The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced it issued an arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin for kidnapping and deporting Ukrainian children to send to Russia as part of a genocidal cleansing of their Ukrainian identity. This is the best gift for humanity against a war criminal who has been killing people across two continents since he ascended to power in 1999 to rule Russia. His arrest, if it ever happens, will be consequential. It will contribute to a history changing-event getting closer to accepting and implementing human rights for all.
In its press release, the penal court declared that “Pre-Trial Chamber II considered, based on the Prosecution’s applications of 22 February 2023, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect bears responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population and that of unlawful transfer of population from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, in prejudice of Ukrainian children.”
All we can say is hallelujah. It’s about time the international community holds Putin accountable after leaving a trail of blood of innocent women and children in Chechnya, Georgia, Syria, and now Ukraine.
However, in all fairness, Putin can still travel to Cuba and Iran anytime he wants.
A FUGITIVE PAR EXCELLENCE
Only 123 countries have signed the Rome Statute of the ICC. This means that the countless other countries, of which the United States is part of, have no obligation to arrest Putin. Nonetheless, the arrest notice makes Vladimir Putin an international fugitive on par with others from Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, Libya, and the Ivory Coast.
The ICC is not equipped to actually arrest individuals it seeks to put on trial. Such task falls on the shoulders of the visited country, which signed the Rome Statute. This means that Putin has to travel to any of those 123 countries, which as likely as the story of Adam and Eve.
What are the chances this might happen? You guessed it. However, in all fairness, Putin can still travel to Cuba and Iran anytime he wants.
In the case of cajoling Putin to re-join the international community, diplomacy has run its course.
THE PURPOSE OF AN ARREST WARRANT
So what is the purpose of the arrest warrant, one might ask? Besides people labeling it the best gift to humanity, issuing an arrest warrant for a leader sitting on an armada of nuclear missiles sends several important messages.
For one, it weakens Putin as he now appears to be a fugitive from the law, regardless of whether he will ever appear in front of the ICC court. Putin, as of the timing of this warrant, is as good as a third-world country warlord.
Furthermore, it dilutes Russian reach and weakens its position at the United Nations when the leader of one of the five permanent security council members is an outlaw.
In addition to the psychological impact on Putin himself, the ICC arrest warrant provides his domestic rivals the opportunity to rise against him, and it encourages a new class of leadership to mount a coup against his barbarism. Even though, he lives isolated and in complete denial and paranoia.
The world reaction to the ICC warrant is still developing. Needless to say that this is the first step to accountability because it shows that the West has lost all patience with Putin. It further shows that peace between Ukraine and Russia has moved from the realm of improbable to impossible.
The United States gave Vladimir Putin every opportunity to reverse course, and on every occasion, he refused to back down. In the case of cajoling Putin to re-join the international community, diplomacy has run its course.