ICC chief prosecutor Khan calls on Russia to return Ukrainian children
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan, urged Russia on Monday to bring kidnapped Ukrainian children back to their home country. To anyone who speaks of so-called humanitarian evacuations, he says: “The evidence speaks a different language”. Speaking at a meeting of justice ministers in London, the British lawyer said: “If the statements that this is being done for the sake of the children are even remotely true, send them back to their country of citizenship instead of giving them a foreign passport.”
At Khan’s request, the ICC issued arrest warrants against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvowa-Belowa. They are allegedly responsible for the deportation of Ukrainian children from occupied territories to Russia. “The allegations are indeed serious,” Khan said. “Ukraine is a crime scene, many types of allegations have been received.”
At the conference, chaired by Britain and the Netherlands, Ukraine’s Attorney General Andriy Kostin accused Russian soldiers of “atrocities” and “reckless” attacks on civilians. Russia abducted thousands of Ukrainian children from orphanages and children’s homes. The fact that Russian authorities have simplified adoptions and made children Russian citizens in a fast-track process is clear evidence of a plan to “sever ties with Ukraine and change their Ukrainian heritage.” His agency has so far begun investigations into 72,000 suspected war crimes cases.