“ICC issues arrest warrant for Putin over Ukraine war crimes” – TTG

Lvova-Belova, herself, said that about 2,000 “unaccompanied children” from Ukraine were “evacuated” to Russia, mainly to orphanages and other sites

THE HAGUE (AP) — The International Criminal Court said Friday it has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes because of his alleged involvement in abductions of children from Ukraine. The court said in a statement that Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”

It also issued a warrant Friday for the arrest of Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, on similar allegations.

The court’s president, Piotr Hofmanski, said in a video statement that while the ICC’s judges have issued the warrants, it will be up to the international community to enforce them. The court has no police force of its own to enforce warrants. “The ICC is doing its part of work as a court of law. The judges issued arrest warrants. The execution depends on international cooperation.”

A possible trial of any Russians at the ICC remains a long way off, as Moscow does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction — a position reaffirmed earlier this week by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov — and does not extradite its nationals.


Comment: This abduction of Ukrainian children falls under the definition of genocide under the 1948 Genocide Convention. The extent of these abductions is still not clear. A report from the Yale Humanitarian research Lab puts the number at 6,000. The Ukrainian government estimates range from 14,000 to well over 200,000. During summer 2022, Lvova-Belova, herself, said 350 Ukrainian “orphans” from the Donbas region were adopted by Russian families, while another 1,000 Ukrainian children were awaiting adoption in Russia. She even adopted a Ukrainian child herself.

It’s easy to paint Putin, Lvova-Belova and any other Russians involved in this activity as cartoonish, child-eating ogres. That’s too easy and not accurate. This Russian activity is similar to the politicians and church leaders who took native American children away from their families across North America. Pope Francis felt it necessary to travel to Canada last year and beg for forgiveness for the Church’s part in that activity. At the time, those politicians and church leaders thought they were doing the right thing in “civilizing” those native American children and erasing their culture. So many Russians have that same mindset. They feel they are “civilizing” those Ukrainian children while doing their damnedest to erase Ukrainian culture and society. This is not a valid excuse, just an explanation for this genocidal behavior. The above photo of Lvova-Belova and the hapless orphans is from a Russian government article painting the abduction and reeducation program as a great humanitarian effort. They’re wrong, just as wrong as those North Americans involved in the native schools horror.

Will some future Russian leader make the pilgrimage to Kyiv a hundred years from now and beg the Ukrainians for forgiveness? I doubt it, but who knows what can happen a hundred years from now. What I am fairly certain of is that Putin will not be appearing before the ICC. But he’ll probably think twice about his future international travel itinerary.




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106 Responses to “ICC issues arrest warrant for Putin over Ukraine war crimes” – TTG

  1. Al Spafford says:

    Note, the only smile in that photo is by the “adult”!

    The effects of children separated from parents and siblings has long life mental health issues. Especially for those under 4 yrs of age. Those early yrs are the foundation for a lifetime sense of security and order that develops in the personality structure.

  2. Lars says:

    While this seems to be of minor importance now, it does give any anti-Putin forces in Russia a convenient mean of getting rid of him. They don’t have to kill him, just grab him and ship him to The Hague and get international support instantly. I am sure that at this point that would not be easy, but as matters deteriorate in Russia and regardless of the Putin fans, it is and as a believer in tipping points, the day may arrive when the Russian elite realizes that he is a serious drag on their future.

    • Fred says:

      The ICC track record is not very good. But at least there’s another ‘walls are closing in’ story surrounding Putin.

      • Bill Roche says:

        I’ll put it simply. Humans know it is not nice to steal someone else’s children.

        • Fred says:

          Just look to your own Southern Border.

          • Bill Roche says:

            I don’t know what you are saying. America d/n steal the children of illegal aliens. Russia has gone into Ukraine, removed children w/o their parents consent, and sent them some where in Russia. Pls explain your self. Thank you.

          • Fred says:


            But by all means please conveniently pretend not to understand. Next you should start with the “Putin’s Puppet” routine for not agreeing you. However, you want an ‘explanation’ so here it goes:

            Cartels are doing that GENOCIDE aka human trafficking of children, but they are not Russia, so the ICC won’t be indicting any of their leaders any time soon, and they are doing that Right Here on the Southern border of our nation, not 4,000 miles way. Please see Luke 6-41. But why bother with the reference in this enlightened age. As further ‘explanation’: I fully support you in your pledge of your “life, fortune, and sacred honor” (American founder’s reference) to your endeavors in and for defending Ukraine. Have at it. What bank are you using to transfer your personal funds to Zelensky’s government, or are you only supporting them using our tax dollars?

          • Bill Roche says:

            Thanks for the explanation. Understand that the cartels are not part of the American gov’t/people. The U.S. has been trying to destroy them. I want to make sure you understand that. The U.S. southern border is Mexico’s northern border. Does Mexico have any responsibility for destroying cartels or is that only an American failure? But we were discussing Putin who has invaded Ukraine, killed its people, and left some children w/o parents through their murder.
            He has then kidnapped them and had them sent into Russia. That was the issue.

        • Fred says:


          “But we were discussing”

          We are discussing matters of principle. This is not a kindergarten class. We don’t need a speech policeman here (though the lefty/neocon/borg crowd does enjoy doing that to drive away and narrative violators.) If you are unable to comprehend my point about cartels without insinuating that I mean that the US Government is itself engaging in that action, then perhaps you need some remedial English language instruction.

    • LeaNder says:

      it does give any anti-Putin forces in Russia a convenient mean of getting rid of him.

      Lars, how strong do you estimate those forces? Not least considering the constantly more repressive conditions? But not least since they were never a strong force to start with?


      From the article: The court’s president, Piotr Hofmanski, said in a video statement that while the ICC’s judges have issued the warrants, it will be up to the international community to enforce them.

      Piotr Hofmanski is the first Polish judge elected into the ICC. Thus I couldn’t help but wonder what his position on the Polish Supreme Court Law is.


      26 Januar 2018
      Free Men and Genuine Judges will Remember about Free Courts

      Here is his comment to an article by: Adam Bodnar
      (Commissioner for Human Rights of the Republic of Poland and a Professor at the University of the Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw.) concering matters. Bodnar mentions Hofmanski, as a friend of the main fierce voice in Poland speaking up against the proposed law, over and over again … in vain.

      Piotr Hofmanski, Fr 26 Jan 2018 at 18:19Reply
      Dear Dr. Bodnar,
      Thank you for great and moving paper. I am very proud to be one of the friends of Judge St. Zalocki. I am sure He will always be a symbol of resistance against the brutal destruction of the Polish democracy!

      I admittedly have been following the Polish Supreme Court Saga of the PIS (Law and Justice) only vaguely. Definitively for Europe a reason to be concerned, but not quite for the US of A? … In times of war there are only their bastards and our bastards?


      GOP Senator Brakey: Yet we see no diplomacy from Washington. In the rattling of their sabers for war with Russia, the uniparty claims it is love of democracy and hatred of tyrants that drives them.


      • TTG says:


        Very true. The current Polish government and the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) are right-wing, conservative and nationalistic. Few in the US recognize this. They only see a strong Poland united in support of Ukraine and in opposition to Russian imperial ambitions.

        • Bill Roche says:

          Exactly what’s wrong about being right wing, conservative, and nationalistic. They’re ideas about nation, governance, and society. Can’t men hold different ideas or does the left intend to forbid such views? In which case what is the point of defending the sovereignty of eastern Europe.

          • TTG says:

            Bill Roche,

            That’s precisely my point. Throughout Eastern Europe, governments are nationalistic and conservative. Hungary is not a one off, although Orbán seems bent on moving the Hungarian government well past conservative to authoritarian. The Italian government is certainly nationalistic and conservative yet staunchly in support of Ukraine. It’s authoritarians like Putin and DeSantis who implement laws and policy to stifle opposing views.

          • Bill Roche says:

            TTG linking DeSantis and Putin is a bridge too far my friend. You don’t like his views so he must be an authoritarian. Hmmn, and what do we do with authoritarians once the socialist press has “labeled and sold” them to the public as such? IMHO this is a slippery slope and classical liberals (which, you might remember from your western civ. courses, were what 18th and 19th cent. conservatives were) whether left or right do truth no good by equating Putin and DeSantis. We must disagree.

          • JamesT says:


            If you want to see authoritarians stifling opposing views you should read The Twitter Files … brought to you by Matt Taibbi, the journalist who was warning about Putin’s authoritarian tendencies back when all of the other US journalists were giving Putin tongue baths.

      • Leith says:

        LeaNder –

        I’m not familiar with how the ICC works internally. I’ve been digging online but have not been able to find out:
        1] Who on the court decides to issue an arrest warrant?
        2] Is it Hofmanski as president of the court?
        3] Or is it the chief prosecutor Karim Khan?
        4] Did it need all of the 18 judges of the ICC to vote on this indictment of Putin?
        5] Or was it just the six judges of the pretrial division plus the 2nd Vice President of the Court.
        If the latter, the six + VP, then I see from wiki that they include judges from Benin, Costa Rica, DR Congo, Hungary, Italy, Japan, and Mexico.

        But even so, I suppose Hofmanski could have had some influence on the decision as you seem to suggest. It would be interesting to know how much if any.

        Regarding Lars point about giving “anti-Putin forces in Russia a convenient mean of getting rid of him.” The precedent is in Sudan when Omar al-Bashir was indicted by the ICC and a few years later was ousted from power. Although I’m not sure the current Sudanese government has handed him over yet to the Hague? If something similar happens to Putin it could take years. And he may never see justice other than being forcibly retired to a modest dacha (not in Sochi).

        • Peter Williams says:

          Russian law prohibits the extradition of a Russian citizen from Russia.

        • LeaNder says:

          Let me ask you something, Leith, why is it so utterly unimaginable to have an American, any American indicted. Why not Bush43??? And why is it only a tiny little bit out of the ordinary that Putin is? Is it about power only, power that Russia as a-minor-regional-power does not have? Or is American propaganda in the end simply a lot more professional and efficient than the clumsy Russian one can ever or will ever be?

