The International Criminal Court accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of war crimes and issued a warrant for his arrest Friday, a highly symbolic step that deepened his isolation and punctured the aura of impunity that has surrounded him since he ordered troops into Ukraine a year ago.
The court cited Putin’s responsibility for the abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children, thousands of whom have been sent to Russia since the invasion. It also issued a warrant for Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, the public face of the Kremlin-sponsored program that transfers the children out of Ukraine.
There is little prospect of Putin standing trial in a courtroom anytime soon. The International Criminal Court cannot try defendants in absentia, and Russia, which is not a party to the court, dismissed the warrants as "meaningless.”