Sep 24, 2023  |  
 | Remer,MN
Sponsor:  WISH-TEXT.COM 
Sponsor:  WISH-TEXT.COM 
Sponsor:  WISH-TEXT.COM 
Sponsor:  WISH-TEXT.COM Craft Personalized Messages With Ease! Wish It? Text It!
Sponsor:  WISH-TEXT.COM Craft Personalized Messages With Ease! Wish It? Text It!
National Review
National Review
18 Mar 2023
Jeff Zymeri

NextImg:Putin Visits Occupied Crimea after Being Charged with War Crimes

Russian president Vladimir Putin traveled to occupied Crimea Saturday to mark the ninth anniversary of the peninsula’s “annexation” from Ukraine by the Russian Federation.

The surprise visit comes just one day after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Putin for alleged war crimes. The ICC accused the Russian leader and Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian commissioner for children’s rights, of bearing personal responsibility for the unlawful abduction of Ukrainian children. The Court’s president Piotr Hofmański said in a video address that “the ICC is doing its part of work as a court of law. The judges issued arrest warrants. The execution depends on international cooperation.”

The Ukrainian source Children of War reports that more than 16,000 children have been illegally deported since the war began.

On Saturday, Putin was greeted by the Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, and defiantly visited an art school and a children’s center, according to Reuters.

The Russian leader has yet to address ICC’s arrest warrant himself, but a spokesman called it “null and void,” and the questions raised by the Court “outrageous and unacceptable.” The Court’s jurisdiction is not recognized by Russia.

To Ukraine however, the ICC’s move is a major breakthrough. President Joe Biden also told reporters Friday that Putin has “clearly committed war crimes” and that the arrest warrant was “justified,” though he did point out the U.S. does not recognize the Court’s jurisdiction either.

In 2014, Crimea was seized by Russia and an illegal annexation referendum was held. A similar strategy was used by Russia to annex four other Ukrainian oblasts — Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia — last year. Ukraine has vowed to expel Russia from all of these provinces.

But Putin will not relinquish the peninsula easily.

“Obviously, security issues take top priority for Crimea and Sevastopol now. We will do everything needed to fend off any threats,” explained Putin Friday, as quoted by the Associated Press.

The Ukrainian military reported that between Friday morning and Saturday morning, there had been widespread Russian attacks, including 34 airstrikes. Falling debris hit Kherson oblast, damaging seven houses and a kindergarten.

Putin’s trip to Crimea precedes Chinese president Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow next week.

Xi will visit in an attempt to shore up support for Russia and deepen bilateral cooperation in the international arena, the Guardian reported. It is Xi’s first foreign visit since securing a third term as China’s president at the annual parliamentary session on March 10. Western observers view the upcoming trip as important to Putin while stalemate predominates on the front.

Beijing has denied U.S. claims it is considering sending lethal arms to Russia. However, it was confirmed for the first time this week that “dual-use” equipment — commercial items that can also be used on the battlefield in Ukraine — are being sent from China to Russia.

Note: You can use @chatbot mention tag to interact with ChatGPT language model in comments. Neither your comment, nor the generated responses will appear in "Comments" or "News & Views" streams.