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The ICC response to Russia’s war gives hope for justice


The ICC’s arrest warrants against Putin and Lvova-Belova show the commission of international crimes is not without consequences.

Warrants of arrest for Russian president Vladimir Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, commissioner for children’s rights in the president’s office, have been issued because the Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has reasonable grounds to believe they have committed war crimes.

Following an independent investigation and evidence-gathering by the ICC prosecutor Karim Khan in his first new case since taking office, the pair are accused of committing two different war crimes – the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia, and the unlawful transfer of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.

The focus on those two war crimes is likely due to clear evidence that deportation and forcible transfer of thousands of Ukrainian children have occurred, as the Russian government was overt about its policy of taking Ukrainian children to Russia and placing them in camps or putting them up for adoption by Russian families.

Furthermore, in line with the Office of the Prosecutor’s policy on children, crimes against children are prioritized given their particularly vulnerable status.

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