March 22, 2023

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Symbolism – abroad – could mean his greatest strength is Vladimir Putin’s undoing

Russian President Vladimir Putin has always enjoyed international travel, and on these trips he has often shown himself to be one of the world’s greatest leaders. However, those times seem to be over now, he believes CNN.

While the Kremlin whistles at the International Criminal Court’s war crimes charges, another reality is emerging within the Kremlin walls, namely that the Russian president’s room for maneuver has been significantly reduced after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against him. He was held accountable for war crimes.

Putin’s greatest weapon: attention

At the 2017 G20 meeting in Hamburg, he spoke for hours alone with Donald Trump, the most influential person in the world at the time. Focused on international attention, he was able to personally manipulate the group’s leaders, one of the advantages of his decades-long power.

His love and use of light in Russia helped reinforce his image as a protector of the people.

Currently, 123 countries in the world – including Hungary – have acceded to the Rome Statute. Countries that have ratified the convention must send the Russian president to The Hague to be tried as a war criminal, so Putin’s options are very limited. One of the first major distractions for the Russian president is the G20 summit in Delhi in September. India, like the US, has not joined the ICC, but the big question is what Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will do if Putin appears in his country in September.

Commenting on Friday’s ruling by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, US President Joe Biden said they had made the right decision as the Russian president had clearly committed war crimes.

The problem is that the ICC is not recognized internationally. But he took a very firm stand

– The President of the United States said it was not surprising that Vladimir Putin indicated that he would not be welcome abroad in the near future.

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Those who tried to hide before

In the future, Vladimir Putin may have to think twice about where he travels because he could easily get himself into a difficult situation with a reckless decision. It is unlikely that he would place his fate in the hands of a foreign court, where he would have little influence even in countries far removed from the ICC.

Of course, there are ICC defendants currently on the run, but none of them have the international reputation of Vladimir Putin. The only president to escape an arrest warrant by Hague authorities is former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has not been brought to justice for 13 years.

However, the arm of international justice stretches far. Former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, who instigated the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, ended up in The Hague in 2001, where he faced multiple war crimes charges and died of a heart attack in prison a few years later. Milosevic was constitutionally removed from office, did not flee Belgrade, and did not expect the Serbian judiciary to hand him over to the International Criminal Court.

Some of his associates, including Bosnian Serb military commander Radko Miladic and Serbian nationalist leader Radovan Karadzic, also tried to escape justice. Miladic was eventually found on one of his cousin’s farms in Belgrade, and Karadzic shaved his head and grew a beard, but that didn’t help either. The two were brought before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, where both were convicted of war crimes and are currently in prison.

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For Putin, there can be only one lesson from these stories: he can run, but he cannot hide. However, he has few allies to rely on, at least for now it seems. One of them could be Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is visiting Moscow on Monday, and the main topic of their meeting is likely to be evasion of anti-Russian sanctions.

We continue to follow the events of the Russian-Ukrainian war, our article on Friday, updated minute by minute You can find it here.

(Cover photo: Vladimir Putin A At the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Summit in Astana on October 14, 2022. (Photo: Contributor/Getty Images)