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Russia-Ukraine war: ICC prosecutor says arrest warrant for Putin a 'somber' moment
The International Criminal Court’s prosecutor for the alleged war crimes in Ukraine said the move to issue an arrest warrant for Russian leader Vladimir Putin was a “somber” moment. The arrest warrant for Putin was on suspicion of the forced deportation of Ukrainians and Ukrainian children to Russia.
ICC prosecutor Karim Khan said on Monday that the arrest warrant issued by the ICC for Putin was not a moment for triumph but rather a somber one. Khan made the comments during an international justice ministers meeting in London, where they discussed ramping up support for the ICC.
“It’s a moment…not for triumphalism, not for any backslapping,” said Khan. “It is really a very sad occasion and a very somber occasion, that for the first time ever, judges of the International Criminal Court, of any court have felt it necessary to issue warrants against a leader and senior state officials from a permanent member of the Security Council.”
“I say repatriate the children, return the children, reunite the children,” said Khan. “If there is any semblance of truth to the utterances that this is for the sake of children, instead of giving them a foreign passport, return them to the countries of their nationality.”
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin told the meeting that his office has launched investigations into over 72,000 incidents of alleged war crimes committed by Russia. Kostin said that an agreement to establish an ICC field office in Ukraine would soon be signed.
The ICC last week issued arrest warrants for Putin on charges of illegally deporting Ukrainians and Ukrainian children to Russia from Ukraine. Moscow has rejected the charges, saying the warrant was unacceptable but that it has no legal force in Russia, which is not a member of the ICC.
Also on Monday, the Ukrainian military agency said that many Kalibr cruise missiles were destroyed as they were being transported to Russia’s Black Sea fleet in the annexed Crimea region. The agency said the missiles were destroyed by an explosion but did not directly say that Kyiv was responsible for the blast or how many missiles were destroyed.
The missiles were set for a submarine launch by the Russian Black Sea fleet, said the agency in posts on social media.