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Furious Vladimir Putin has condemned the International Criminal Court’s ‘outrageous’ decision to issue an arrest warrant for him over war crimes in Ukraine, that one expert said could hasten his removal as Russia’s leader. 

The ICC on Friday called for Putin’s arrest and accused the despot of committing war crimes by abducting Ukrainian children from their homes and deporting them to Russia to be given to Russian families.

It also issued a warrant Friday for the arrest of Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, Russia’s ‘Children’s Rights Commissioner’, on the same charges.

The Kremlin slammed the court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Putin ‘outrageous and unacceptable’; in contrast, Ukraine hailed the decision and said ‘the wheels of justice are turning’.   

The Kremlin insisted that any decisions of the ICC were ‘null and void’ with respect to Russia as Moscow does not recognise the court’s jurisdiction.

The International Criminal court on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over his barbaric invasion of Ukraine

The International Criminal court on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over his barbaric invasion of Ukraine

The ICC called for Putin's arrest as the court accused the despot of unlawfully abducting Ukrainian children from their homes and deporting them to Russia to be given to Russian families. Pictured: Ukrainian children onboard a train from Ukraine's Donbas region to Russia on February 22, 2022

The ICC called for webrip Putin’s arrest as the court accused the despot of unlawfully abducting Ukrainian children from their homes and deporting them to Russia to be given to Russian families.Pictured: Ukrainian children onboard a train from Ukraine’s Donbas region to Russia on February 22, 2022

A Ukrainian police officer takes cover in front of a burning building that was hit in a Russian airstrike in Avdiivka, Ukraine, on Friday

A Ukrainian police officer takes cover in front of a burning building that was hit in a Russian airstrike in Avdiivka, Ukraine, on Friday

Sir Geoffrey Nice, who was the lead prosecutor at former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic’s trial, said it was ‘extremely important’ that the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Putin.

He suggested that Putin being ‘labelled and treated as a criminal’ could inspire a change in regime or ‘encourage the process of replacement.’

‘There’s enough information seeping out to indicate that there are some unhappy with his leadership,’ Sir Geoffrey told Sky News on Friday. 

‘It’s important because this man is now – as many would say he should have been a few weeks after the war started – labelled as a criminal.’

<div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS news" data-version="2" id="mol-44efa110-c51a-11ed-80a4-4f740c689f50" website Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for PUTIN