The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskydescribed this Friday as a “historic decision” the warrant against the Russian president Vladimir Putinissued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his alleged responsibility in the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children and their transfer to Russia.
“This is a historic decision, from which historical responsibility will begin”Zelensky said in his usual late-night speech.
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The ICC issued this Friday an arrest warrant against Putin as “suspected responsible” for the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children and their transfer from occupied areas in Ukraine to Russia, which constitutes a war crime according to the treaty of this court, the Statute from Rome.
The ICC pre-trial chamber also issued a second arrest warrant against the Russian politician Maria Lvova-BelovaPresidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights in Russia, with the same accusation.
“Today we have a fundamental decision of international justice. In a case that has a real perspective”, added the Ukrainian president.
“The head of the terrorist state and another Russian official have officially become suspects in a war crime. The deportation of Ukrainian children: the illegal transfer of thousands of our children to the territory of the terrorist state”, Zelensky said.
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According to the president, more than 16,000 cases of forced deportation of Ukrainian children by Russia have been registered in criminal proceedings investigated by law enforcement officials, but added that “the actual and full number of deportees may be much higher.”
“It would be impossible to commit such a criminal operation without the order of the highest leader of the terrorist state,” stressed.
“Separating children from their families, depriving them of any opportunity to contact relatives, hiding children on the territory of Russia and dumping them in remote regions: all this is an obvious state policy of Russia, state decisions and state evil. That begins precisely with the highest official of this state “, Zelensky insisted.
The Ukrainian President thanked the ICC prosecutor’s team, Karim Khan, and that International Criminal Court “for the integrity and the will to really bring the guilty to justice.” So far, said the ruler, it has been possible to return just over 300 children out of all those who were taken by force.
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“It is obvious that we will continue to do our best for it. For giving back to all Ukrainians, to all Ukrainian women, to all our children. And for the real responsibility of all those responsible for this deportationfrom the head of the terrorist State to all the executors”he claimed.
The ICC prosecutor, Karim Khan, identified, in its petition for the arrest warrant of President Vladimir Putin, the deportation to Russia of “at least hundreds of children taken from Ukrainian orphanages and child care homes, in the context of the Russian Army’s “acts of aggression” against Ukraine.
Khan alleged that these acts of deportation of Ukrainian minors to Russia and their adoption by Russian families “demonstrate intent to permanently remove these children from their own country,” an illegal act because these Ukrainian minors “were protected persons” under the Geneva Conventionswhich regulate international humanitarian law.
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Russia described today as “legally void” the arrest warrant for the head of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, ordered by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the illegal deportation of children and their transfer from occupied areas in Ukraine to Russia, which is a war crime.
“The possible “prescriptions” for arrest that come out of the International Court will be legally null for us”, wrote Maria Zajárova, Russian Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, on her Telegram channel.
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