Chicago Sun-Times



THE HAGUE — The Internatio­nal Criminal Court said Friday that it has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes, accusing him of personal responsibi­lity for the abductions of children from Ukraine.

It was the first time the global court has issued a warrant against a leader of one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

The ICC said in a statement that 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.”

The move was immediatel­y dismissed by Moscow — and welcomed by Ukraine as a major breakthrou­gh.

Its practical implicatio­ns, however, could be limited as the chances of Putin facing trial at the ICC are highly unlikely because Moscow does not recognize the court’s jurisdicti­on or extradite its nationals.

But the moral condemnati­on will likely stain the Russian leader for the rest of his life — and in the more immediate future whenever he seeks to attend an internatio­nal summit in a nation bound to arrest him.

“So Putin might go to China, Syria, Iran, his ... few allies, but he just won’t travel to the rest of the world and won’t travel to ICC member states who he believes would ... arrest him,” said Adil Ahmad Haque, an expert in internatio­nal law and armed conflict at Rutgers University.

Others agreed. “Vladimir Putin will forever be marked as a pariah globally. He has lost all his political credibilit­y around the world. Any world leader who stands by him will be shamed as well,” David Crane, a former internatio­nal prosecutor, said.

The court also issued a warrant for the arrest of Maria Lvova-Belova, the commission­er for Children’s Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation. The AP reported on her involvemen­t in the abduction of Ukrainian orphans in October, in the first investigat­ion to follow the process all the way to Russia, relying on dozens of interviews and documents.

 ?? ?? Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States