In fact, Vladimir Putin will be arrested for the decision of the ICC.

In:The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday in a major breakthrough in recognizing Russian crimes in Ukraine.

The accusations focused on the most troubling crimes of the Russian invasion. thousands of Ukrainian children kidnapped and taken to Russia. According to analyzes by global analysts, these crimes not only threaten the most vulnerable Ukrainians and tear apart families, but also represent a concerted effort to erase Ukrainian identity by re-educating children into Russian.

In a conversation with journalists, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that Russia does not recognize the ICC. “We find even this questioning in itself outrageous and unacceptable,” he said.

Here’s what you need to know about the charges against Putin and why they matter.

What charges were brought against Putin?

The ICC indicted Putin for Russia’s treatment of Ukrainian children under two articles of the Rome Statute that created the court: the illegal deportation of civilians and the illegal transfer of civilians from occupied Ukraine to Russia.

In addition, the ICC has issued an arrest warrant for Maria Alekseevna Lvova-Belova, Putin’s commissioner for children’s rights, who is believed to be responsible for programs related to children, on the same charge. The announcement follows a UN Human Rights Council report on Thursday that said Russia had committed war crimes, including the abduction of children.

“There are reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect is responsible for the war crime of illegal displacement of population and illegal transfer of population from the occupied territories of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, to the detriment of Ukrainian children,” the ICC said in a statement. statement.

While the exact number of children taken to Russia is not known, authorities in both Russia and Ukraine have said hundreds of thousands of children have been taken to Russia, according to the UN report. Russian officials allegedly placed children with foster families and granted them Russian citizenship, including children who had lost or separated from their parents, or were separated when their parents were detained.

Russia has publicly acknowledged the plan, but claims the children were moved for their own protection. But other reports dispute this, including a UN investigation.

“The transfers were not justified for safety or medical reasons,” the report said. “There does not appear to be any indication that it was impossible to allow the children to move into the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government. It also does not appear that the Russian authorities sought to establish contact with the children’s relatives or the Ukrainian authorities.”

Is it possible to arrest Putin?

It is very unlikely that Putin will be arrested as long as he is in power. The ICC does not have its own police force, so it relies on countries to execute its arrest warrants.

Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute, which created the International Criminal Court and is signed by 123 states, and Putin is unlikely to visit a country that has agreed to the Statute anytime soon. Even if he went abroad, there is no guarantee that he would be arrested, because the countries he traveled to must be ready to arrest him.

“Putin is not going to leave Russia. There is no world government that can force Russia to leave,” said Bill Bowring, a professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, who has brought cases against Russia to the European Court of Human Rights. “I don’t think there’s any personal consequences for him.”

Russia remains one of the most powerful countries in the world, with a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons, and the arrest of a Russian leader could have dramatic consequences for any country that tries to do so.

There is also precedent for ignoring the ICC: Former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has traveled internationally numerous times despite an ICC arrest warrant for his involvement in the Darfur genocide.

Even if Putin and his allies lose power in Russia, any government seeking to extradite him will face a major hurdle. The Russian constitution prohibits the extradition of Russian citizens to another state.

The International Criminal Court is also likely not to try Putin without detaining him, because the court does not conduct trials in absentia, without the presence of the accused.

If Putin will not be arrested, why are the accusations important?

The announcement could have a major impact on public opinion, both internationally and within Russia itself. The International Criminal Court, which receives judges from around the world, is respected in many parts of the world, Bowring said. This means that the accusations will further weaken Putin’s global standing.

While many Western countries shun Russia, Putin continues to hope for “sympathy” from countries such as India and South Africa, which may feel forced by Russia to act as a result of its treatment by NATO in Ukraine, Bowring said. The ICC charges would make that position less defensible.

“It really shows that Russia stands out in the international community,” said Patrick Keenan, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law.

The announcement could also help boost support for Ukraine from NATO member states and help some to send more and more diverse weapons to Ukraine, Keenan said. In the long run, he says, it could even bolster support for a powerful NATO.

The accusations can also weaken Putin’s position in Russia. As Bowring points out, Putin has positioned himself as a leader upholding “traditional family values” and a defender of children, in contrast to the impure West. “I suspect that’s something that Russia would be sensitive to, because Russia in general likes to show that it’s particularly concerned about children,” Bowring says.

Can Putin or other Russians be accused of genocide or other crimes?

The International Criminal Court is likely to bring additional charges related to the Russian intrusion, possibly even within the next few months, Keenan said. Russian leaders, soldiers and mercenaries appear to have committed a number of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine, including targeting civilians.

Arrest warrants for crimes related to the transportation of children are of particular importance, since such a crime could also be presented as a charge of genocide. According to Keenan, the ICC could have charged Russia with war crimes rather than genocide, perhaps because it’s easier to make a case, or, he says, they’re still in the process of building a genocide case. “I would have assumed that there would be accusations of genocide,” he says. “I think there is evidence that Russia and Russian forces tried to destroy Ukrainians.”

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