The court said there “are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Putin bears individual criminal responsibility” for the alleged crimes, for having committed them directly alongside others, and for “his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts.”
Since Moscow started its unjustified attack on Ukraine last year, the ICC charges against Moscow officials are the first to be legally brought against them.
The Kremlin called the ICC’s decision “outrageous and unacceptable.”
“We consider the very posing of the question outrageous and unacceptable. Russia, like several states, does not recognize the jurisdiction of this court and, accordingly, any decisions of this kind are null and void for the Russian Federation from the point of view of the law,” tweeted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
According to official Ukrainian statistics, hundreds of Ukrainian children vanished after Russia’s invasion in February 2022.
“It’s great that the international community has appreciated the work to help the children of our country, that we do not leave them in the war zones, that we take them out, that we create good conditions for them, that we surround them with loving, caring people,” she said to reporters. “There were sanctions against all countries, even Japan, in relation to me, now there is an arrest warrant, I wonder what will happen next. And we continue to work.”
“The world has received a signal that the Russian regime is criminal and that its leadership and accomplices will be brought to justice,” added Ukrainian General Prosecutor Andriy Kostin.
“This means that Putin must be arrested outside Russia and brought to trial. And world leaders will think twice before shaking his hand or sitting down with him at the negotiating table.”
Human Rights Watch called the ICC decision a “wakeup call to others committing abuses or covering them up.”
“This is a big day for the many victims of crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine since 2014. With these arrest warrants, the ICC has made Putin a wanted man and taken its first step to ending the impunity emboldened perpetrators in Russia’s war against Ukraine for far too long,” said Balkees Jarrah, the NGO’s Associate International Justice Director.
“The warrants send a clear message that giving orders to commit or tolerating serious crimes against civilians may lead to a prison cell in The Hague. The court’s warrants are a wakeup call to others committing abuses or covering them up that their day in court may be coming, regardless of their rank or position,” Jarrah said.