 'excessive,'

Read more: Vladimir Putin may soon be betrayed by this long-time ally in Europe

Sources used:

Reuters: ICC judges issue arrest warrant for Putin over war crimes in Ukraine

The Guardian: ICC judges issue arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin over alleged war crimes

ICC: Situation in Ukraine: ICC judges issue arrest warrants against Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova

Former Russian President issues ominous threat against the ICC after Putin's arrest warrant Former Russian President issues ominous threat against the ICC after Putin's arrest warrant