As part of the West’s attempt to ramp up the pressure on President Vladimir Putin, the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader. It’s a largely symbolic step, given detaining Putin remains entirely unenforceable, but is enough to create a firestorm of hyped and breathless headlines.
Another arrest warrant for a top official was announced simultaneously for Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova. The warrants for both Putin and Lvova-Belova allege severe human rights violations against children, and mark the first formal international charges brought by the ICC against Moscow.
The ICC said in a statement that Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”
According to Axios, it stems from allegations that “Russia systematically relocated at least 6,000 children from Ukraine to Russia since the start of the war” – based on findings by a group called Conflict Observatory and their report published in February.
“Many of the children, who were taken to camps or other facilities, engaged in pro-Russia reeducation efforts, per the report,” Axios details. “Some of the facilities were used for foster care or adoption in Russia and Crimea.”
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According to a copy of the indictment that was provided to the Financial Times, Swiss bankers were charged with hiding Putin’s millions without questioning the origin of the funds.
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