Arrest Warrant Issued for Putin

At Reuters Bart H. Meijer and Stephanie van den Berg report that the judges of the International Criminal Court have issued a warrant for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin:

AMSTERDAM, March 17 (Reuters) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant on Friday against Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of being responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of children from Ukraine.

Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations that its forces have committed atrocities during its one-year invasion of its neighbour and the Kremlin branded the court decision as “null and void” with respect to Russia.

Neither Russia not Ukraine are members of the ICC, but Kyiv granted it jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed on its territory.

The tribunal, with 123 member states, has no police force of its own and relies on member countries to detain and transfer suspects to The Hague for trial.

While it is unlikely that Putin will end up in court any time soon, the warrant means that he could be arrested and sent to The Hague if travelling to any ICC member states.

When the actual text of the warrant becomes available I will post a link.

It will be interesting to see if this warrant has any effect especially in consideration of it coming on the eve of Chinese President Xi’s visit to Moscow.

7 comments… add one
  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    One interesting implication, if the jurisdiction is this broad; U.S presidents (indeed every head of Government or State in NATO who participated in missions in Iraq, Syria, Somalia) would certainly be liable to be charged as well.

    I don’t know with regards to Xi. The US has accused Beijing of committing genocide in Xinjiang.

    Does the West’s barely hidden desire to have show trials for Putin and Xi if we beat them make them more likely to give up or fight to the death?

  • steve Link

    The deportation of children, actually adults too but a lot of children, out of Ukraine to Russia was pretty common during the 30s and 40s. Its interesting that they are not going after them for torturing civilians but this specific crime kind of unique to Russia and one which the Ukrainians particularly hated. Yes, they hated being starved and shot too but taking the kids is sort of another level.


  • if the jurisdiction is this broad; U.S presidents (indeed every head of Government or State in NATO who participated in missions in Iraq, Syria, Somalia) would certainly be liable to be charged as well.

    You read the code. That’s one of the reasons I called this out. It’s part of the reason we’re not a member of the ICC.

    BTW our incursions into Syria are illegal. If you argue that every death during an illegal war is a war crime, we’re talking a lot of war crimes.

  • bob sykes Link

    Yet more European silliness. Does anyone think that if Putin visited the Louvre Museum in Paris that the French would arrest him? Or if he visited Disneyland? Does anyone think he would be even questioned if he visited the Hague.

    Get real. The charges are utterly bogus, and everyone, including the ICC judges and the commenters here know it.

    PS. Neither the US nor Ukraine is a member of the ICC, and neither recognizes it legitimacy.

    PPS. Americans are idiots. Lindsay Graham is promoting nuclear war with Russia, and no one is calling him on it.

    PPPS. This country and its citizens would be much better off if either Russia or China ruled it as a colony.

  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    It is interesting who isn’t member of the Rome Statute.

    The United States, Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Libya, Somalia.

    States who have signed but haven’t ratified, Iran, Egypt, Thailand, Syria, Ukraine (through Ukraine accepts ICC jurisdiction)

    Essentially, great power except the EU, Brazil, and practically the whole of Asia.

  • steve Link

    Even Russian trolls cant bring themselves to deny that Russia is kidnapping kids. That should tell you something.


  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    If you are asking how it impacts Xi’s visit to Moscow.

    The headline on WSJ is “U.S. Seeks to Head Off Any Chinese Call for Cease-Fire in Ukraine”; which is interesting considering how the WSJ has covered the war so far.

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