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Putin is held responsible for the forced deportation of children from occupied territories in Ukraine. The court does not mention numbers, but it is believed that in the past year many tens of thousands of children from Ukraine have been separated from their parents and deported to areas in Russia.
For that reason, the controversial Russian commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, is also wanted. According to the criminal court, she is leading the mass deportation.
A spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry called the arrest warrants “totally irrelevant.” Former President and current Vice-President of the Security Council Dimitry Medvedev also says he is not impressed:
According to correspondent Jeroen Akkermans, the arrest warrant sends out a strong signal. “The Court wants to tighten the thumbscrews and show that it can indeed respond quickly and that no one is above the law. Not even Putin.”
‘Instrument of the West’
“But we must forget the thought that Russia would extradite Putin. Russia does not recognize the International Court of Justice and sees it as an instrument of the West. And Putin is also the sitting head of state. But I think he will be even more careful with his travel plans.”
Criminal law expert Geert-Jan Knoops also calls it ‘mainly a symbolic action’. According to him, the court itself knows that it is unrealistic to hope that they will physically get hold of Putin. “I don’t think Russia will be impressed by this.”
Russia denies committing any war crimes in Ukraine. The story from Moscow is that Russia takes care of children orphaned by the war. These types of images are shown on Russian state television:
The reality is that by no means all children have become orphans. Amnesty International reported, among other things, how Russian troops separated Ukrainian children from their parents and then transported the children to Russia.