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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Figures from Russian state television react to Putin’s arrest warrant

Kremlin propagandists have reacted furiously to the International Criminal Court (ICC) decision to issue an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin.

Friday’s decision by the International Criminal Court concluding that the Russian president committed war crimes in his all-out invasion of Ukraine focuses on the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children. The Yale Humanitarian Research Lab released a report in February claiming that at least 6,000 children from Ukraine had been sent to Russian “re-education” camps.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan said his office had found the deportation of “at least hundreds of children from orphanages and children’s homes”.

Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, is also wanted by the ICC for the same alleged crimes. Moscow has dismissed the ICC’s move as “outrageous” and the prospect of Putin going to The Hague is unlikely as Russia does not recognize its jurisdiction.

But those appearing on Russian state television have voiced their opinions on the ICC’s decision. RT channel head Margarita Simonyan wrote on her Telegram social media channel: “I would like to see the country arresting Putin according to the Hague verdict. Eight minutes later. Or whatever the flight time to its capital is,” she added.

This appeared to be an indication of the time it would take for a Russian nuclear missile to reach a western capital, which is a common theme in the discussion programs in which it appears.

Meanwhile, TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov, who hosts a nightly program on Russia 1 channel, which often features Simonyan, said that The Hague “should nominate Vladimir Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize because of these children.”

“We in Russia gave shelter, food and education to children from Donbass. And you couldn’t even accept Ukrainian refugees humanely in the European Union,” he added in the comments, reported by Ukraine’s Ukrainska Pravda news agency.

Another TV presenter on Russia 1, Olga Skabeyeva, posted a picture on Telegram with the caption “Putin goes to capituling to Den Hague” in which Putin is sitting on the back of US President Joe Biden at the foot of the steps of Air Force One.

The court may not have leverage in Russia, which does not recognize its jurisdiction, but Biden said issuing the warrant “makes a very strong point,” telling reporters Friday he “clearly committed war crimes.”

In a statement, the US State Department said news week on Friday that Russia’s alleged actions “will have a serious long-term impact on the development of these children.”

“Russia’s actions speak for themselves. The international community cannot ignore the reality that appalling abuses are the result of decisions and actions at all levels of the Russian government,” the statement added. news week has asked the Kremlin for further comments on the ICC ruling.

Despite participating in the negotiations to establish the International Criminal Court, the US is not a party to the Rome Statute that led to the Court. Former President Bill Clinton signed the statute but did not submit the treaty to the Senate for ratification. In 2002, former President George W. Bush told the United Nations that the US no longer intended to ratify the treaty and that it had no obligations to it.

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