          Concerning the ICC:

          Actually I wondered about Hofmanski’s name, the root is very, very German. And once I discovered he is Polish, I definitively wondered how as lawyer he felt about the onslaught against the Polish judiciary under PIS. It is not just the court, curiously enough, there are a lot of parallel developments in Poland and Russia. Apparently one can share a political outlook but be ardent enemies. Irony alert: Maybe the could be allies if the Poles weren’t such fierce Atlanticists.

          And yes, obviously Poland is a central driving force in matters.

          Concerning Khan, he obviously is in charge of the investigations, but in the end the judge decide. I do appreciate that he does not mention the Genocide article TTG alludes to. Not yet? Slowly getting there as some Ukrainians (you & TTG too?) expect. So far only Crimes of Aggression. We’ll see. From Cultural Genocide to extermination genocide???

          I felt a strong inner objection to the use of genocide in this context. That’s true. Ruanda came to mind. The “stolen” kids in Beligum and Italy. Part of a much larger Genocide. There is research about the treatment of war orphans there. Would those “stolen” have been better off in the country? Some think that is not necessarily the case.

          And yes, something else came to mind. If you like to call it genocide, than at least call it Cultural Genocide. I agree with Bilsky/Klagsbrun, if you use the label of genocide, that’s what are dealing with here.

          PDF link: The Return of Cultural Genocide:


          The original conceptualization of the crime of genocide, as presented by Raphael Lemkin, gave cultural genocide centre stage. In fact, Lemkin thought that a new legal category was needed precisely because genocide could not be reduced to mass murder.3 The novelty of the Nazi crime lay in the methodical attempt to destroy a group – well beyond typical war crimes and acts of repression. For Lemkin, therefore, the essence of genocide was cultural – a systematic attack on a group of people and its cultural identity; a crime directed against difference itself. Ironically, the final text of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) does not prohibit cultural genocide as such.4 Only a distant echo to this attempt is present in the Genocide Convention, where it prohibits the forced transfer of children (Article 2, paragraph e).

          And there it is finally, this absolutely strong inner stumbling block. Did the Nazis want to ethnically clean Europe and their Lebensraum East of Jews? Definitively. Is this what Russia started the war for? I ask you? Seriously? Lemkin had the Arminians in mind too. Did the Ottoman Empire clean regions of Arminians and other religious minorities (Greek, Syrian Christians) committing both a Cultural and physical annihilation. Definitively.

          But circumstances are necessary to define a war or part of a war as genocide? Never mind, in the Nazis case it’s closely entangled: a war of annihilation?

          • LeaNder says:

            sorry badly proofread. Two things I noticed checking quickly:

            missing letter ‘y’
            Maybe the’y’ could be allies if the Poles weren’t such fierce Atlanticists.

            Missing word ‘what’
            But ‘what’ circumstances are necessary to define a war or part of a war as genocide?

          • TTG says:


            This is Article 2 of the 1948 “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” or Genocide Convention.

            Article II
            In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
            (a) Killing members of the group;
            (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
            (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
            (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
            (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

          • LeaNder says:

            I am familiar with the convention, TTG.

            Why do you think it makes sense that ‘genocide’ was hardly mentioned at Nurember, in spite of Lemkin’s expertise on the Nazis and their laws and regulations and his presence at the trials, but makes a lot of sense to be alluded to now?

            TNYR, Christopher Browning:


            Precisely because the concept of genocide gained an ascendency after Nuremberg that it did not enjoy at the trial itself and came to be seen by some as “the crime of crimes” as Lemkin had hoped, it became an important political weapon with which to stigmatize enemies and validate and elevate a group’s own suffering in an unfortunate process of competitive victimization. Turkey’s persistent campaign to deny the genocide of the Armenians on the one hand and indignant campaigns of various groups that their sufferings be recognized as genocide on the other provide ample evidence of what a powerful weapon of stigmatization and validation the term has become.

          • Bill Roche says:

            LeaNder do you think the Holodomor of ’31-32 is a sufficient reason for Ukrainians to fear Russia, or was it (Holodomor) just a passing fancy. Your comments are filled w/Holocaust and Armenian reference but since we are still talking about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine one might reasonably wonder. As to the ICC it is a non issue for me. It has no power, no mandate, and its decisions are political. Neither Russia, the U.S. nor I take it seriously.

          • LeaNder says:

            LeaNder do you think the Holodomor of ’31-32 is a sufficient reason for Ukrainians to fear Russia, or was it (Holodomor) just a passing fancy. Your comments are filled w/Holocaust

            Bill, I am babbling too much. My last note for a while.

            But, well, the Arminian genocide. A novel was on my mind:


            The Forty Days of Musa Dagh also foreshadows the Holocaust of World War II due in part to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, which paralleled the novel’s creation.

            Without the Holocaust would we talk about genocide today? That admittedly is history that will haunt me. And it feels Leith introduced the Nazis in this comment section via a DW article.

            Is the Holodomor reason for Ukraine to fear Russia? Lemkin wouldn’t want to reduce it solely to the Holodomor, it feels. But starvation surfaces too.

            By Raphael Lemkin (1953)

            Have you heard about the Nazi’s ‘Hunger Plan’? It envisioned to starve millions and millions of ‘undesirables’ in the East. Ukraine as bread chamber was on their mind.

            If we did not deal with this war, would the ‘Hunger Plan’ justify that Ukrainians fear us Germans?

            Look, I have no idea what was on Putin’s mind when he started his ‘Special Operation’? And I disliked a lot of his statements before, but those were statement you’d probably support. Or, for that matter, PIS in Poland? 😉

          • Skinner says:

            “LeaNder do you think the Holodomor of ’31-32 is a sufficient reason for Ukrainians to fear Russia, or was it (Holodomor) just a passing fancy.”

            There were a total of 5 famines in Ukraine during the lifetime of the USSR (civil war, 1921, 1932, WW2, 1947).

            It is bizarre to blame this on the Russian people instead of communism and collectivization given the same situation occured in China and in other regions of the USSR.

  3. Al says:

    “… Early last October, a smiling senior Kremlin official named Maria Lvova-Belova disembarked from a Russian military jet in Moscow with 53 children she claimed were orphans she’d rescued from the war zone in the contested Donbas region of Ukraine.

    The “orphans,” ranging in age from nine months to five years, would soon join 350 others who had been adopted, and begin their new lives in Russia, the Kremlin said, as part of President Vladimir Putin’s ambitious effort to place children from war-torn Ukraine with families in Russia.
    U.S. and Ukrainian officials portray the trip by Lvova-Belova, Putin’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights, as something far more sinister. They say Lvova-Belova is the public face of one of the most distressing consequences of Russia’s year-long war in Ukraine: The deportation, including by coercion and force, of potentially tens of thousands of Ukrainian children without their families.
    The numbers vary widely, from a conservative estimate of 6,000 by one recent U.S.-funded study to more than 400,000 when taking into account the full scope of activities by Russian proxies like community leaders in
    Kremlin-held areas
    of Ukraine.
    Some children have been returned, often after protests and intervention by Ukrainian authorities or non-governmental child advocacy organizations. But an unknown but large number of them – ranging in age from four-month-old infants to teenagers as old as 17 – may never be reunited with their loved ones back home, according to those officials and humanitarian groups focused on Ukraine…”

  4. drifter says:

    A lot of parents are being killed, so someone needs to take care of the orphans. Russians, for better or worse, seem to be doing that.

    • TTG says:


      I’m sure that’s true in some cases. Some have actually been returned to their Ukrainian families, but this tells a different story:

      “Russia has tried to cast the relocation of the children as saving orphans or bringing them to camps for medical care – but Ukrainians say children are either being abducted outright or their parents are pressured or tricked into giving them up. But International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan has this week likened the large-scale kidnappings to those carried out by terror groups such as ISIS, who took Yazidi girls from their homes.”


    • Bill Roche says:

      Now I get it. Parents who are killed by Russian missiles, drones, or bombs leave their children helpless and the Russians who killed their parents are good enough to rustle up their children and send them some where into Russia. Thank god for the humanity of the Russian gov’t.

      • Skinner says:

        The Russian advance is at the pace of a geriatric walk. If Ukrainian social services can’t find guardians for the kids in the months it takes to overcome a strong point, then yeah, the Russian government is showing humanity.

  5. Yeah, Right says:

    It is a prime face case. I suppose someone thought it was a good idea to bring this charge sheet.

    Out of curiosity, are these orphans in areas the Russia has annexed? If so then the Russians will argue that the case is without merit since they can enact whatever adoption procedures the want within their own territory.

    Still, the ICC now has to now hope that Putin doesn’t call their bluff, which seems to me to be a very unwise roll of the dice

    When is the next UN General Assembly gabfest? Or the next G20 meeting?

    • TTG says:

      Yeah, Right,

      No one recognizes Russian seizure of Ukrainian territory as legal.

      • Yeah, Right says:

        Untrue. Someone does: Russia.

        IF (and it is a big “if”) this does go to trial the Russians will insist that the issue of the legality (or otherwise) of Russia’s annexation of this territory is a necessary prerequisite,

        Not as a matter of *politics* but as a point of international *law*.

        Because until that is adjudicated by a competent court then there is a question mark over the ICC’S jurisdiction.

        See the problem?

        The ICC is *not* itself competent to judge that legal point: such a ruling lies within the realm of the ICJ, not the ICC.

        This is an astonishingly ill-judged act by the ICC, and could very easily rebound on the court and destroy what little authority it has.

        The ICC is entirely reliant on Russia not calling their bluff.

        Because make no mustake: the ICC is bluffing.

        Stupid, stupid, stupid. So stupid it can only have been sparked by neocons.

  6. Leith says:

    Not just ISIS. Hitler did the same, kidnapping 200,000 Polish children and Germanized them.


    History repeats. Putin is Russianizing these kidnapped Ukrainian children. And he is using them to Slavicise the ethnic areas in the east.

