Russia Is Using Children's Rights To Counter Arrest Warrant Against Putin, UK Says

Russian president has been accused of committing war crimes against children.
An international arrest warrant was issued for Russian president Vladimir Putin back in March
An international arrest warrant was issued for Russian president Vladimir Putin back in March

Russia is using children’s rights and “lawfare” to tackle the international criminal court’s arrest warrant against President Vladimir Putin, according to UK intelligence.

The warrant was put out for the Russian president in March, over his alleged responsibility for “the war crime of unlawful deportation” and “unlawful transfer” of children from occupied Ukraine to the Russian Federation.

The international criminal court explained that these unlawful transfers have been happening “at least from February 24, 2022” – the date of the invasion of Ukraine.

The warrant suggests there are “reasonable grounds” that Putin is directly responsible either because he committed these acts (with or through others) or by failing to “exercise control” over civilians or military personnel who did this.

A warrant for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the Kremlin’s commissioner for children’s rights, was issued at the same time.

The warrant was only made public in the hope that it might prevent “the further commission of crimes”.

But, according to the British Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Kremlin has now come up with its own response.

The Russia Duma (the legislative authority), voted on Tuesday to create a parliamentary committee “to investigate alleged crimes committed by the Ukrainian government against juveniles in the Donbas since 2014.”

The Donbas is the eastern region of Ukraine which Russia is trying to occupy completely.

Since 2014, when the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea was also annexed by Russia, pro-Russian separatists have been pushing back against the central Kyiv government, triggering significant violence and instability in the region.

As the MoD speculated: “The Duma is almost certainly responding to the international condemnation of Russia’s deportation of children from occupied Ukraine since its full-scale invasion.”

The independent international commission of inquiry on Ukraine has also blamed Moscow for “killing and maiming, sexual violence, attacks on schools and hospitals, deportations of Ukrainian children to Russian-occupied territories or to Russia”.

It added: “So many children are forcibly adopted, deprived of the hope of seeing their country and their family again.”

The MoD speculated that Russia’s new committee to look at supposed Ukrainian crimes against children in the Donbas was a form of “lawfare” from Russia amid the ongoing information mission to control the “muddy” narrative around the war.

As the MoD concluded: “Messaging around children’s rights is likely an important communications theme for the Kremlin because alleged child deportations formed the basis of the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant against President Putin issued in March 2023.”

The UN believes more than 1,500 children have been killed or injured in Ukraine since the invasion began.

Ukraine claims that as of mid-November 2022, 11,225 children were deported to the Russian Federation or forcibly transferred to Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine.

The UN also called on Russia to ensure any evacuation of children is in line with human rights law and international humanitarian law, while also adhering “to the prohibition of changing the personal status of children displaced from Ukraine, including nationality, and of adoption".


What's Hot