Putin ‘clearly’ committed war crimes, says Biden after ICC arrest warrant – live

Arrest warrant issued for Vladimir Putin over ‘war crimes’ in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has ‘clearly’ committed war crimes and the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to issue an arrest warrant for him was justified, US president Joe Biden said.

“He’s clearly committed war crimes,” Mr Biden said.

Speaking about the arrest warrant slapped on the Russian president by the ICC, Mr Biden added: “Well, I think it’s justified. But the question is – it’s not recognised internationally by us either. But I think it makes a very strong point.”

The global court in Hague has issued an arrest warrant for Mr Putin, with prosecutors accusing Russia’s president of being responsible for war crimes committed in Ukraine.

Mr Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation,” the ICC said.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia doesn’t recognise the ICC and regards its decisions “legally void”.


Putin has clearly committed war crimes, says Biden

Russian president Vladimir Putin has committed war crimes and the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to issue an arrest warrant for him was justified, his US counterpart Joe Biden said yesterday.

“He’s clearly committed war crimes,” Mr Biden said.

Speaking about the warrant from the International Criminal Court, he added: “Well, I think it’s justified. But the question is – it’s not recognized internationally by us either. But I think it makes a very strong point.”

Arpan Rai18 March 2023 03:23


Russia looking to recruit 18-year-olds for war in Ukraine under new law – MoD

Russian authorities are likely preparing to facilitate wider military conscription to resource its military requirements and reduce the age bracket down to 18 years of age from existing 21 years, effectively recruiting high-school graduates for the continuing war in Ukraine.

“On 13 March 2023, Russian Duma deputies introduced a bill to change the age bracket for conscription to men aged 21-30 years, from the current 18-27. The law is likely to be passed, and would come into force in January 2024,” the British defence ministry said today.

It added that Russia has continued to run conscription call-up cycles twice a year since Soviet times. These call-up cycles are distinct from the exceptional ‘partial mobilisation’ of veterans carried out since September 2022, the ministry noted in its latest intelligence update on the grinding war in Ukraine.

“Russia continues to officially bar conscripts from operations in Ukraine, though at least hundreds have probably served through administrative mix ups or after being coerced to sign contracts,” the MoD said.

It added: “Many 18-21 year old men currently claim exemption from the draft due to being in higher education. The authorities are highly likely changing the age bracket to bolster troop numbers by ensuring that students are eventually forced to serve.”

“Even if Russia continues to refrain from deploying conscripts in the war, extra conscripts will free up a greater proportion of professional soldiers to fight,” the ministry said.


UN working on renewing grain export deal

The United Nations is “doing everything possible” to make sure a deal allowing the export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports continues, UN aid chief Martin Griffiths told the Security Council, hours before the pact is due to expire.

He also said “meaningful progress” had been made on a separate pledge by the United Nations to help facilitate Russian food and fertiliser exports, “but impediments remain, notably with regard to payment systems.”

“It is vital for global food security that both of these agreements continue and should be fully implemented,” Griffiths said.

The Kremlin said Russia was extending the agreement for 60 days.

Jane Dalton18 March 2023 07:00


Ukraine’s main focus remains on Bakhmut and Donbas cities, says Zelensky

Volodymyr Zelensky has said that the main focus of Ukrainian forces remains on heavily contested territories in Donbas.

“I held a meeting of the staff of the supreme commander-in-chief today. The main focus is on the battles in Donbas: Avdiyivka, Bakhmut, Vuhledar, Maryinka, Bilohorivka,” he said.

Mr Zelensky added: “The main focus is on our soldiers, how to support our brigades, how to give them more strength, opportunities, more weapons and protection.”

“As always, the commander-in-chief, intelligence, task force commanders reported. The commander of Khortytsia group General Syrsky, the commander of Tavria group General Tarnavsky. It is these groups that operate in Donbas,” he said.

Arpan Rai18 March 2023 06:37


China’s plan would ratify ‘Russian conquest’, White House says

Any China-brokered ceasefire would legitimise the illegal takeover of Ukrainian territory and would not gain support from the US, the White House has said:

Jane Dalton18 March 2023 06:10


Xi-Putin meet next week: What to expect

The two leaders are likely to discuss sanctions evasion schemes and Chinese interest in mediating a negotiated settlement to the war in Ukraine, according to the US-based think tank the Institute for the Study of War.

It pointed out that the Kremlin has stated both presidents “plan to sign unspecified bilateral documents and discuss topical issues in Russia’s and China’s comprehensive partnership”.

“Chinese companies have reportedly sold rifles, drone parts, and equipment to Russian entities that could be used for military purposes, and Western intelligence agencies have stated that Chinese leadership is considering the provision of lethal equipment to Russia,” the ISW said in its latest assessment of the continuing war.

It added that the Chinese president likely plans to discuss sanctions evasion schemes with MRPutin and Russian officials to support the sale and provision of Chinese equipment to Russia.

“Xi also likely aims to promote Chinese efforts aiming to position China as an impartial third-party mediator for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. China released a broad 12-point peace plan for the war in Ukraine on 24 February, although it remains unclear what more definitive Chinese proposals for a negotiated settlement to the war would encompass,” it said.

The Chinese leader, Russia’s closest-ally amid the war on Ukraine, “may seek to parlay his success in mediating the restoration of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia into a larger effort to mediate in this war,” the think-tank noted.

Arpan Rai18 March 2023 05:31


Air strike in Donetsk

A multi-storey building burns after being attacked by a Russian air strike in Avdiivka, Donetsk:


Jane Dalton18 March 2023 04:55


Moscow says ICC’s decisions ‘legally void’ after arrest warrant for Putin

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has said Russia doesn’t recognise the International Criminal Court and regards its decisions “legally void”.

The international court’s move to issue an arrest warrant for Russian president Vladimir Putin over war crimes is “outrageous and unacceptable.” Mr Peskov refused to comment when asked if Mr Putin would avoid making trips to countries where he could be arrested on the ICC’s warrant.

Arpan Rai18 March 2023 04:02


Arrest warrant issued for ‘pariah’ Putin over war crimes in Ukraine

An arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin has been issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, which accuses him of war crimes by taking hundreds of Ukrainian children from orphanages.

The court accuses Mr Putin and his children’s rights commissioner, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, of “unlawful deportation” of children “from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation”.

It means the court’s 123 member states must detain Mr Putin and him over for trial if he sets foot on their territory.

Read the full story here:

Arpan Rai18 March 2023 03:48


Washington says there is no doubt Russia committing war crimes

There is no doubt Russia is committing war crimes in Ukraine, a US State Department spokesperson said after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin.

“There is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes and atrocities (in) Ukraine, and we have been clear that those responsible must be held accountable,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

“This was a decision the ICC prosecutor reached independently based on the facts before him.”

The US, which is not a member of the ICC, has separately concluded that Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine and supports accountability for perpetrators of war crimes, the spokesperson added.

Jane Dalton18 March 2023 03:15


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