    What is Lvova-Belova’s stake in this? Is she just a puppet or pawn used by Putin. She may even believe she is doing good deeds by carrying out Putin’s dirty work. Is she just a simple musician and children’s music teacher who made good in politics? Or is there something darker? Did she personally oversee the deportation and forced adoptions of those children? Did her father Aleksei Lvov-Belov, a well known propagandist, get her the job?

    Funny about the name though – Lviv (formerly known as Lvov in Russian) is a major city and province in far western Ukraine. What’s with that? Just out of curiosity are hyphenated surnames common in Russia? Are they like the paternal-maternal surnames in Spanish speaking countries?

    • d74 says:

      You are right, this woman is very suspicious.
      In my opinion, she is an undercover CIA agent. Not possible otherwise. She was sent to compromise Putin.
      From these premises, we can make two assumptions:

      1- The CIA injected her with a bacterium called pale treponema in order to infect Putin with syphilis. It is up to her to seduce the impaler. Different attitudes of Putin and his rather jerky gesticulations show that she would have succeeded.

      2- Otherwise, the classic remains: a self-defense gun loaded with rusty bullets impregnated with the tetanus bacillus, Clostridium tetani. On the one hand, we know that this bacillus thrives on rust. On the other hand, tetanus inflicts horrible suffering before death, which would be well deserved for an inhuman impaler.

      In both cases, the primitive level of Russian medicine guarantees the final success.

    • English Outsider says:

      History repeats. Putin is Russianizing these kidnapped Ukrainian children. And he is using them to Slavicise the ethnic areas in the east.

      Leith – we don’t yet know if they were kidnapped or not. Not a lot to go on so far. This is all I’ve been able to get hold of from the ICC.


      “The Chamber considered that the warrants are secret in order to protect victims and witnesses and also to safeguard the investigation.

      ” Nevertheless, mindful that the conduct addressed in the present situation is allegedly ongoing, and that the public awareness of the warrants may contribute to the prevention of the further commission of crimes, the Chamber considered that it is in the interests of justice to authorise the Registry to publicly disclose the existence of the warrants, the name of the suspects, the crimes for which the warrants are issued, and the modes of liability as established by the Chamber.”

      Fair enough. They give reasons for not disclosing details.

      But the ICC does indicate to some extent the scope of the charges:-

      “Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, born on 7 October 1952, President of the Russian Federation, is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation (under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute). The crimes were allegedly committed in Ukrainian occupied territory at least from 24 February 2022.”

      We’re left guessing what those “occupied areas of Ukraine” were. I’m going to guess that these areas are in the ICC’s view the four oblasts. ( “On 30 September 2022, Russia, amid an ongoing invasion of Ukraine, unilaterally declared its annexation of areas in and around four Ukrainian oblasts – Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.” Wiki,)

      I’m pretty sure I’m correct there. I haven’t heard yet of Russian occupation outside those four areas. Where precisely in those four areas? We have to guess.

      1. Immediately after February 21st the Russians, or the LDNR authorities, or both acting in concert, are reported to have started to evacuate large numbers of civilians living near the LoC in expectation of a sharp increase of hostilities in that area. As far as I know the evacuation was not a full and completed evacuation – it all looked a bit rushed to me at the time – but it was reported on and it certainly did happen to an extent. I don’t know for certain if it was continued after February 24th but I think that likely.

      2. The Russians went to considerable lengths to remove from Mariupol the people who had been used as “human shields” by the Azov fighters. I remember seeing videos taken of that at the time and I believe the Russians went to some lengths to get those people out and then taken to safety.

      Parts of Mariupol were devastated by the fighting – there were plenty of videos of that. The people living in those devastated areas were got out of Mariupol and housed temporarily in camps. I also remember seeing videos of the camps.

      They were then questioned to make sure they were not Azov. Many Azov fighters attempted to flee along with the evacuees. I only saw one video of that and what I saw looked like a fairly primitive way of separating the sheep from the goats. The men were asked to remove their shirts and if they had swastikas or similar tattoos it was a reasonable bet they weren’t innocent civilian evacuees. But maybe more thorough questioning also took place and wasn’t filmed.

      After that the civilians went to relatives in Russia or were found accommodation somewhere else. I recollect, though saw no videos, that those who wanted to move to Russian or Russian occupied territory did so and those who preferred to move to territory under the control of Kiev were allowed to do so. The latter were also checked to ensure they weren’t Azov attempting to escape and I’ve no doubt the other Ukrainian fighters attempting to escape Mariupol were similarly checked. I doubt the checking was 100% successful. This was a war zone with a lot of troops and civilians milling around.

      3. In expectation of the Ukrainian offensive that started at Balacliyia civilians were evacuated to Russian controlled areas en masse. Some refused to leave. We know that for sure, or as sure as one can be in this propaganda laden war, because they were some of them killed by the SBU after the Kiev forces had occupied the area.

      4. In preparation for the Kherson withdrawal civilians were also evacuated en masse. I saw figures of around 100,000 mentioned but came across no confirmation of that .

      Does the ICC statement refer to these evacuations? If so, then I don’t believe that can be referred to as a crime. The Kiev authorities also evacuated civilians in expectation of fighting. There was some controversy about that since most of the remaining residents in Bakhmut, for example, considered themselves Russian and did not want to leave, preferring to stay and take their chances as the Russians advanced. One particularly sad video from France 24, quite recent showed a case where the daughter and her boyfriend left for Ukraine and the sons decided to stay with the father in Bakhmut.

      Added to such evacuations there were presumably orphaned children to be looked after and preferably removed from the fighting zone, from areas where there might be fighting, or from areas devastated by previous fighting. All that in the context of the chaos and disorganisation of war.

      Is this what the ICC is basing its case on? On the assertion that areas controlled by the Russians were, in the eyes of the West, still Ukrainian? Or does it have evidence that children who should have been evacuated to one side of the front line were deliberately sent to the other, and that this was not due to the confusion of war but resulted from the settled policy of the Russian administration?

      The ICC is a political court and the Americans, very sensibly, refuse to have anything to do with it. I’m going to want to see specific evidence produced and that evidence sifted by a proper Court before I pay much attention to what, on the face of it, looks like merely another PR move.

      • TTG says:


        You’re in a serious state of denial. Your last comment reads like you’re applying for the job of Putin’s defense counsel. Read the November 2022 Amnesty International report based on the interviews of 88 Ukrainian civilians, mostly from Mariupol. There’s also the Yale School of Public Health report from last month citing at least 6,000 cases of abducted Ukrainian children. This isn’t just a case of some misconstrued incidents or a few bad apples. This is Russian policy and it is in line with those same policies practiced by the Kremlin when both the imperial banner and the communist banner flew over it.

        • English Outsider says:

          Those Yale scholars are trying to pull the wool over our eyes, TTG. In so many ways it’s difficult to know where to start.

          Start with the obvious, I suppose. Where did all these traumatised children come from? How did the Children of the Donbass get to be traumatised, or often orphaned.

          The Yale scholars don’t ask. Perhaps they don’t know. You and I know. “”The Maidan Revolution occurred under conditions of anarchy and continued corruption. Under the cover of that anarchy, the right wing elements, the neo-nazis, white supremacists, anti-semitics and ultra nationalists gained ascendancy. They formed the right wing militias that threatened the lives of those in the east.

          “The rebels had no choice but to fight for their lives. And they did. And it got ugly. “

          Your brief authoritative summary of several months ago sets the scene. I’ve quoted it several times on English sites because it tells us what happened in the Donbass after the Maidan. And it got very ugly indeed. This is what happened when the neo-Nazis, white supremacists and the rest of it got into the Donbass:-

          Harrowing interview with Laurent Brayard


          They were got out of the Donbass, or parts of it, but it didn’t stop there. Poroshenko, announcing Kiev policy on these Ukrainian citizens – his Ukrainian citizens – in the Donbass:-

          Poroshenko: “Their children will hole up in the basements – this is how we win the war!” [ENG SUBS]


          And hole up those children did. Again and again. The Madonna of Gorlovka and the Donbass memorials to other child victims remind of us of what could happen to the ones who didn’t. And it continued happening to the present day

          The BND estimated some 50,000 civilian and military casualties even in the early times of this period and we can be sure it is now many more. That is how those children became traumatised, or ended up orphaned or neglected. Do the Yale scholars mention that? That these children are the victims of their own government?


          Whose job was it to look after these traumatised children of the Donbass? The Russians’? No. Until 21st February last year the Russians were insisting that the Donbass was and should remain part of the Ukraine. We know they gave help before that time. Kiev stopped the pensions of their own citizens or made it impossible to claim them and I believe the Russians stepped in there.

          I believe, but can’t give you chapter and verse, that they did more than that when it came to setting to rights the chaos of corruption and violence that resulted from the ATO. But they did not run the self-declared republics. Nor could they assume responsibility for them. Under the treaty made after Debaltsevo that was for the Ukrainians of the Donbass and the Ukrainian government in Kiev to work out between themselves.

          Seems the Yale scholars were unaware that that was the position. Also unaware that the virulent hatred in Kiev for the people of the Donbass did not let up. It intensified and became institutionalised.

          The Kurilets video that became a cult video in Kiev says it all. Recently we’ve seen videos and even TV programmes put out showing that virulent hatred. Castrate them and sterilise their women. Unfortunate, painful even, but we have to accept that there are great numbers of people in the Donbass who simply have to be exterminated and we must steel ourselves for that task. The ultra-nationalists who had the say in Kiev certainly wanted the Donbass. But they wanted shot by any means possible of the people who lived there.

          And this was the Kiev government that under Minsk 2 was supposed to negotiate with their own Ukrainian citizens of the Donbass about the care of these traumatised children. Did they? The Yale scholars do not say. Nor do they tell us that the Kiev forces continued shelling those children into their basements until the SMO and beyond.


          So where are the Ukrainians who had their children stolen? Still living in the Donbass? We are not told. And why would those children need to be weaned of the neo-Nazi/Banderite myths that are now part of the educational programmes in Ukrainian schools? They could not have been exposed to those myth after 2014.

