Warrants have been issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the arrest of Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Alekseyevna Lvova-Belov, who is the Russian Confederation’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, although it is considered unlikely that they will be arrested.
The ICC has accused Putin of being responsible for the war crimes of unlawfully deporting and transferring children from the occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia, which he allegedly ordered his military to invade 13 months ago.
Lvova-Belova, who has reportedly adopted some of the children, including a teenager from Mariupol, a Ukrainian city occupied by Russia, is also accused of the same crimes.However, Lvova-Belova claims that the children from Ukraine come to “love” Russia after they arrive.
“There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes,” according to the ICC.
The international court, headquartered in the Netherlands and representing 123 nations, accuses Putin of committing the alleged acts “directly, jointly with others and/or through others.”
A February Associated Press investigation found Russian “officials have deported Ukrainian children to Russia or Russian-held territories without consent, lied to them that they weren’t wanted by their parents, used them for propaganda, and given them Russian families and citizenship.”
Although Russia has laws prohibiting the adoption of children to countries without consent, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine suggests that he does not recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty.
However, it is improbable that Putin or Lvova-Belova will voluntarily surrender themselves to the ICC.
“As a judicial institution, the ICC does not have its own police force or enforcement body; thus, it relies on cooperation with countries worldwide for support, particularly for making arrests, transferring arrested persons to the ICC detention centre in The Hague, freezing suspects’ assets, and enforcing sentences,” the ICC says on its website.