What has happened in the last hours
On the 387th day of the war started by Russia against Ukraine, these are the key data at 8:00 p.m. this Friday, March 17:
The International Criminal Court orders to arrest Putin for the theft of children. The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday for war crimes committed in Ukraine. The judges consider that there are “reasonable grounds to maintain that [el mandatario] is responsible for the illegal deportation of minors to Russia from the occupied areas of Ukraine. The arrest warrant includes Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian commissioner for children’s rights, attached to the Russian presidency.
The Kremlin considers the arrest warrant against Putin “outrageous and unacceptable”. The Kremlin has received with outrage the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court against Vladimir Putin and the defender of national minors, Maria Lvova-Belova, for the forced transfer of minors from Ukraine. “Russia, like other states, does not recognize the jurisdiction of this court and any such decision is void from a legal point of view for Russia,” said the president’s spokesman, Dmitri Peskov.
Zelensky, on the arrest warrant against Putin: “A historic decision”. The Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, has celebrated this Friday the arrest warrant of the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, describing it in a televised speech as “a historic decision, from where the historical responsibility will begin”. Ukraine has spent months denouncing that the Kremlin is kidnapping children from orphanages, residences and refugee camps and taking them to Russian territory, where they are educated as Russians. “It would be impossible to carry out such an operation without ordering it from its top leader,” Zelenski pointed out.
Turkey approves Finland’s entry into NATO. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced this Friday, as expected, that he gives his approval to Finland’s entry into NATO. “The approval process has started,” he said at a press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, on an official visit to Ankara.
Ukraine says MiG-29 fighters will ‘help but not improve’ war situation. Over the next few weeks Ukraine will receive Soviet-made MiG-29 fighters, but according to Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat their arrival will not significantly improve the war situation for Ukraine. “It will strengthen our capabilities,” Ignat acknowledged in a televised interview. “They can carry out certain air defense functions like patrolling the airspace, covering other air units and launching missiles.” “But I have to say from the beginning that the Soviet equipment is not effective against cruise missiles and drones”, he has continued.
Zelenski’s team is already preparing a possible conversation with Xi Jinping. The office of the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenski, “already works” to prepare a possible conversation with the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, who next week will travel to Russia on an official visit to meet with Vladimir Putin. US media have reported that Xi will contact Zelensky in a virtual conversation after speaking with Putin, in an attempt to mediate to seat both parties at the negotiating table.
The Moldovan president: “As long as Ukraine continues to fight, there is no risk of war here”. The president of Moldova, Maia Sandu, said on Friday that she sees no danger of war in Moldova while Russia is fighting in Ukraine, despite what she said are Russian efforts to destabilize the small ex-Soviet republic, which borders Ukraine. During a speech to parliament, Sandu has praised Ukraine’s resistance since Moscow invaded more than a year ago, and she has urged Moldovans to unite behind her bid to join the European Union. “I want to assure our citizens that Moldova is not now in danger of war,” she declared.