          As far as I know the bulk of the educational material promulgating those myths, financed as you will know but the Yale scholars don’t by USAID and Western NGO’s, was invented and became part of the curriculum after 2014.. Neither as rebels nor as federalists would the de facto authorities of the self-declared republics have allowed their children to be exposed to that poisonous ideology.

          So why do the Yale Scholars imply that than Donbass children have to be re-educated away from those myths? They were never educated into them in the first place.


          What of the traumatised or neglected children from outside the Donbass? There were certainly some. Mariupol was run as an Azov fiefdom for years. How many traumatised children resulted from that period?. The scholars do not say. Were these the children the study covered? What of the children who were evacuated from Kherson or from around Kharkov? Are those the children written about?

          And the interviews with parents. Let’s not beat about the bush, TTG. The Ukraine is not America, where people are free to speak their minds. If you live in what is now Russian controlled territory then when interrogated you’ll be careful not to say anything criticising the Russians. And if you live in Kiev controlled territory you’ll go along with what the Kiev authorities want you to say else you could and sometimes do end up dead.


          I’m no scholar myself, TTG. But I do read material put out by scholars. Where do these scholars set out the background? Have they bothered to get the background from true scholars like Professor Robinson or Patrick Armstrong? Or have they put together a farrago of tendentious and unauthenticated speculation?

          Over the last year the Russians have assumed responsibility for the care of thousands of traumatised children from a war-torn and brutal region. Have they failed these children? Have they done the best they could in the circumstances, circumstances these scholars carefully ignore? I don’t know. Neither do these Yale academics. They should not attempt to persuade us they do.

          • TTG says:


            The vast majority of casualties, prior to the current invasion, occurred during the first year of the war, from April 2014 to February 2015.

            “According to the UN, 3,404 civilians were killed in the war and more than 7,000 were injured. The vast majority of civilian deaths were in the first two years of the war, while 365 civilians were killed in the six years from 2016 to 2021. In the year before Russia’s full-scale invasion, 25 civilians were killed, over half of them from mines and unexploded ordnance.”

            Your claim that Russia had to invade to save the people of the Donbas from slaughter is utter nonsense not supported by casualty figures. The same goes for your claim that Russia is taking the children because they were traumatized by the years of Donbas fighting. They are taking children from regions which saw no fighting until Russia invaded last year.

            That Yale report was a deep dive into open source material, much of it Russian. It did not do interviews or camp visits. The Russians documented the re-education camps, the adoptions and the Russian government’s management of this effort. Many were proud of their work. In the case of true orphans, injured and sick children, that pride is understandable, but it was still part of a policy of genocide. The full report is available with many of the sources listed.

          • Skinner says:

            “Your claim that Russia had to invade to save the people of the Donbas from slaughter is utter nonsense not supported by casualty figures. ”

            -ukraine moves military units into position to attack Donbas
            -russia invades

            20 years ago Bush made the same argument and people understood him, but Putin does it and people are struck by sudden dumbness.

            “In the case of true orphans, injured and sick children, that pride is understandable, but it was still part of a policy of genocide. ”

            When they do, it is cultural genocide. When we do it is progress overcoming bigotry.

            You break social mores often enough, trying to attack other countries for doing it doesn’t work anymore and people just shrug and say ‘Putin probably had a decent reason’.

      • Leith says:

        English Outsider –

        Thanks for the link. It does clear up my previous speculation. The ICC press release clearly states that it was the “Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court” that issued the arrest warrants. Meaning of course that Piotr Hofmanski had nothing to do with the warrant, Hofmanski being the Polish ICC judge that LeaNder claims is in line with Poland’s PIS party. And it also means that it wasn’t ICC prosecutor Karim Khan that issued the warrant. Khan being the Brit accused of being a proxy pedo by the spokeswoman for Putin’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The pretrial judges that approved the warrant were from Benin, Costa Rica, the Congo, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and even Hungary. No Poles, no Balts, no Czechs, no Slovaks, no Finns or other eastern Europeans with axes to grind.

        I’m waiting for the other war crimes of rape, torture and murder permitted by the Kremlin to be prosecuted. UN investigators found evidence of and documented “unlawful killings – including summary executions of civilians – in more than 30 settlements in Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy regions, by Russian armed forces”. They also detailed “consistent accounts of torture and ill-treatment.” And perhaps worst of all, the sexual violence, including against children by Russian occupiers. The UN has found that “horrific allegations of sexual violence against Ukrainian communities – including children” were based in fact. Pedophilia also exists in the Russian Federation, I guess Ms Zakharova forgot to mention that.

        • LeaNder says:

          Hofmanski being the Polish ICC judge that LeaNder claims is in line with Poland’s PIS party.

          No quite the opposite. He is a friend of the Polish lawyer who fought the law most fiercely to the very end, but failed. Besides: I would assume he wouldn’t have been chosen into the ICC by his peers if he had the legal PIS mindset. But yes, I wondered about his position on matters.

          I dislike deeply to be misrepresented.

          We tend to disagree on a lot of matters. But let’s be fair.

          • Leith says:

            My apologies LeaNder. I misunderstood your earlier comment on Judge Hofmanski. I admit to being ignorant of the Polish Supreme Court saga and of Polish politics. I had no intention of misrepresenting your words.

            In any case, if the ICC link that EO posted is correct then Hofmanski had nothing to do with issuing the warrant for Putin and Lvova-Belova. That was my point.

            Regarding your earlier question: “Let me ask you something, Leith, why is it so utterly unimaginable to have an American, any American indicted. Why not Bush43???” I cannot answer that. The question should be asked of the ICC. My guess is that at sometime in the past accusations against Bush43 have been referred to the ICC – either by individuals, or an NGO, or by a state. I have no clue as to whether or not an investigation was conducted; or if the referral was gaffed off or shortchanged somewhere in the process.

      • Bill Roche says:

        Of course you’d want to see specific evidence that children involuntarily pulled across the border and “disappeared” into Russia were not willing to go. If the Russians would be so kind as to produce them and send them to the ICC they could be questioned w/o their Russian handlers. I’m sure the genial and accommodating Mr Putin would acquiesce. Despite all the obfuscation imaginable, the truth of what Russia has done to Ukraine and even to Ukrainian children remains. This is a Russian colonial war and when you win one of those you “own” the people and that includes their children. You can use and send them where you will. You are their master. But in 2023 and most non Russians don’t agree.

  7. Jovan P says:

    I guess now ,,Putin” is genocidal since the dailymail says so, so a new batch of just a few hundred thousand Ukrainian soldiers can lose their lives in a magnificent counter-offensive.

  8. Fourth and Long says:

    Joe Biden supports and promotes cutting off children’s genitals long before they reach the age of consent. Putin evacuates children from war zones to keep them alive. If Putin ran for US president he’d have my vote. I will settle for Ron DeSantis, Kristi Noem or Donald Trump.

  9. wiz says:

    More and more, the sides in this global conflict take steps they can’t really take back.
    Russia’s annexation of 5 Ukrainian oblasts is one of them, issuing an arrest warrant for a president of a nuclear superpower is another. Step by step we are moving towards the point of no return.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      Correct. The Times today stated that the Sanctions on Russia cannot be lifted unless the Russian government complies with the ICC indictment and hands him over. They are fully psychotic.

    • Bill Roche says:

      Return is such an apt word. Return Vlady; return home. Tell your soldiers to leave Ukraine and RETURN to the borders of your own country. In this case “we” can go back. But Russia does not want to until it achieves its purpose; the reestablishment of the Russian Empire.

  10. LeaNder says:

    Did her father Aleksei Lvov-Belov, a well known propagandist, get her the job?

    Hm, ok, I see, you are in touch with the Ukrainian National Resistance: “No occupier will escape punishment for their actions. It will be recalled that earlier hackers hacked the e-mails of Ukrainian child kidnapper Maria Lvova-Belova and her father – cultural propagandist Alexei Lvov-Belov.”

    Or you have other, even better sources? Anyway: we learn the compound family name is hereditary?

    Funny about the name though – Lviv (formerly known as Lvov in Russian) is a major city and province in far western Ukraine. What’s with that? Just out of curiosity are hyphenated surnames common in Russia? Are they like the paternal-maternal surnames in Spanish speaking countries?

    History of surnames? Ever wasted a thought on that? Toponymic names aren’t that rare, as is one subcategory, names based on specific places (of origin?), for obvious reasons. … Historically, it simply indicated where someone came from.

    Neither are compounds. They are hardly restricted to Spain. See: Slavic Cataloging Manual:

    “Surnames consisting of two or more parts are used worldwide, and their nature and origin generally arise from similar reasons; however, Russian and other Slavic naming conventions differ from those of other cultures, and so it is worthwhile to be aware of their specific features. Note also, that the most common form of multi-component surname found in Russia and Eastern Europe is a double surname, usually connected by a hyphen. There are also some rare cases of triple surnames used in the past.

    This chapter provides some historical information on the origins of compound surnames in medieval Russia, Belarus and Ukraine and gives examples of the modern onomastic practice of adding a second surname, along with cataloging guidance.

    1. History of compound surnames

    The first double surnames in Russia and Eastern Europe were known and used in medieval times. Having a double surname was a privilege and an indication of a higher social class. The practice of adding a second surname arose because of the need to distinguish between members of the same family. This need became apparent with the proliferation of noblemen with the same name and problems with inheritance rights and the assignment of state service based on the hierarchical place of noble families in society.

    Most medieval Russian and East European double names were formed from geographic place names and the names of lands and estates owned by Russian noblemen. For example, to distinguish between several branches of the Seleznev (Селезнев) family, a second surname based on the Eletsk region, with which the members of this part of the family were associated, was added, thus the name “Seleznev-Elet︠s︡kiĭ” (Селезнев-Елецкий). Sometimes names of geographic origin were added as an honorific title in recognition of a person’s contributions to the military or diplomatic history of the region, for example: Dibich-Zabalkanskiĭ, Potemkin-Tavricheskiĭ, Suvorov-Rymnikskiĭ (Дибич-Забалканский, Потемкин-Таврический, Суворов-Рымникский), etc.

