International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Putin over war crimes in Ukraine


(Thompson Reuters) — The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant on Friday against Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of being responsible for war crimes committed in Ukraine.

Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations of atrocities during its one-year invasion of its neighbour. A spokesperson for Russia’s foreign ministry said the arrest warrant against Putin had “no significance whatsoever.”

“The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on her Telegram channel. “Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and bears no obligations under it.”

The ICC issued the warrant for Putin’s arrest on suspicion of unlawful deportation of children and unlawful transfer of people from the territory of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.

Separately the court issued warrants for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, on the same charges.

The court’s president, Piotr Hofmanski, said in a video statement that while the ICC’s judges have issued the warrants, it will be up to the international community to enforce them. The court has no police force of its own to enforce warrants.

“The ICC is doing its part of work as a court of law. The judges issued arrest warrants. The execution depends on international co-operation.”

ICC: Putin likely holds ‘criminal responsibility’

A possible trial of any Russians at the ICC remains a long way off, as Moscow does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction and does not extradite its nationals.

Ukraine also is not a member of the court, but it has granted the ICC jurisdiction over its territory and ICC prosecutor Karim Khan has visited four times since opening an investigation a year ago.

Senior Ukrainian officials applauded the ICC decision, with the country’s Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin hailing it as “historic for Ukraine and the entire international law system.”

Andriy Yermak, chief of the presidential staff, said that issuing the warrant was “only the beginning.”

The ICC said that its pre-trial chamber found there were “reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect bears responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population and that of unlawful transfer of population from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, in prejudice of Ukrainian children.”

The court statement said that “there are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Putin bears individual criminal responsibility” for the child abductions “for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others (and) for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts.”

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 sweeping 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.

News of the arrest warrant comes ahead of a planned state visit to Moscow next week by Chinese President Xi Jinping, which is likely to cement much closer ties between Russia and China just as relations between Moscow and the West hit new lows.

Russia has been placed under unprecedented Western sanctions since it sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

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  1. Putin bwoy, you can now only travel to friendly countries. The international community is putting the squeeze on you. Your action in Ukraine is making you an outcast. By the way, we just had a debate about one of your country man’s luxury yacht. Come get it and let’s cruise around the Caribbean and while here, we can give you exile. We have a wonderful economic citizenship program going on and you can also make friend with Choksi while you are here. There is no place like Antigua. Sun, sea, sand and plenty rum. Easy place to live. Come on over!

    • Audley Phillip to be honest, you come across like a giggling fool. ICC is a kangaroo court. Its the same court that found all leaders that mandated vaccines guilty of crimes against humanity.
      How they become credible today when they wasnt yesterday?

  2. Hmmm, very interesting take.

    I’m no Putin fan, however, when calls were made to call out Bush Blair’s for their illegal war/invasion if Iraq, nothing came of it.

    It shows our hypocrisy holds no bounds … tarl!

    • Brixtonian I share your views completely. This is what our world is all about. Controlled by two superpowers, the USA and England. We watch live on TV how Iraq was bombed by missiles from ships hundreds of miles away. You know how many innocent men/women and children died? But no mention was made of those. Only their own military casualties. Today we are closer to a nuclear war than ever before. It is like they are daring one another who will first pull the trigger.

  3. @Philip… a taunting manner of your comment is a real shame and disgrace. I don’t want to get into discussion about the reasons of war in Ukraine. But let me enlighten you before you say something bad about Russians. Unlike Americans and Europeans, Russians had never enslaved black people. It was Russia (former USSR) who supported either directly or via UN the decolonization of Africa and Asia. With USSR initiative in 1960 alone 17 African nations were give the independence. And more followed including the Caribbean. It would never happened if USSR hadn’t support the liberation movements. We must never forget this. In recent years I saw and met Russians coming to Antigua. They were nice people, having fun here, spending their money at our shops and restaurants, giving lavish tips to the staff. I don’t recall myself or any of my friends who dealt with Russians being racially abused or mistreated. Sorry, can’t say the same about the Americans and British. I don’t know if you have a personal grudge against Putin or Russians, just think twice before insulting people who never did anything wrong to Antigua.

    • @Jane. Russia has a substantial slave (serf) history and also a horrible history of oppression under communism. The Berlin “wall” in East Germany did not come down until 1987. The KGB is famous for atrocities against humanity and racism absolutely does exist in Russia.
      Your comments against the USA and UK are defamatory and uncalled for. “By supporting anti-colonial movements in Africa, the Soviet Union tried to achieve two goals at once: to gain influence and allies on the Dark Continent, while significantly weakening its western geopolitical rivals”.
      Russia’s history clearly shows that basically their actions internationally are usually all about acquiring for themselves by whatever means necessary regardless of the consequences, Ukraine being a very obvious example…killing innocent people including babies, destroying homes and intentionally bringing starvation to Africa by destroying the grain business in Ukraine.

