Putin allegedly deported children and illegally put them up for adoption: CPI

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, met with Volodimir Zelensky in February 2023 to advance an investigation into war crimes.

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, met with Volodimir Zelensky in February 2023 to advance an investigation into war crimes.


Karim Khan, prosecutor in charge of the investigation carried out by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Vladimir Putin, referred to the decision of the judicial body to issue an arrest warrant against the head of state. On the morning of this Friday, the ICC released a statement requesting the arrest of Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, presidential commissioner for Children’s Rights, for having “illegally deported” Ukrainian children to Russian territory.

Through a statement from the ICC, Khan explained that his office, after almost a year of investigations, “has confirmed that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Putin and Lvova-Belova have criminal responsibility for the deportation and transfer” of children. .

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Khan, who has visited war camps and destroyed cities in eastern Ukraine, said that when his team visited the cities to verify human rights complaints, they were able to identify “the deportation of at least hundreds of children taken from orphanages and child care homes”.

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This process, defends Khan, would have been sponsored by the Kremlin because “through presidential decrees issued by President Putin” the “granting of Russian citizenship” to illegally deported children was expedited. In addition, the chief prosecutor of the ICC assured that these children who came to the jurisdiction of Russia, were facilitated “adoption by Russian families.”

According to kyiv, more than 16,000 Ukrainian children have been deported by Russian officials and military since the start of the war. Many of them, the Ukrainian authorities maintain, were transferred to institutions and foster homes.

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“My Office alleges that these acts, among others, demonstrate an intent to permanently remove these children from their own country,” Khan said in the statement.

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The prosecutor, who has stressed that he will investigate crimes committed by both Kiev and Moscow, explained that “at the time of these deportations, Ukrainian children were protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

Children as spoils of war

The prosecutor added that since September 2022 the investigations and procedures to make this situation visible. For example, for that month, Khan addressed the UN Security Council to “emphasize” the alleged illegal deportation of Ukrainian minors, an issue that he considered to be “a priority for my Office.”

“While I was there,” Khan says, “I visited one of the nursing homes from which the children were allegedly taken, near the current front line of the conflict. The accounts of those who had cared for these children and their fears about what had become of them underscored the urgent need for action.”

In the text of the ICC official, a call is made for “those responsible for the alleged crimes to be held accountable and for the children to be returned to their families and communities.”

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Khan, who assured euronews in 2022 that its function was not to leave room for impunity, stressed the importance of “not allowing children to be treated as if they were the spoils of war.”

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Finally, the official acknowledges that so far the ICC has taken “the first step”, will continue with the investigations so that his “Office fully complies with its responsibility in accordance with article 54 of the Rome Statute to investigate the incriminating and exculpatory circumstances for equal”.

“As I said when I was in Bucha (a city near kyiv) last May, Ukraine is a crime scene that encompasses a complex and wide range of alleged international crimes. We will not hesitate to file further requests for arrest warrants when the evidence so requires,” he assured.

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