    2. Modern compound surnames

    Modern times brought some changes to the nature of double surnames. The number of double names in Russia, for example, was significantly reduced after the 1917 Revolution due to the expulsion of the noble class and stricter naming conventions. In modern Russia some regional governments went as far as denying double surnames when changing or issuing new passports for their residents. Nonetheless, double surnames are still a popular onomastic phenomenon in Russia and other Eastern European countries.

    Some examples of modern double surnames are:

    a woman wants to keep her maiden name in addition to a spouse’s name after the marriage, for example: Čorbić-Vukićević, Dragana, 1967-, a Serbian literary critic, who chose to retain her maiden name – Čorbić, in addition to her husband’s name – Vukićević.

    a man adds his mother’s name to his surname, for example: Krokha-Derkach, Dmitriĭ, 1939-, a Ukrainian farmer and writer, who added his mother’s maiden name “Derkach” to his paternal surname “Krokha”.

    the second surname is a pseudonym, or a stage name: for example, Novikov-Priboĭ, A. S. (Alekseĭ Silych), 1877-1944, a Russian writer, who added a pseudonym “Priboĭ” (which means “Surf”) to his real name “Novikov” to emphasize a predominant naval theme in his works.”

    But yes, model wife and mother of many …

    • Leith says:

      LeaNder –

      Thanks for the insight. Perhaps you are right about Maria Alekseevna being a loving mother and a good Samaritan. Maybe because of altruism she was duped into this criminal enterprise by Putin, or by someone else in a position of power in the Kremlin?

      Could she have thought it was legitimate because of the Russian Parliament vote last October to incorporate those occupied regions of Ukraine into the Russian Federation? Maybe. However that annexation had been and is still being challenged by the UN and the rest of the world. Not even China recognizes the validity of that illegal land grab. If she believed it, then it could be a mitigating factor- but it is not a defense.

      • English Outsider says:

        Leith – in order of preference these were the choices on offer for the Donbass up until February 21st 2022:-

        1. Minsk 2.

        Remaining in the Ukraine but with safeguards against the extremists. This was the “Merkel solution”, though she now claims she had no intention of getting it implemented.

        It was also the “Putin solution” and the only criticism we can level at Putin there is that he hung around far too long trying to get it implemented when (with hindsight in my own case!) it was obvious the West was never going to allow it to be implemented.

        2. Incorporation into the RF.

        3. Repetition of the atrocities perpetrated by the Kiev forces earlier.

        Simple as that. It was and is the tragedy of the Donbass that (1) didn’t come off. The population mix in the Donbass was such, and maybe even after all the population movement of the last few years still is such, that Minsk 2 was by far the best solution.

        (1) failing we’re left with (2). (3), which is what the neocons were aiming for, didn’t come off and thank God for that.

        • Sam says:


          Those ships sailed when Putin invaded Ukraine. The next settlement, which will come, will be largely determined by the outcome of the war.

          Either one of the armies has to defeat the other or they get exhausted. Putin doesn’t have the same leverage he had a year ago. His army hasn’t achieved any of his objectives. The Donbass that he annexed has borne the brunt of the destruction.

          IMO, there will be recriminations in Russia in the years to come. There will be questions if the military invasion of Ukraine was worth the price considering the outcome. For Ukraine it was a defense of their territorial integrity that could be turned into heroic lore.

          The invasion has created incredible momentum for a much deeper security relationship between the US, Eastern Europe & Scandinavia. that will only grow. That will make them more influential in EU affairs. Maybe the dominance of Germany & even France will be reduced.

          All said & done this is a sad legacy for Putin, who built up a brand over the decades of efficiency, competence, strategic thinking and projected the military capability to compete with the US. That’s been shattered with his army’s performance on the battlefield against a neighbor with a much smaller army.

        • Leith says:

          EO –

          Minsk agreements were a dissimulation by Putin. He never abided by them. He actively broke those agreements while trying to put the blame on Ukraine with false flags. Psychological Projection, i.e. tell the world that your opponent is committing the dirty deeds that you yourself are doing. Putin appropriates the similar methods used by Hitler over eight decades ago in the Sudeten and Poland.

          Merkel was the Neville Chamberlain of the 21st century. Putin never intended to honor the Minsk agreements just as Hitler never intended to honor the Munich agreement.

  11. Fourth and Long says:

    Saving children’s lives does not sit well with the brother of a convicted pedophile. Not surprising. Possibly it runs in the family and the limey spooks pressured Khan to indict Putin – or else.
    Zakharova revealed the pedophilia scandal connected with the family of the ICC prosecutor:

    International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan, who issued an “arrest warrant” for Russian President Vladimir Putin, turned out to be the brother of a British pedophile MP who was released early, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

    Zakharova confirmed on her Telegram channel that ICC prosecutor Karim Khan, who issued the “arrest warrant” for Putin, is the brother of a British Conservative Party politician who was imprisoned for 18 months after he was found guilty. sexual abuse of an underage boy. He was released early from prison three weeks before the “arrest warrant” was issued to Putin.

    “As I said yesterday, now the protection of children from perverts is criminalized in the West. Can you imagine how many innocent children’s souls would be ruined by moral monsters, like this brother? But Russia does not. There was already a line for these children, for sure, ”complained Zakharova.

    • Bill Roche says:

      Is Karim Khan also a child pervert? If not why accuse him, or paint him, of his brothers crimes? A rather broad but not accidental brush? Nevertheless, this
      issue d/n belong to the ICC which is a “monkey business” court w/o authority. But the issue doesn’t change. Russia invades Ukraine, kills people and thereby orphans children, then scoops them up, out of concern of course, and sends them to Russian families. The issue is “is this ok?” It is kidnapping.
      Who could possibly think this is ok?

      • Fourth and Long says:

        The Russians are not kidnapping children. They are accolading refugees – millions. And you are becoming a broken record with your stuff about them trying to reestablish a Russian empire. That’s simply false. Lots of highly intelligent and disinterested people such as John Mearsheimer and Seymour Hersh have studied that issue and find no evidence for it. The US under Obama overthrew the Kiev government and began arming and training the Ukrainian armies. They installed missile systems in Poland and Rumania that are advertised as defensive but are known well by experts to be convertible to offensive weapons – nuclear tipped – with 7 minute flight times to Moscow, a city of 14 million people.

        Khan’s brother was released early two weeks before Khan handed down his ICC indictments. You may be elderly and stubborn and jingoistic but are you stupid or should I say naive too?

        The track record of atrocities and horrors committed by the US military puts anything the Russians have done to shame. It’s not even a serious contest. Or can’t you count? I bring it up because to be on ones “high horse” so self-righteously here is frankly shameless in my opinion and in many other’s opinion too.
        Life of Ukrainian refugees in Russia and Europe. What’s it like?https://youtu.be/QAL01ya3r8w
        Russia has accommodated more Ukrainian refugees than Poland and Germany combined. How did that happen? Follow the stories of the two Ukrainian families (@OlyaGrace and @smegal) that had to flee their homeland when the war came.

        Olya and Svetlana (fled to Russia from Kherson) –

        / @olyagrace
        Alina and her son (fled to the UK from Kiev) –

        / @smegal
        Evgeny, a volunteer from Belgorod who helps refugees – t.me/desyatiyKrug/61698 (Telegram channel)

        • Fourth and Long says:

          Typo – accomodating – not acolading. Dear Apple – fix your da*n spell checker.

        • TTG says:


          The Russians are accommodating refugees AND kidnapping children. Many of those refugees fled to Russia voluntarily, many to escape the fighting and many quislings to escape retribution. I remember the traffic jams at the Kerch bridge last year. Many of those were recent Russian settlers.

          Your statement that the US military has committed far more atrocities and horrors than the Russian military is absurd. I also find it insulting.

          • Fourth and Long says:

            In that case you need seriously to go to school on the Vietnam war. Korea was a non-stop atrocity too. And Iraq was vile in the extreme. In all three cases the US went thousands of miles overseas to do unspeakable things to people and countries that had not attacked the United States. Many millions were killed – millions. And with a decided ethnic overtone suggesting genocide. The Russians never did anything like that, not remotely, and neither did the Soviets who were attacked by the Germans, losing 27 million people or more. Were atrocities committed under Stalin? Absolutely. The difference is most were perpetrated on the Soviet people themselves, and Stalin was not Russian, he was Georgian, and he ruled after a period of utter upheaval and millions of deaths – WW1, revolution and Civil War. The US was in no way in similar circumstances when it destroyed several asian and middle east countries, it was at peace with an established civil society, great wealth, exemplary institutions and the most advanced technology ever known. You can cite Chechnya if you like but again it differs from the US – it involved serious terrorism against Russians (Beslan) and threatened to spread and dissolve their entire country.

          • Leith says:

            F&L –

            Beslan? That’s where FSB Spetznaz use of thermobaric weapons killed 335 including 186 children. Was it incompetence by Putin’s good buddy Nikolai Patrushev who was FSB Director at the time? Or was it deliberate because the lives of the Ossetian hostages were not valued by the FSB responders?

            By the way, although supposedly a Chechen terrorist leader took credit for the Beslan siege, many of the identified terrorist bodies were Ingush.

            Strange that Putin’s gave his new good buddy, Chechen headchopper Ramzan Kadyrov, a commission in the Russian military as a three star general.

          • Fred says:


            You left out Waco.

    • Al says:

      F&L,, Damn, you sure are HUNG UP on “the brother of a convicted pedophile”, as if that is worth a ‘bucket of wet spit” in this discussion. But, you repeatedly “spit” into that bucket. Obsession?

  12. Young says:

    Why ICC doesn’t concern with the fate of the children in Yemen, Syria and Iraq?

    When will it issue the arrest order for those denying food and medicine to those children?

    • Bill Roche says:

      A fair question but shall ICC go world wide in condemnation of gov’ts that d/n provide same to children? Where is its authority for such a brief against societies throughout the world? In this case the issue was the specific crime of kidnapping, a specific perp (Putin), and a specific victim (Ukrainian children).

