Putin's arrest warrant and a history of war crimes
International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Putin over war crimes in Ukraine
© Getty Images
Russia's attack on Ukraine has been going on for more than a year, and the ICC has been investigating potential war crimes committed by Russia for almost as long. ICC stands for International Criminal Court, and it's exactly what it sounds like. More than 120 countries acknowledge the authority of the ICC to prosecute individuals and nations for acts of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. On March 17, the ICC announced that it was officially recognizing Russian president Vladimir Putin as a war criminal and issued a warrant for his arrest. He stands accused of "unlawful deportation of children and unlawful transfer of people from the territory of Ukraine to the Russian Federation," according to Reuters.
This is just the first warrant that has resulted from the ICC's ongoing investigation, and more may come as they continue proceedings. While this is a major milestone in the international justice community's response to the Russian invasion, their potential for action is somewhat limited. Russia, along with a few other countries including China and the US, has never formally joined the ICC. As such, the Kremlin isn't obliged to arrest suspects within Russia's borders and extradite them for trial. The Kremlin has yet to make a public statement in response to the ICC's findings.
The concept of internationally recognized war crimes is still a fairly new one, with significant developments within the last century that have formed the basis for how we define and categorize the offense today.
So, instead of wondering how the horrific images and reports of civilian deaths can continue appearing in the headlines every day, click through to learn about what actions violate international laws, and how these standards came to be the norm in governing conflict.
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