March 30, 2023

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

Biden says Putin’s memo is ‘justified’ because British intelligence suggests the Kremlin will expand the age range for conscription

President Joe Biden said on Friday that the International Criminal Court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin was “justified.”

“It’s clear he committed war crimes,” Biden told reporters at the White House. He added that he believed the warrant was “justified”, though he noted that the United States, like Russia, does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction.

His comments came after an ICC warrant accused Putin of a “war crime” of overseeing the illegal abduction and deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia.

It said there were reasonable grounds to believe that Putin bears sole responsibility for the crimes, and that he failed to exercise appropriate control over his subordinates who committed the acts.

An arrest warrant was issued for Maria Alekseevna Lvova Belova, Putin’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights, who the ICC alleged committed similar crimes.

The move sparked outrage in Russia, with Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov dismissing the results. We do not recognize this court, nor do we recognize the jurisdiction of this court. This is how we deal with this, he said in the Telegram post.

Moscow has consistently denied allegations of war crimes, describing them as a “fiction” intended to discredit Russia. Russia’s embassy to the United States said last month that the country had taken in children forced to flee the fighting.

Although Moscow officially withdrew its signature from the ICC’s statute in 2016, the ICC’s move would oblige the court’s 123 member states to arrest Putin and transfer him to the court’s seat in The Hague, Netherlands, if he crosses the border.

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Volunteers carry the remains of an Uragan missile after a monastery was destroyed in the Dolina bombing, Ukraine.Ihor Tkachov/AFP via Getty Images

However, most governments also adhere to the international legal principle that heads of state enjoy legal immunity from other courts.

Inside Russia, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence briefing on Saturday that the Kremlin has ramped up military conscription to meet the needs of the war and is likely to change age rules and restrictions on who is entitled to serve.

Officials in Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, introduced a bill on Monday to change the age range for conscription for men between the ages of 21 and 30, they said in a daily note posted on Twitter. She added that the age group currently ranges between 18 and 27 years, adding that the new law will come into effect in January.

“It is likely that the authorities will change the age range to bolster troop numbers by ensuring that cadets are eventually forced into service,” the briefing said.

Although Russia continues to officially ban recruits from operations in Ukraine, “at least hundreds have likely served through administrative shuffle or forced to sign contracts,” she said.

This would provide a greater proportion of professional soldiers to fight, the briefing said, even if the conscripts were not deployed to the conflict in Ukraine.