    • Leith says:

      Young –

      Who is denying food and meds to children in those countries? UNICEF along with the Red Crescent is in Yemen and Syria and is providing humanitarian aid to children there. My bride has donated $$$ to help that effort. Are you claiming that has been somehow sabotaged and aid is not getting through? I’m asking again – by who is it being blocked?

      • Skinner says:

        The US Army. They are occupying Syria’s oil fields- sort of hard for the country and its people to pay for supplies if we prevent them from making money.

        Notably the US isn’t at war with Syria so this isn’t like strategic bombing, but randomly messing with countries the US doesn’t like.

  13. walrus says:

    Young: ‘ Why ICC doesn’t concern with the fate of the children in Yemen, Syria and Iraq?

    When will it issue the arrest order for those denying food and medicine to those children?“


    Furthermore, why do American commentators laud the actions of the ICC while denying its jurisdiction over Americans?

    I guess it would be different if Putin was going to occupy a cell next to Dubya, Hillary and Netanyahu.

    The issue in my opinion, is not immediate removal of children. that may be justifiable on safety grounds. The real issue is whether diligent long term steps are taken to reunite the child with relatives and preserve her family identity, or whether there has been a deliberate attempt to erase the same.

    Australia has both dark and bright history in this matter; we removed Aboriginal children from their families to “save” them through a policy of acclimatisation. We were also a home for numerous European orphans after WWII – but we messed that up by allowing many of them to be abused in Catholic and similar orphanages.

    It is an ongoing problem here. Do we remove children “at risk” from problematic parents? In parts of central Australia, 50% of young aboriginal children have STDs but at present it is regarded as culturally insensitive to remove them from abuse and jail their drunken, criminal parents and relatives.

    • Peter Williams says:

      A minor point Walrus, children can and do catch STDs from childbirth alone, no need for sexual abuse. Is there sexual abuse, possibly, but we need to be careful in making assumptions. Also the “stolen generation” included many white children, something that is brushed under the carpet.

  14. Al says:

    Again, look at the stunned, not a glimmer of a smile, picture above of the children having been hustled off to Russia.

    Only Maria Lvova-Belova smiling, as she had brought a plane load of 50+, 6 month to 4 yr old, Ukrainian children into Russian.

    Quite a bit of out right excuse making in above posts for Russia’s blatant violation of international law in consideration for these Ukraine children and the parents and/or extended families back in Ukraine.
    ….and a lot of pure ignorance of the development harm that is now occurring in these children.

  15. Mark Logan says:

    I don’t like it onlyy because I view it as unhelpful. Something Thomas Pickering said near the outbreak springs to mind. Paraphrased from memory:

    “The time for negotiation will arrive but that time is not here yet. We should craft our actions toward creating the proper conditions for that moment when it comes.”

    As I believe it more likely Putin will react to being a cornered rat as a cornered rat would than he would feel a need to beg for mercy, we should abstain from demonization. The more we do that the less we set up the proper conditions for a truce. We should certainly keep mentioning this issue in order to make the Russians second-guess themselves on it, but siccing the ICC on him? This is not the time for legalism. That can come after.

  16. Gordon Reed says:

    I know a country where Putin can go and not be arrested, the USA.

  17. Babeltuap says:

    Without dirt cheap weapons and bodies on the ground impossible to win but we will learn this lesson again. Go get cheap weapons and bodies then maybe so but before that NO. Tanks and HIMARS will not cut it. Go get cheap shells, drones and lots and lots of bodies.

  18. Jake says:

    This is a cynical ‘Babylon Bee’-topic, right? This entire ICC is accused of being a Kangaroo Court on multiple occasions. It is not recognised by Russia, China, the United States, Israel and multiple other countries. It has no jurisdiction over Russian citizens. And since the US made it abundantly clear that if anyone would take a US citizen to court in The Hague, this would mean war, since ‘Washington’ would use force to free the defendant, what should we expect if anyone arrests Putin, or Maria Lvova-Belova?

    Apart from that, which utter moron would insist that a country is obliged to leave children in areas which are constantly shelled by Ukrainian forces, if the have the means to bring them to safety? Remember that Ukraine shelling the Donbas for eight years in a row prior to February last year already did cost 14.000 lives, to make life miserable for the people in that region.

    What’s more, the countries supporting this policy of the ICC have been guilty of providing support for ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ kidnappings and subsequent torture, as well as disappearances and locking people up without a proper trial. And they kicked over the barriers that prevented human trafficking by bombing Libya back into the stone age, and swarming the country with ISIS-affiliated ‘liberators’, as they did in Iraq and Syria, creating a flood of refugees and fresh ‘worker bees’ for themselves, and plenty of business for the well-subsidised ‘NGO’s’ serving as human traffickers, trucking the lot of them from Africa and the Middle East to Europe.

    So? What gives? The countries behind the ICC are angry because Russia saved the lives of those children, which would have done well on the cover of ‘Time’, dead? What is this about?

    • TTG says:


      See my later answer about your 14,000 killed by Ukrainian artillery claim. Your claim is factually wrong. Russia is kidnapping these children from areas they already occupy, not from active battlefields.

  19. blue peacock says:

    The ICC warrant is kabuki theater. It doesn’t matter a whit. What matters is the actual war in Ukraine and the denouement of this war. There’s lots of discussion about Minsk 2, Istanbul, Victoria Nuland, nuclear armageddon, etc. That’s all water under the bridge as Putin ordered his army into his neighbor’s territory a year ago. Putin’s invasion is being repelled by the Ukrainian army and he is no further along in his invasion aims than when he began this war.

    Some correspondents are convinced that Putin’s army will defeat the Ukrainian army. None however have provided any evidence of how that will be achieved. We have a year of war in the rear-view mirror and the Russian army is bogged down. How do they propose to defeat the Ukrainian army and effect regime change in Kyiv?

    The outcome of this war will be the determinant of what happens between Russia & Ukraine and if it will become Putin’s satellite like Belarus. In any case Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has vindicated the Eastern European viewpoint of Putin’s colonial mindset. They are now more united against Putin’s aggression and have become significantly more influential in the corridors of power in the west. Considering how well the much smaller Ukrainian army have fought the Russian army’s superiority in manpower & weapons, I wouldn’t be surprised, when real maneuver warfare restarts soon, that the Ukrainian army breaks through Russian army defensive lines in some parts of the frontline. That would create a very interesting situation if it happens.

    • Sam says:


      Yup. The outcome of the war will have the biggest weight in the next settlement. Nothing else really matters. The diplomats and the pontificators can keep at it but the real action is on the battlefield. That’s where the rubber meets the road.

    • Jake says:

      BP, you are mistaken on almost all counts. From my own perspective, as well as with regard to the goals set by Putin as het gave the ‘go-ahead’ for the ‘Special Military Operation’, which was designed to enforce the ‘Minsk Accords’ into action, and everything laid down in those ‘Accords’, if an agreement could be reached real quick, or create an independent Eastern and Southern state not ruled by Kiev if it would take a little longer before they would start to neotiate, or add these areas to Russia proper, all depending on developments.

      Kiev would remain in control of ‘Banderista Country’, which sold its soul to the EU, since it would be a real headache for Moscow to rule over that debt-enslaved part of the country with no economic prospects, and a hostile population. But it had to be demilitarised, and denazified. Turning the war which it became after ‘Istanbul’ failed, on the insistence of the ‘Collective West’, into a ‘War of Attrition’, is accomplishing those goals. The Kiev Independent reported 16.000 confirmed dead on the Russian side, while the Russian ‘kill-rate’ is around 10 dead Ukrainians for every Russian killed, according to a long list of separate sources, including Ukrainian sources. Ukraine is now sending teenagers and pensioners, and one Western ‘Soldier of Fortune’ fighting for the Ukrainians says they’ve got four ours left to live when they are sent into the ‘meat grinder’ we prepared for them. We are utterly cruel, while aiming for ‘Regime Change’ in Russia, and NATo expansion, which is why NATO provoked this war. And we are failing to boot.

      Various Western sources and Ukrainian military are saying they already ran out of everything, and the US and Europe are admitting they can’t keep up with the demand of ammunition. They are throwing plenty of money at it, but the producers of shells are already working on full capacity, and they may be ready to produce 90.000 shells per month in a couple of years, which is what Russia is using per day right now. What on earth are we doing?

      • TTG says:


        Putin had no intention to enforce the Minsk Accords. If he did, he wouldn’t have recognized the DNR/LNR as independent countries just prior to his invasion. That act by itself, put the final nail in the Accords’ coffin, although no one, apparently, ever saw it as anything more than a temporary ceasefire. But you’re right about the West’s capacity to produce ammunition. Ukraine is using it faster than we are producing it. The Russians are in the same boat.

      • blue peacock says:

        “…you are mistaken on almost all counts. From my own perspective..”


        OK. Of course you are convinced that your perspective is correct and anyone else with a different perspective is incorrect. Isn’t that how most folks are? I am just stating the facts.

        – The Russian army invaded Ukraine. Why, who cares?
        – The Ukrainian army has resisted the invasion. How, who cares?
        – The Russian army is still battling it out a year later.
        – The much smaller Ukrainian army in a year of battle has pushed the Russian army out of the Kharkiv and Kherson region that they previously occupied.
        – Putin is no closer to his purported aims of “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine than he was when he invaded his smaller neighbor.
        – The Russian army has taken significant losses in blood and treasure in this war and their military has been proven to be not of “super-power” class.

        Based on these facts, one can make a calculated speculation that there is a non-negligible probability that the Ukrainian army could breakthrough Russian army defensive lines in parts of the current frontline.

        • Jake says:

          BP, TTG.

          Recognising the independence of the LPR and DPR did not put the final nail into the coffin of the ‘Minsk Accords’. The ‘Collective West’ put the nail in it right from the start, as they never had any intention to live up to it. This is no longer just my opinion, although it was from way back before this ‘SMO’ started, but confirmed by the ‘Western’ parties which signed it in bad faith.

