International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin

(NBC) The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant Friday for Russian president Vladimir Putin, accusing him of being responsible for war crimes committed in Ukraine.

Putin is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of children and the unlawful transfer of children from Ukraine to Russia, the court which is based in The Hague, Netherlands said in a news release.

“There are reasonable grounds to believe that Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes,” the court said its pre-trial judges had assessed.

It added that he had allegedly failed to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts, or allowed for their commission, and who were under his effective authority and control.

Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, Putin’s Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights, is also alleged to have committed similar crimes, the ICC said.

From the early days of the invasion last February, Kyiv has accused Russia of forcibly transferring children and adults.

Russian officials have consistently denied the accusations, calling them a “fantasy” aimed at discrediting Russia. Russia’s embassy to the United States said last month that the country had taken in children who were forced to flee the fighting.

Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitriy Peskov rejected the findings of the International Criminal Court. “We do not recognize this court, we do not recognize the jurisdiction of this court. This is how we treat this,” he said in a Telegram post.

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