Why it matters that the ICC has issued a warrant for Putin
Justice may come slowly, but it is possible.
Journalism is too opaque and misunderstood. Chills gives a behind-the-scenes look at how dangerous investigative journalism gets made.
Today, the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin. He is accused of war crimes in the illegal deportation of children from Ukraine. Right now, there is no way to extradite him to The Hague to face trial, but that doesn’t mean it will always be this way. Here’s a piece I wrote about this very issue in May. (I’m reposting it in light of what’s happened). Justice may come slowly, but it is possible.
When an army indiscriminately slaughters and systematically rapes, criminal liability abounds. The soldiers committing inhumane acts are, of course, violating international law, as are their commanders. (This week, Ukraine’s prosecutor general said the country would try a Russian soldier for war crimes, the first such prosecution in the conflict that began this winter.)
And, above the officers and generals, there is one person atop the armed forces who must be held to account. In Russia’s war on Ukraine, that person is Vladimir Putin. In the last major war on European soil, it was Slobodan Milosevic, president of what was the then-fragmenting country of Yugoslavia. The former president’s story is a bracing one for Putin.
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