          However, shortly after kicking off the ‘SMO’, Russia paused its operation for a day, hoping for a sign from Ukraine, or the cynical NATO powers, that they would honour their signatures after all. That would have cancelled the ‘SMO’, and restored the pathway to the ‘Minsk Accords’, but that sign never came, obviously, since the ‘Collective West’ needed this Russian interference to make Russia relive its eighties ‘Afghanistan’ experience, using the Neonazi groups and special forces trained by NATO as ‘Stay Behind’ military, and bleed Russia ‘White’, like Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda had served the US in this role back then.

          However, Russia didn’t fall into this same old trap. Phase two of the ‘SMO’ called for powerplay besieging the most important cities, without actually moving on them, while clearing the fortifications along the Sea of Azov, and taking the Zaporizhzhia power plant, while creating a secure landbridge to Crimea. Hopefully that would result in a negotiated settlement, and it nearly did, in Istanbul.

          When that failed as well, the gloves came off. But not for a War of Conquest, but for a War of Attrition. Russia is grinding the Ukrainian forces down, levelling the fortifications and everything in it, using superior artillery, and bombers now that Ukraine practically lost all of its air defence capability on countering missile strikes, and missiles, which are far from depleted.

          By the looks of it Ukraine will kick off their Spring Offensive soon, throwing everything they’ve got at the Russians, in a ‘Now or Never’ last ditch effort. This is not my opinion. Several European leaders told Ukraine that they are unable to keep up with demand, because they lack the capacity to produce shells and artillery, and everything else.

          Now, apparently, the two of you are of the opinion that the BBC, and other sources, are lying when they claim that Russia lost ‘only’ 16.000 men, leaving them with hundreds of thousands of very capable, recently mobilized and fully trained soldiers to counter this Offensive, because Ukraine lost far more soldiers. Well over 200.000 according to various Western sources. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but you are correct that my observations (through sources I trust) are heralding a tragic Ukrainian defeat. Because Russia ‘came prepared’. In accordance with this wisdom: ‘Speak Softly, and Carry a BIG Stick’.

          They are mass producing missiles, ammunition, tanks and drones, and I’m done with those ‘reports’ from ‘Western’ Intelligence that Russia is facing shortages as well. They are not. There are video clips from Bakhmut where you can hear one or more rounds of artillery being fired every second. Ukrainian soldiers claim they do not see their opponent, and the vast majority of their losses is due to artillery and bombs.

          If those who are cheering for Ukraine on these pages are wrong, they have blood on their hands. A lot of it! And they denied the country a chance to save itself, since Russia is not interested in occupying the country, at all. With every new day, Ukraine’s future is looking even darker. I wish it would have been within my powers to stop this stupid ‘Regime Change’ strategy for Russia conquocted by these Neocon warmongers. I cry for those who have been used as cannon fodder for this purpose, and the survivors, who will wake up under massive debt.

  20. Jake says:

    So you save children from being shelled by Ukrainian forces, and you are prosecuted for doing so. Is this a ‘Babylon Bee” topic? 14.000 people died because of Ukrainian shelling of civilian areas in the Donbas from 2014 till 2022. Without the ICC lifting a finger. Who are these people?

    • TTG says:


      Not all those 14,000 were killed by Ukrainian shelling. The Ukrainians lost 4,400 fighters. The Separatists lost 6,500 fighters. About 3,500 civilians on both sides lost their lives. There were also around 500 Russians fighters killed. Most of this occurred in the first two years of the war. In the six years between that fighting and the current Russian invasion, 365 civilians on both sides of the line of contact were killed. Half were to unexploded ordinance.

      • Jake says:

        And your point is? In 2014 Porochenko decided to start a war against his fellow countrymen, who wanted their duly elected president back, and not this Chocolate oligarch with designs to get rich quick from dancing to Victoria Nuland’s tune, park his money on accounts in Panama, buy a nice house in London, and get the hell out of Dodge before his son could be drafted for this war. The people who died on the ‘Separatist’ side were people defending their turf, and their families, against brutal NeoNazi battalions who took time off from work to shell their fellow countrymen from fortifications they built around the LPR and DPR, with the help of NATO, using NATO supplied arms. While they were supposed to work on this ‘Minsk Accord’ in order to save the peace.

        But as we now know, without a shadow of a doubt, Ukraine, nor NATO, had any intention at all to work towards peace, as Ukraine and its people were prepared as cannon-fodder in an attempt to change the regime in Russia, which is a total disaster, as Russia turned this war into a war of attrition, instead of a war of conquest, as NATO had been hoping for. But Ukraine and their ‘Collective West’ partners continue to shell the city of Donetsk on a daily basis, and other populated areas as well. Evacuating the civilian population to save them from these horrors is simply humane, and it started as Ukraine pumped up the volume on its daily shelling, from February 17th last year, before the ‘SMO’ kicked off. I do not even begin to understand how someone could argue against such a move. Unless they are disappointed because it denies them the chance to create ‘Time Magazine’ frontpages with dead children, and accuse Putin. Tell me that is not what you would like to see, please!

        • TTG says:


          Yanukovych, the duly elected president, high tailed it to Moscow by way of Crimea. If he and his supporters stayed in Kyiv, he could have and most likely would have withstood an impeachment vote. He sealed his own fate. Poroshenko, also a duly elected president, remained in Ukraine even as Russian forces attempted to take Kyiv and remains there today supporting Zelenskiy, the man who beat him in the 2019 election. He’s no saint, b ut he’s a hell of a better man than Yanukovych.

          Any increased shelling in the Donbas in the weeks and days leading up to Russia’s invasion was due to the separatists. The Ukrainians were under strict orders not to respond to these provocations and give Russia a ready excuse to begin their invasion.

          • Jake says:

            Yanukovich did not ‘hightail’ to Moscow, but went on tour to those areas where he was known to have plenty of support, to prepare the voters for early elections, as he had agreed to with the ‘opposition’, the French the Germans and the Poles. Which proved to be the first Big Lie by NATO countries, ahead of the ‘Minsk Accords’, as ‘unknown’ people attacked the convoy they thought he was in the very next day, killing his staff, but Yanukovitch had flown there. He, at that stage, understood he was a target of the same people who organised that coup, targeting both police and protesters at Maidan to get it going, as published in an academic journal, and stated by the BBC at the time in a live broadcast.


            He saved his life by jumping over the fence, into Russia, or they would have executed him with no vote at all.

            The OSCE reported shelling from Ukrainian positions from February 17th 2022 onward, but it doesn’t mean all that much now, with regard to what one should do with orphans and children who lost their parents in this ill fated attempt to force Regime Change in Russia, or signed off on paperwork which brought them into custody of the authorities, since the parents feared for the lives of the children, while they themselves did not want to leave there homes.

            And last time I checked, Porochenko and Zelensky were at each other’s throats, with Porochenko being charged with treason, and lobbying in Brussels as recently as in January, while he took his conscript-age son to London to escape the meat grinder.

          • TTG says:


            Poroshenko is in Ukraine and stated his full support for his country’s and his president’s policies in an interview with the VOA on 15 March. Before that he was on Capitol Hill in DC lobbying on behalf of Zelenskiy and Ukraine. And before that trip to DC, he was in Kherson and Bakhmut. Did he take his son to London? Quite possible. I said he’s no saint.

  21. Poul says:

    A non-issue. It’s just for the headline. Giving how the US reacts to the ICC when they dare to think on stepping on US toes.


    “The United States threatened Monday to arrest and sanction judges and other officials of the International Criminal Court if it moves to charge any American who served in Afghanistan with war crimes. “

  22. Chrisitan Chuba says:

    If almost all of the 8,000 children are genuine orphans (not an unreasonable number), relocating them from an active war zone makes sense. Now the question is should they go to Russia or automatically be sent to western Ukraine?

    If Ukrainian is their first language, I say yes, return them to Ukraine. If it is Russian then going to Russia makes sense as they would be Ukrainized if sent west, forced to learn Ukrainian and join the Ukrainian (not Russian) Orthodox church.

    It’s a war zone, orphans should be sent to a safe location.

    • Yeah, Right says:

      For argument’s sake let’s reject Russia’s claim to these territories and insist that this is Russian-occupied territory.

      In which case this is what Geneva Convention IV has to say:

      “Art. 49. Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”

      “Nevertheless, the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand. Such evacuations may not involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds of the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is impossible to avoid such displacement. Persons thus evacuated shall be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased.”

      That last paragraph is the important part, since it is indisputable that “hostilities in the area” have not ceased.

      So have a look at the quote from the indictment: [Putin] “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation”.

      The conflict in this area is ongoing, which makes for an imperative military reason why these children need to be evacuated from that very area.

      The Russians can indeed persuasively argue they can’t “avoid such displacement” since it is impossible to leave those orphans there and it would be unconscionable to hand those children over to the very people who are shelling their homes.

      Based on what had been quoted by TTG I can’t for the life of me see how the ICC could hope to convict Putin right now. Not while the conflict is still raging.

      And, honestly, consider this: the Russians may very well rebuilt those homes and return those orphans to their next of kin when the conflict ends.

      In which case there simply is no case to answer: the Russians will have done things by the book and the ICC will have egg all over its face.

  23. Yeah, Right says:

    TTG: “Comment: This abduction of Ukrainian children falls under the definition of genocide under the 1948 Genocide Convention.”

    Well, no, and the ICC indictment doesn’t appear to accuse Putin of such.
    The court would have no chance of making such a charge stick.

    “Article 6
    For the purpose of this Statute, “genocide” means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such”

    “Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

    The ICC has to prove that Putin had an “intent” to destroy Ukrainian nationality and, furthermore, that he “intended” to carry this out by “forcibly transferring” those orphans.

    Good luck with the ICC proving either, since the Russians can simply argue – quite truthfully – that Ukrainians are still shelling the houses and institutions that these orphans have been sheltering in, and therefore the Russians have a duty of care to get those kiddies out from under that shelling.

    That is indisputable, and it makes the ICC’s case look extraordinarily weak.

    • TTG says:

      Yeah, Right,

      This is from the ICC’s arrest warrant for both Putin and Lvova-Belova:

      “allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation (under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute).”

