THE HAGUE (HRNW) — The International Criminal Court said Friday it has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes, accusing him of personal responsibility for the abductions of children from Ukraine.
Although world leaders have been indicted before, it was the first time the ICC has issued a warrant against a leader of one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
The court said in a statement that Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of (children) and that of unlawful transfer of (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”
It also issued a warrant Friday for the arrest of Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, on similar allegations.
The move was immediately dismissed by Moscow and welcomed by Ukraine as a major breakthrough. Its practical implications, though, could well be limited, at least in the short term.
The moral condemnation though, will likely stain him for the rest of his life.
“Vladimir Putin will forever be marked as a pariah globally. He has lost all his political credibility around the world. Any world leader who stands by him will be shamed as well,” David Crane, a former international prosecutor, told The Associated Press.