Putin’s arrest warrant is a signal to Russian elites to dismantle Putin’s regime
On March 17, 2023, the judges of the International Criminal Court, headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin. The International Criminal Court (ICC) charged him with responsibility for crimes committed in Ukraine, in particular, for the illegal deportation and transfer of children from the occupied regions of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, which has been going on since at least February 24, 2022. Also, the Chamber of Pre-trial Proceedings of the ISS issued an arrest warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, the authorized representative of the President of the Russian Federation for children. Information about this was officially confirmed by the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Andriy Kostin.
The event accelerates the filing of charges
The wording given in the document is interesting: “There are reasons to believe that Vladimir Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the above-mentioned crimes, for committing acts directly, jointly with other persons and / or through other persons (Article 25 (3) (a) of the Rome Statute) and for his failure to properly supervise the civilian and military subordinates who committed these acts. The aforementioned arrest warrants were issued on the basis of applications filed by the prosecutor’s office on February 22, 2023.” The last date indicates a very high efficiency, because an application for a case of this magnitude was processed and received a warrant in less than a month. In addition, the order was published on the eve of the expected visit of the head of the People’s Republic of China to Moscow, which will definitely have a negative impact on the image of the Kremlin in the eyes of official Beijing.
Leading countries of the world can arrest Putin on their territory
This means that according to this warrant, the local authorities of the countries that have ratified the Rome Statute and recognize the jurisdiction of the court, in the event of Putin’s visit to them, must arrest him. They include 123 states, including all the countries of Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, all of South America (including Russia’s ally Venezuela), as well as a large part of the countries of Africa and Asia, including Japan, South Korea and other leaders of the region. In addition, if necessary and if there is political will, the criminal Putin can be brought to trial and other countries that have not ratified the Rome Statute. The leading countries of the world that do not recognize the jurisdiction of the ISS are primarily China, India, Turkey, and Russia itself withdrew its signature in 2016.
Immunity will not save Putin and his entourage – sooner or later all war criminals of the Russian Federation will be charged
In fact, the decision formally significantly limits the Russian president as a subject of the foreign policy of the Russian Federation, and most importantly, it makes Putin’s person “toxic” in the eyes and plans of the Russian political, financial and economic elites. In addition, the decision of the ISS is clearly not the last, so after some time we can expect the same warrants for the arrest of other representatives of the Russian military-political elite, among which there may be such sad figures as Shoigu, Lavrov, Gerasimov, Surovikin and others.
Looking at the legal substance of the decision of the International Criminal Court, it should be noted that the leaders of states and their subordinates do not have immunity from criminal prosecution for war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, which was approved by the ICC Board of Appeal in the case against former Sudanese President Omar. Al Bashir. Also, crimes of this kind have no statute of limitations, and the current court decision may become the foundation for the creation of a future tribunal against the Putin regime, which theoretically can be carried out even after the death of the accused – after all, Hitler’s death did not prevent the Nuremberg Tribunal to condemn the crimes of Nazism. Moreover, the accusations against Putin of deporting children are, so to speak, the most obvious and easy-to-gather evidence crime, but accusations of other war crimes in Ukraine will appear as proper evidence of the participation of the Russian president and other officials in them.
The ISS order is a signal to the Russian elites about the need to stop supporting the Putin regime
So, the warrant of the International Criminal Court for the arrest of Putin is a systematic step in the preparation of the International War Crimes Tribunal of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, as our publication once wrote about. So far, it can be stated that the Russian political, and above all the financial and economic elites will receive a fairly clear and strong signal from the West about the need to intensify actions to remove Putin from power. This will allow them to get away with it, avoid accusations of supporting the Putin regime and allowing an aggressive war against Ukraine, and maintain their assets and influence. In addition, this will allow for a partial or “large” resumption of relations with the West, of course, in the conditions of ending the war, withdrawing troops and restoring the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Of course, one should not expect such actions tomorrow, but the first and very important impetus to delegitimize the Putin regime has already been given.
I have been working as a journalist for over 10 years. In that time, I have covered the news from all corners of the world, and written about everything from politics to business.I’m now a full-time author, and my work can be found at Global happenings. My aim is to bring you up-to-date news and views on global affairs, in a format that is easy to read and understand.
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