    • Yeah, Right says:

      Well, this is good. Progress of sorts.

      Because now you and I BOTH agree that the ICC does not believe that Vladimir Putin is guilty of the crime of Genocide according to the Rome Statute.

      What made you change your mind?

      Both Article 8(2)(a) and 8(2)(b) relate to “War Crimes”, not to “Genocide”, and the text of those articles is a *direct* lift from the text of Geneva Convention IV of 1949. Article 49 of GCV, in fact.

      Now, here is the problem that the ICC faces according to its own statute:
      Article 7(2)(d) provides this help definition: ” ‘Deportation or forcible transfer of population’ means forced displacement of the persons concerned by expulsion or other coercive acts from the area in which they are lawfully present, WITHOUT GROUNDS PERMITTED UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW;” (my italics, obviously).

      So it is illegal, unless the defendant can point to some other article of International Law that makes it legal.

      Q: Could Putin point to such a provision of International Law that permits him to deport or forcibly transfer those orphans?
      A: Why, yes. Yes, he can.

      I pointed to it myself in my reply to Chris Chuba and helpfully for Putin it is in that very same Article 49 of GCV:
      “Nevertheless, the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand. Such evacuations may not involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds of the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is impossible to avoid such displacement. Persons thus evacuated shall be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased.”

      There is a war on. On of the belligerents – Ukraine – is busy shelling the homes of these orphans. The other belligerent – Russia – is therefore obliged by the imperative needs of the security of those orphans to evacuate them out from under that shelling.

      Putin can’t hand them over to the Ukrainian authorities, since those are the very same authorities who are shelling those children.

      Anywhere else inside Russian-controlled Ukraine is, obviously, also a war zone (HIMARS and the ever-so-exciting JDAM-ER glide bombs makes certain of that) so Russia it is.

      There is, simply put, absolutely no chance that the ICC can make that case stick *while* this war is still raging.

      What, exactly, would they do if Putin flew into the Hague tomorrow and said “OK, fine, let’s get this over with”? Because thanks to that quote from GCV the ICC has no case to make *while* this war is still raging.

      None whatsoever. Zip. Zero. Nada.

      They could have waited until after the war has finished, and then issue that arrest warrant upon the non-return of those children. Legally-speaking there might be some logic to it, though politically that would be, ahem, unwise.

      The ICC screwed the pooch on this one.

      • TTG says:

        Yeah, Right,

        The Rome Statute does not mention genocide in any way. It establishes the ICC. The “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” defines “forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” as genocide and an international crime whether it is committed in peacetime or during war. Such crimes are tried in the state in which they are committed, not by the ICC in the Hague. But it would take a defense team of Giuliani and Powell to try to argue that crimes that fall under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute do not also fall under the definition of genocide. It would probably be about as successful as their “big lie” legal gambits.

        Your proposed line of defense of Russia’s child kidnapping and reeducation program may not be as absurd as my hypothetical Giuliani/Powell defense, but I feel it is also grasping at straws. Many of those children were outright taken from Ukrainian parents after the fighting passed them by, not from orphanages. Others were taken by trickery. The parents were told the children were going to a short “summer camp” and they were then never returned. Those actions cannot be painted as any kind of humanitarian gesture.
        The chances that Putin and Lvova-Belova are ever brought to the Hague and before the ICC are close to zero, but it will make foreign travel for those two problematic. It will also make Russia’s eventual normalization of relations with the West more difficult.

        • LeaNder says:

          The Rome Statute does not mention genocide in any way. It establishes the ICC. …

          The whole paragraph is interesting for me, TTG. Might explain why some of your earlier responses puzzled me.

          Let’s make sure we are on the same page. Take a look at the, PDF file link below: Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, page 4, contents:

          Article 5 Crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court 3
          Article 6 Genocide 3
          Article 7 Crimes against humanity 3
          Article 8 War crimes 4
          Article 8 Crime of aggression

          • TTG says:


            You’re absolutely right. Article 6 of the Rome Statute uses the same wording as article II of the Genocide Convention. I don’t know how I missed that. But that begs the question, why did the ICC cite only article 8 in the arrest warrants and not article 6 which speaks directly to the abduction of children? I doubt it’s an oversight. Did they intend to leave open the possibility of an eventual trial in Ukraine under the Genocide Convention separate from an ICC trial in the Hague? Neither one is likely to occur.

        • Yeah, Right says:

          I did not realise there were TWO Rome Statites of the International Court.

          Obviously there is, since your copy “does not mention genocide in any way”, whereas my copy devotes all of Article 6 to the Crime of Genocide.

          I’m actually curious where you got your copy from, since I downloaded my copy from the ICC website.

          And my copy does contain this paragraph: “Deportation or forcible transfer of population’ means forced displacement of the persons concerned by expulsion or other coercive acts from the area in which they are lawfully present, WITHOUT GROUNDS PERMITTED UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW;”

          I am quite confident that the last six words in that paragraph ensures that the ICC has no case to make in the trial of ICC vs Vladimir Putin.

          Because according to those six words the defendant need only draw everyone’s attention to Article 49 of GCV to demonstrate “GROUNDS PERMITTED UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW;”

          Would you mind searching your copy of the Rome Statute for that paragraph?

          I assume it is there, but you never know..

          I am not grasping at straws: I am pointing out that the Rome Statute *itself* defines what the phrase “deportation and forcible transfer”, and that *very* *definition* contains an “out” that Putin could drive a T-90 tank through.

          • TTG says:

            Yeah, Right,

            See my answer to LeaNder. Somehow I missed an entire article in the Rome Statute devoted to genocide. Maybe it was the exact wording in both documents that threw me. I was wrong and you were right in this matter. But I still don’t see how your defense holds any water concerning the kidnapping of children from Ukrainian parents. It might help explain away the taking of children from orphanages in Mariupol where the Russians bombed all city services out of existence, but not with the “deportation and forcible transfer” of children from their parents, often in filtration camps. And it certainly won’t help defend the use of reeducation camps for those children.

          • Yeah, Right says:

            Let me explain from first principles, because that is how it would be fought out in the courtroom.
            1) The ICC can only prosecute crimes that are defined as within its remit by the Rome Statute. To step outside that remit renders the case “Ultra Vires” and the ICC becomes a Kangaroo Court.
            2) The ICC can’t cherry pick which phrases in the Rome Statute it applies to the case, and which phrases it will ignore.

            Nothing in (1) or (2) are especially noteworthy, they are simple statements of the obvious.

            Which leads to this….
            3) If there is an Article in the Rome Statute that says, in so many words, “Doing *this* is a crime, unless you can show some other International Law that permits it” then the court can’t laser-focus on the first part while ignoring the second part.

            As in: in the situation in (2) the defendant need only point to *that* bit of International Law and say “that permits what I have done” and the case against them completely falls apart.

            Again, a hypothetical that is in no way controversial: IF the Rome Statute allows an “out” for the defendant THEN the ICC can’t deny them that right of defence.

            Now, with all of that out of the way, let’s look at this particular rap sheet in ICC vs Putin.

            The rap sheet says this: “allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation (under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute).”

            So we are talking about the crime of “deportation and forcible transfer”.

            But, think about it: what does the phrase “deportation and forcible transfer” actually mean?

            What is the definition of “deportation and forcible transfer” that the court must work with?

            Because I take it that both you and I agree that the court must have a legal definition of “deportation and forcible transfer”, correct?

            So what is it?

            We don’t need to argue over it, because the Rome Statute *actually* provides a definition.

            I’ve already included it in previous posts so I won’t repeat it, except to say that this definition is found in Article 7(2)(d) of the Rome Statute.

            Now, again, this bears repeating: if such a definition is in the Rome Statute then the court is *not* free to make up a new one. Article 7(2)(d) says what “deportation and forcible transfer” means, no more, nothing less.

            And, again, one more time, this never gets old: in that definition of “deportation and forcible transfer” there is an “out” for the defendant.


            Now, so sorry, I defy you to interpret that line as making Article 7(2)(d) mean anything other than “Doing *this* is a crime, unless you can show some other International Law that permits it”

            Please, show me where I have misinterpreted Article 7(a)(d)’s definition of “deportation and forcible transfer”.

            Because I am quite confident that I have not misunderstood that text.

            There remains only one thing left: to ask if there is, indeed, some other article of International Law that permits what Vladimir Putin has done.

            And, again, the answer is “Yes. Yes, there is”.

            Geneva Convention V, Article 49, second paragraph.

            Now, again, I am not grasping as straws by saying all that: rather, I am proceeding logically from legal first principles to the specifics of this particular case.

            While this war continues to be waged and whilst the Ukrainians continue to pour artillery shells into Donetsk City then the ICC has *no* case to make against Putin, and the court’s very worse nightmare would be if some enterprising Soldier of Fortune managed to kidnap ol’ Vlad and present him to the Hague in a burlap bag.

            The course would be aghast if that were to happen, because they simply have no counter-argument to make when the case goes down like this:
            Prosecutor: Blah, Blah, Blah
            Putin: Yeah, but the kiddies were being shelled.
            Prosecutor: Waffle, Waffle, Waffle.
            Putin: Yeah, but the kiddies were being shelled.
            Prosecutor: Harrumph, Harrumph, Harrumph
            Putin: Yeah, but the kiddies were being shelled.

            That single retort is Putin’s “out”, and the court is not going to be able to get around it.

          • TTG says:

            Yeah, Right,

            Putin’s out as you call it is pure bullshit, except for a few cases… maybe. The fighting was over in Mariupol when families were taken to filtration camps where adults and children were not allowed to evacuate to Ukrainian controlled territory. That scenario played out in other areas of occupied Ukraine. In Kherson, Ukrainian parents were tricked into sending their children to short term summer camps in Crimea with the children never being returned to their parents. Some entered the Russian adoption system from those camps. Your defense of “the kiddies were being shelled” won’t stand up to cross-examination.

          • Skinner says:

            A good thing neither Russia or Ukraine possesses artillery, cruise missiles or drones because then the entire country could become a war zone and people could be in danger of dying at anytime.

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