Now that Putin Has Been Officially Labelled a War Criminal, What Happens Next?

Dean Blundell Mar 17, 2023

Not much, unless he comes to Canada or the US (he won’t because he’s a pussy) but it’s a BIG deal to Ukrainians.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Putin for war crimes because of his alleged involvement in abducting children from Ukraine1. The ICC alleges he is responsible for war crimes, including the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia2.

Russia has responded by saying that the ICC’s arrest warrant against Putin has ‘no meaning’ for the country as it had withdrawn from the ICC treaty in 20163.

Our friend Alex was asked to document Putin’s war crimes a year ago and has been instrumental in bringing hundreds of stories to the ICC. The news of Putler’s arrest warrant is music to Alex’s ears.

According to a report from an UN-backed inquiry, Russia has committed a wide range of war crimes in Ukraine, including wilful killings, systematic torture, and the deportation of children1—Russian attacks against civilians in Ukraine amount to war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity2.

In some cases making children watch loved ones being raped and detaining others alongside dead bodies1.

The United Nations has said its investigators have concluded that Russia committed war crimes in Ukraine, including bombings of civilian areas, numerous executions, torture, and horrific sexual violence2.

By late October 2022, the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s office had documented 39,347 alleged Russian war crimes3.

Putler dismissed the warrant as “toilet paper.”

Arrest Warrant Against Putin For Ukraine War: What Does It Actually Mean?

Source: Russia has already dismissed the warrants against Vladimir Putin out of hand.

ICC member states are obliged to carry out the arrest warrants on Putin and Russia’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, if they travel to their countries.

“That’s right,” ICC prosecutor Karim Khan told AFP when asked if Putin would be liable for arrest if he set foot in any of those 123 nations.

But while that could make travel difficult for Putin, the court has no police force of its own to enforce its warrants, and relies entirely on ICC states playing ball.

Countries haven’t always done so — particularly when it involves a sitting head of state like Putin.

Former Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir managed to visit a number of ICC member states including South Africa and Jordan despite being subject to an ICC warrant.

Despite being ousted in 2019, Sudan has yet to hand him over.

Matthew Waxman, a professor at Columbia Law School, said it was a “very significant step by the ICC but that the chances are slim that we will ever see Putin arrested”.

No one is putting Putin in handcuffs anytime soon but his status as an international war criminal to the free world is a big deal and an even bigger deal to Ukrainians. it means the rest of the world looks at Putin like they do and that means something.


Dean Blundell

Dean Blundell is a Canadian radio personality. Best known as a longtime morning host on CFNY-FM (The Edge) in Toronto, Ontario. In 2015 he was named the new morning host on sports radio station CJCL (Sportsnet 590 The Fan). Dean started his career in radio in 2001 and for nearly 20 years been entertaining the radio audience. Dean’s newest venture is the launch of his site and podcast which is gaining tremendous momentum across North America.

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