STORY: The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belowa on charges of war crimes. According to the President of the Court, Piotr Hofmanski, the allegations are the deportation of Ukrainian children and the forced transfer of Ukrainians to the Russian Federation. Russia immediately reiterated that the criminal court in The Hague was meaningless. “The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, not even in legal terms,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on her Telegram channel. In Kiev, Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin welcomed the court’s decision as “historic for Ukraine and the entire international legal system”. The head of the presidential office, Andriy Yermak, said the issuing of the arrest warrant was “only the beginning”. The warrants are a first step towards a trial. However, previous trials show that holding high-level officials to account is difficult. In more than 20 years, there have only been five convictions for so-called core crimes. None of the convicts are top representatives of a power structure. On Thursday, a commission of inquiry commissioned by the UN published a report according to which Russia had committed numerous war crimes in Ukraine. Russia has consistently denied committing atrocities or attacking civilians.