The International Criminal Court issued warrants of arrest against two senior Russian officials, including President Putin, over the purported unlawful transfer of Ukrainian children from the conflict zone over the past year.
The arrest warrants issued by the The Hague against Russia’s president and children’s rights commissioner are null and void and carry no legal weight, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has announced.
Russian officials have made no secret of Moscow’s efforts to relocate civilians from front line areas, where they are threatened with regular shelling attacks by Ukrainian forces.
We do our best to keep young citizens in families, and in cases of the absence or death of parents and relatives, to transfer orphans to guardianship. We are ensuring the protection of their lives and well-being, the Russian Embassy in the US said last month.
The embassy added that amid the politicized insinuations being against Russia, Washington and its allies have ignored the death and injury of well over 400 children in the Donbass, including at the hands of HIMARS rockets and other Western-provided weapons targeting schools, kindergartens and hospitals, over the past year.
Western officials and media and officials in Kiev have spent months claiming that Russia has been stealing Ukrainian children by relocating them from the conflict zone’s front lines to areas further from the fighting, including Crimea.
The ICC issued warrants of arrest against Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the presidential commissioner for children’s rights, over their alleged responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation from at least February 2022 on.
ICC prosecutor Karim Ahmad Khan said Friday evening that the court would continue to seek cooperation with Russia on the situation in Ukraine notwithstanding the arrest warrants against Putin and Lvova-Belova.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2023.