Saturday March 18, 2023 | 4:30 p.m.
“Those who believe that it is impossible for Putin to be arrested for acts committed in Ukraine do not understand history,” said Karim Khan, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The phrase is a clear warning: Putin can be arrested.
The court, created in 2002 to judge the worst crimes committed in the world, has been investigating for more than a year possible war crimes or crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine during the Russian offensive. And yesterday he issued an arrest warrant against the Russian president as “suspected responsible” for the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children and their transfer from occupied areas to Russia, which is a war crime under the treaty of this court known as the Rome Statute. .
The ICC pre-trial chamber also issued a second arrest warrant against Russian politician Maria Lvova-Belova, Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights in Russia, on the same charge.
Both arrest warrants are the first of their kind issued by the ICC in the context of its investigation into possible war crimes committed by Russia in the conflict with Ukraine.
Neither Russia nor Ukraine are members of the ICC, but the Kiev government accepted the court’s jurisdiction and is collaborating with Khan’s office so that the Kremlin chief’s prosecution is possible.
In addition, the fact that Russia is not a member of that court does not prevent its president from being arrested: it is that the 123 countries that signed the Rome Statute are obliged to execute the arrest warrants against Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova.
Of these, 33 are African States, 19 are Asian and Pacific States, 18 are from Eastern Europe, 28 from Latin America and the Caribbean, and 25 from Western Europe and other States.
The Court does not have its own police force so it depends on international cooperation, but if Putin or his official travels or flies over any of these 123 countries they should be arrested.
After the order, Putin is virtually isolated. Although he has not made large world tours since the pandemic and limited his journeys to nearby territories -and friends- now the world is getting smaller and smaller.
Since he launched his invasion, he has only visited Biolerussia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Iran. Of these destinations – all friendly following the Kremlin’s narrative – the only one that has ratified the Rome Statute is Tajikistan.
The complete list where Putin could be detained:
Old and bearded
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Central African Republic
Republic of Congo
Democratic Republic of Congo
Saint Kitts and Nevis
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
The court understands “reasonable grounds” to believe that Putin “has individual criminal responsibility” for these crimes, either for his “direct” commission or for having been unable to “exercise adequate control over the civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts.” .
It said that Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of population (children) and the illegal transfer of population (children) from the occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”
In dialogue with Infobae, Daria Herasymchuk, Zelensky’s chosen one to recover the minors stolen by Russia, revealed that there are five scenarios where these kidnappings of minors occur.
The first scenario occurs when the parents have already been killed and, already orphaned, they are taken away.
The second scenario is when families go through filtering centers at the border, there they separate the parents from the children and take them away.
The third scenario is when they occupy a city, say that they are the authority and invent laws based on which they take the children from their parents, saying that the children cannot live in those conditions, and they take them away.
The fourth case is when they invent rehabilitation camps, they take the children from the houses and take them to these so-called camps, but for that they force the parents to sign a permit. This just happened in Kharkiv, in Kherson, in various areas. It is one of the most used methods. And what they do once they take them is start moving them from one rehabilitation camp to another, all in Russia. So they never come back…
And the last way they have to appropriate children is when they directly take them from orphanages.
The numbers are not clear but even the most prudent versions are scary. Official Ukrainian sources say that there are 16,000 confirmed children who were stolen by Russia and are now in that country. Of them, until the closing of this note, they had only managed to recover 307, but there are permanent (and secret) negotiations led by Daria.
more war crimes
The Government of Volodymir Zelensky, Western powers and human rights organizations accuse Putin’s troops of having committed at least 22 of the crimes and serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflicts that appear in Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.