      • Hi Jeb, thank you very much for your comment. It wasn’t my initial intention to get into argument with anyone. I was expressing my opinion that Antigua & Barbuda as a state, and Antiguans and Barbudans as people, have no any hostile history with Russia so far. Therefore taunting them is silly. But as you obviously were trying to argue with me, please be my guest. I welcome any argument when it’s correct. And I do agree with many of your arguments. But you are attacking a straw man. It’s informal fallacy. You didn’t refute the real subject of the argument, but instead replaced it with a false one. You simply mixing oranges and apples.
        I didn’t write that Russia had no history of a serfdom. It was the same inhuman practice as in other countries in Europe, just much longer and abolished in 1861. I wrote that Russians had never enslaved black people. Please argue with that.
        Berlin Wall went down in November 1989, I remember it very well watching on TV. But I think you’ve just mistyped the year. I don’t remember mentioning KGB in my comment, but I don’t recall any of their atrocities against Antiguans. Do you? So why bring KGB into this? And yes, racism exists in Russia too. I haven’t written it didn’t. In every country there are dumb people who judge and hate others by the colour of the skin, nationality or belief. Let me open a secret: racism exists in Antigua. Please argue with that.
        You called my comments against the USA and UK were defamatory and uncalled for. Well, I have mentioned that (unlike Russians) Americans, British and Europeans had enslaved black people. Please argue with that.
        “By supporting anti-colonial movements in Africa, the Soviet Union tried to achieve…”
        Really? Well, it’s not a secret that any country has its own interests and agenda. But you know what, I don’t care what were Russian goals at that time. I know that they were behind the liberation of Africa, Asia and other parts of the world enslaved by British and other European countries. well, at least you admit that the USSR supported anti-colonial movements. That what matters to me. Please argue with that.
        “Russia’s history clearly shows that… all about acquiring for themselves”. Right. And the rest of the world is not for themselves but purely and altruistically for the others. Please…
        “Killing innocent people…”. Why bring cheap rhetoric into this discussion? Did I write that it’s ok to kill people?
        “Intentionally bringing starvation to Africa…” Are you kidding? It was US and Europe who sanctioned Russia and blocked that grain transportation along with fertilizers. And when the UN intervened and made a deal with Russia and others, what happened? About 80% of the grain went to Europe, because the Europeans decided to redirect the vessels and take the grain for themselves with some leftovers sent later to Africa. Please research the subject before talking about it.
        History and politics aside, my first point of the comment was that Antigua & Barbuda and its people have no grudge against the Russians. Therefore taunting them and their leader is silly. My second point was that we must be independent, without taking sides, especially when the fight is not ours. We should not judge any side just based on what other side is telling. We should not follow blindly any power. It is in the interest of Antigua & Barbuda to have friendly relations with any country which respects us in return. Please argue with that.

    • Hi Toady, imagine… I did. Along with One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Cancer Ward and In the First Circle. Gulag was very difficult to read. Not because it was three volumes, but because of the feeling anger, injustice and suffering of Soviet people during those times. It was heart-breaking and time after time I just couldn’t hold the tears reading those books. You know, I recall some other books which made me feel the same way. For example, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and To Kill a Mockingbird. Please, consider reading them. They have more common with our history than Gulag.

  4. Very interesting debates and I’m thoroughly enjoying the cut and thrust of each side of the fence.

    Congratulations to one and all, and especially the Antigua News Room for publishing both sides of the arguments.

    We may not agree with one another, but there’s nothing wrong with a strong held point of view or interest.

    You’ve come a long way ANR … keep up the good work 👍

  5. When the Americans use drones to take out potential terrorists, they say they calculate the risk and whoever is their is called “Collateral Damage”. And in many cases, these are women and children and alike. Sometimes it happens as they attend a wedding or a funeral. But no one condemns these inhumane and cruel attacks on innocent people.

  6. … and dare I say @ From The Sideline, that there was a recent American President that continually used drone strikes that caused the deaths of many innocent women and children.

    Yes, that’s right, it was the former President Barrack Obama who was involved in over 550 covert strikes … 10 times more than George Bush.

    This statistic may surprise many ANR observers, but not to those who follow global politicians from ALL political persuasions.

    • You seem to forget the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis that were killed because of all the missile strikes from the USA. These were innocent people. Men/women and children, who didn’t ask for a war. My heart still bleeds when I think of this gross and cruel human rights violation. And no one was ever held accountable for it. And to date many innocent men are held without a trial at Guantanamo Bay. Never to see their families again. Where is the International Criminal Court? Where are the human rights organizations?


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