Here’s How Vladimir Putin Could Be Arrested For War Crimes 

( On Friday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague issued a warrant for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin accusing him of committing a war crime by illegally deporting Ukrainian children, Reuters reported. 

According to the Associated Press, this is the first time the ICC has issued an arrest warrant for a leader from one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. President Putin becomes the third serving president to face an arrest warrant from the ICC, joining Libya’s Muammar Gadaffi and Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, Reuters reported. 

The ICC alleges that Putin unlawfully transferred Ukrainian children out of Russian-occupied territory to the Russian Federation, which is a war crime. 

According to Dmytro Lubinets, Ukraine’s human rights chief, based on data from Ukraine’s National Information Bureau, more than 16,000 children were deported to Russia. Of those, Ukraine has only recovered 308, according to the Associated Press. 

Neither Russia nor Ukraine is a member state of the International Criminal Court, however, Ukraine did grant the court jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed within its territory, according to Reuters. 

The international tribunal does not have a police force and must rely on the 123 member countries to make arrests. However, an arrest can only be made if the target of the warrant sets foot in any member country. 

A second warrant was issued for the arrest of Maria Lvova-Belova, President Putin’s commissioner for Children’s Rights. The Associated Press reported in October last year that Lvova-Belova was involved in abducting Ukrainian orphans and taking them to Russia. 

When informed of the warrant for her arrest, Lvova-Belova sarcastically said that it was great that the international community appreciates the work Russia does to “help the children of our country” by refusing to leave them in war zones and instead taking them out and “surrounding them with loving, caring people,” the Associated Press reported. 

The ICC’s decision was immediately blasted by Moscow. 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the issues raised by the ICC “outrageous and unacceptable.” He reiterated that Russia does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction and considers any decision from it “legally void.” 

In his nightly address on Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the ICC for its “historic decision.”