Putin is now wanted by the ICC

Briefly: The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for the arrest of Vladimir Putin on Friday. Both the Russian President and Russian children’s rights commissioner Maria Lvova-Belovaare are wanted in connection with the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia, which constitutes a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

At least 6,000 Ukrainian children have been sent to facilities across Russian-occupied Crimea and Russia since the invasion.

But Putin’s not getting arrested any time soon: Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the ICC’s warrant as “outrageous and unacceptable”, and reminded everyone that Russia’s not actually an ICC member.

Intrigue’s take: Peskov is distracting from the real issue, which is precisely what he’s paid to do. Nobody’s expecting Russia to suddenly realise the errors of its ways and hand its president over for a war crimes trial in The Hague. But that doesn’t mean the ICC’s arrest warrant is pointless:

  • It stains Russia with the implicit condemnation of the ICC’s 123 members.
  • It isolates Putin because all ICC members now have an obligation to detain him if he enters their territory.
  • And it encourages Putin’s enemies at home (see next point).

Nobody (including us) expects Putin behind bars any time soon. But nobody expected to see former Serbian president Slobodan Milošević there either. Then a popular uprising toppled his regime, and Milošević was sitting in a Dutch jail a few months later.

What we’re saying is, history’s full of plot twists.

Also worth noting:

  • Russia isn’t the only major country that’s not an ICC signatory. Others include the US, China, India and Ukraine.
  • Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin paid a ‘surprise’ visit to occupied Mariupol in Ukraine; “[h]e has come in person to see what he has done”, Mariupol’s Ukrainian mayor in exile Vadym Boychenko told the BBC.
Latest Author Articles
COP28 off to a solid start

Just as our co-founder Helen sets foot in Dubai, there’s a major breakthrough: after months of negotiations, nearly 200 nations have agreed on how to run a ‘loss and damage fund’ to help poorer countries weather the impacts of a changing climate.

1 December, 2023
India prepares to build a third aircraft carrier

India is set to add a third aircraft carrier worth $5B to its fleet, with its Defense Acquisition Council likely to clear the deal on Friday, according to Bloomberg.

29 November, 2023
North Korea scraps key military pact with the South

Following the launch of North Korea’s first spy satellite on Tuesday night, and South Korea’s resumption of border surveillance in response, the North scrapped a key military pact between the two neighbours yesterday (Thursday).

24 November, 2023
Did India try to assassinate a US citizen on US soil?

The US has thwarted a plot to assassinate a Sikh activist on American soil, and issued a warning to India over its possible involvement, according to the Financial Times.

23 November, 2023