ICC issued arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin

Putin drinks from his own bottle. He does not accept food or drinks from host nation at an overseas trip.

AN arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin has been issued over his alleged involvement in the abductions of children from Ukraine.

The International Criminal Court has accused the Russian tyrant of the “unlawful deportation” of children from Ukraine – a war crime under the Geneva Convention.

An investigation by The Sun into Ukraine’s missing children back in September revealed that thousands of children have been deported during Putin’s invasion.

Ukraine’s human rights chief, Dmytro Lubinets, has said 16,226 children were deported and the country has managed to bring back just 308 of them.

The Hague-based court has now said “there are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility” for the crimes.

Ukraine hailed the arrest warrant as an “historic decision”.

Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations of atrocities during its disastrous one-year invasion of Ukraine.

And Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova blasted the arrest warrant as meaningless.

“The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view,” she said.

“Possible ‘recipes’ for arrest coming from the international court will be legally void as far as we are concerned.”

The court also issued a warrant for the arrest for Maria Lvova-Belova – Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights – on similar allegations to Putin.

It said “there are reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect bears responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation” of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.

The court added “it is in the interests of justice… to publicly disclose the existence of the warrants”.

Under the 1948 Geneva convention, forcibly transferring children and changing that child’s nationality or civil status is considered a war crime.

Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomed the move and said: “Wheels of justice are turning… international criminals will be held accountable for stealing children and other international crimes.”

Andriy Kostin, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, added: “This is a historic decision for Ukraine and the entire international law system.

“Today’s decision is a historic step. But it is only the beginning of the long road to restore justice.”

Thousands of children have been abducted or taken to Russian-controlled areas – with only a few of them reuniting with their families in Ukraine.

A study by Yale University revealed at least 6,000 children from Ukraine have been taken to re-education camps across Russia – including in Crimea and Siberia – for “pro-Russia patriotic and military-related education”.

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