Zelenskyy: Putin’s arrest warrant marks ‘turning point’, he will be held responsible for ‘every life destroyed’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised the International Criminal Court on Sunday for issuing an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin. The comments came the day before the Russian leader welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The ICC has charged Putin with war crimes, although Russia does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction and is unlikely to hand Putin over the charges.
Nonetheless, Zelenskyy claimed the charges were a “turning point” in the war and showed the international community recognizes the atrocities committed in the Russia-Ukraine war, which reached its one-year milestone last month.
“The evil state will be held responsible for every terrorist act against Ukrainians,” Zelenskyy said in an overnight speech. “This week has finally brought a truly significant international legal outcome for Ukraine, for justice. There is an International Criminal Court arrest warrant for the Russian leader, and that is a turning point.”
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The Ukrainian leader also said the warrant marks an “undeniable” moment when Russia will be held accountable for alleged war crimes over the past year.
“The world understands what is happening. The world sees with what courage and nobility our people are fighting,” he continued.
Putin and Russia will be held “for every strike against Ukraine, for every life destroyed, for every Ukrainian child deported… And, of course, for every manifestation of destabilization of the world caused by Russian aggression,” he said. Zelenskyy.
“Dozens and dozens of other Ukrainian towns and villages have been hit by Russian terrorists this week alone. My condolences to everyone who lost loved ones, loved ones,” the Ukrainian added. “Another week of our defense against the evil state is coming to an end. Another week where every day, every night, the Russian army shelled Ukrainian towns and villages and killed our people.”
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President Putin visited Crimea, a peninsula Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, over the weekend ahead of his meeting in Moscow with President Xi on Monday.
The Chinese government said Xi would leave for Moscow on Monday and stay in Russia until Wednesday. The government did not say when he would leave or what time the meeting was to take place.
The Kremlin said Xi was due to arrive at noon and meet Putin later in the day.
Xi’s meeting was seen as a show of support for Putin and legitimacy for his invasion of Ukraine.
Joseph Torigian, an expert on China-Russia relations at the American University in Washington, said the meeting gives Putin and Xi a chance to show they are “powerful partners”.
The meeting also comes as China-US relations have strained in recent months due to disputes over technology, security and human rights in the Indo-Pacific with China, Taiwan, Japan and North Korea.
“China can signal that it could do even more to help Russia, and that if relations with the United States continue to deteriorate, it could do much more to enable Russia and help Russia in its war against the US. ‘Ukraine,” Torigian said.
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Parallels have also been drawn between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s potential invasion of the island of Taiwan. While Taiwan is internationally recognized as a sovereign territory belonging to China, it has its own government and is democratically governed, unlike mainland China.
The international community has discouraged violence in Ukraine and Taiwan, urging both aggressors to keep the peace.
China has publicly called for peace in Ukraine and told the official Xinhua news agency that its upcoming visit to Russia “will be a journey of friendship, cooperation and peace”.
“A reasonable way to resolve the crisis” can be found if “all parties adopt the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security,” Xi wrote.
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Xi’s meeting with Putin will take place on Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.