On 17 March, the Pre-Trial Division of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Children's Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova, the ICC website reports.
According to the statement, Putin is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of children and that of unlawful transfer of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.
“There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes, (i) for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others, and (ii) for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts,” the ICC said.
Prosecutor General Andrey Kostin noted that the arrest warrant for Putin means that he must be arrested outside Russian territory.
Maria Lvova-Belova is also responsible for a similar crime.
Orders are usually kept secret to protect victims and witnesses and to ensure the security of the investigation. However, because the individuals in question continue to commit crimes and because the disclosure of the suspects' names could prevent new offences, the court disclosed their names.
The arrest warrants were issued based on applications filed by the prosecutor's office on 22 February 2023.