An arrest warrant has been issued by the International Criminal Court for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war crimes over his involvement in the abduction of children from Ukraine.
Ukraine’s presidential advisor for children’s rights, Daria Herasymchuk, last month reported that almost 14,000 Ukrainian children have been abducted.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) said in a statement that Putin bore individual criminal responsibility for the abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children which amounts to war crimes.
It also issued a warrant for the arrest of Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation on similar allegations.
Russia has responded by saying the warrant should be used as toilet paper.
Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia and former President and Prime Minister of Russia said: “The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin. No need to explain WHERE this paper should be used [toilet paper emoji].”
Moscow has previously said it does not recognise the jurisdiction of the ICC and denied allegations of war crimes during the invasion.
“We do not recognise this court; we do not recognise its jurisdiction,” Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, told journalists in Moscow on Tuesday.
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said: “Now, if Putin leaves Russia, he would be arrested and surrendered to ICC. World leaders will think twice before shaking his hand or sitting with Putin at the negotiating table. It’s another clear signal to the world that the Russian regime is criminal.”
On Monday, prosecutors at the ICC said they would formally open two war crimes cases and issue arrest warrants for several Russians deemed responsible for the mass abduction of Ukrainian children and the targeting of Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.
On Thursday, a UN-backed inquiry cited Russian attacks against civilians in Ukraine, including systematic torture and killing in occupied regions, among potential issues that amount to war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity.
The large investigation also found crimes committed against Ukrainians on Russian territory, including deported Ukrainian children who were prevented from reuniting with their families, a “filtration” system aimed at singling out Ukrainians for detention, and torture and inhumane detention conditions.
Today, they have put warmonger Putin’s face on the crimes.
A full statement from the ICC reads: “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 the population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.