The Russian government has listed the British prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on its wanted list. This comes after the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of overseeing the abduction of Ukrainian children. The arrest order specifically targets Karim Khan, the ICC prosecutor since 2021, and states that Russia’s interior ministry is seeking his detention.
Russian authorities opened a criminal investigation into International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan after the court based in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin. The Russian Interior Ministry seeks to detain Karim Khan in the wake of allegations against the Russian president over abducted Ukrainian children. Besides Khan, the Russian authorities charge the ICC judges Tomoko Akane, Rosario Salvatore Aitala, and Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez.
The Proxy War: On social media, most notably on TikTok, there has been a heated discussion for months about whether Russia should see the Ukrainian invasion as an act of aggression or a response to Ukraine’s aspiration to join NATO. In any case, there is more or less agreement that the war in Ukraine is only a proxy war in the struggle between the U.S. and Russia. This includes the ICC, which is part of the Western Alliance.
In March, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, on allegations of facilitating the forced deportation of thousands of children from Ukraine to Russia, where they were placed with Russian families.
Khan played a significant role in the arrest warrant against Putin as the ICC prosecutor. Before public disclosure of the accusations, Khan visited Ukraine four times, ruling that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for child abductions.
The arrest warrant for Putin has sparked a strong reaction from the Kremlin and Putin’s allies. Former President Dmitry Medvedev called for a missile strike on the ICC. At the same time, Vyacheslav Volodin, the chair of the State Duma, described the warrant as an act of aggression against Russia.