War crime arrest for Putin – level 3

21-03-2023 15:00

On Friday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of the war crime of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine.

ICC chief prosecutor said that hundreds of Ukrainian children had been taken from orphanages and children’s homes to Russia since 24 February 2022. The ICC alleged that these children had since been given up for adoption in the Russian Federation.

The legal move will obligate the court’s 123 member states to arrest Putin and transfer him to The Hague for trial if he enters their territory. The tribunal has no police force of its own and relies on member states to make arrests. Neither Russia nor Ukraine are members of the ICC; however, Ukraine granted it jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed on its territory.

Putin is the third serving president to be the target of an ICC arrest warrant, after Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.

Difficult words: arrest warrant (an official document that authorizes the police to take someone accused of a crime into custody), orphanage (a place where children without parents are cared for and housed), jurisdiction (the power to make legal decisions).

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What implications might this arrest warrant have for relations between Russia and member states of the International Criminal Court?


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