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How Xi Jinping plans to use his meeting with war crimes suspect Vladimir Putin | Observer editorial

The international criminal court has sent a clear message to China and shows the Russian people that their leader’s days in power are numbered

The welcome and overdue indictment of Vladimir Putin for war crimes allegedly committed in Ukraine confirms his position as a global outlaw. The decision by the international criminal court (ICC) is unlikely to lead to his arrest and trial in the foreseeable future. But it does ensure that, from now on, Russia’s president will be a criminal suspect and wanted man, liable to arrest in the ICC’s 123 member states and a huge embarrassment to his country.

Putin’s command responsibility for thousands of heinous war crimes committed in Ukraine has been clear from the start of the war he launched. He and his henchmen have denied any culpability. Russia does not recognise the ICC. The decision to indict Putin for the illegal deportation of children, rather than other crimes, reflects the strength of evidence in these specific cases. But additional charges should and must follow.

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