The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant Friday for Russian President Vladimir Putin and an official in his office responsible for children's rights because of their alleged involvement in the unlawful deportation and transfer of Ukrainian children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.
The ICC, which is based in The Hague, Netherlands, alleges Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova are responsible for war crimes.
Ukraine has already arrested and convicted some Russian soldiers, all of them low-ranking, for war crimes in Ukraine. The ICC's arrest warrant for Putin and Lvova-Belova marks the international court's first arrest warrant since Russia invaded Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly denied allegations of war crimes in Ukraine.
The ICC did not provide any details about the number of cases or children the allegations refer to, citing the need to protect victims and witnesses and to "safeguard" the ongoing investigation. It said it was making the arrest warrants public because it believed doing so could prevent the "further commission of crimes."