The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over his alleged involvement in forcibly deporting thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia. Although Russia has dismissed the warrant, it has been praised by Ukrainian and Western leaders. While it is unlikely that Putin will face trial, the warrant does limit his ability to travel.
In a separate incident, Putin arrived in Sevastopol, Crimea to celebrate the nine-year anniversary of Russia’s declared annexation of the peninsula. During his visit, Putin is expected to participate in the opening of a cultural-historical monument. The annexation of Crimea occurred in 2014 when thousands of Russian-speaking troops, known as “little green men,” poured into the peninsula, completing its annexation in a referendum that was deemed illegitimate by Ukraine and much of the world.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to retake Crimea from Russia, stating that it is their land and their sea and mountains. However, Russia has blamed Ukraine for attacks in Crimea over the past year, including a massive explosion that damaged part of the bridge connecting the peninsula to Russia, prompting heavy Russian strikes on Ukraine in October 2022.