Fact Check: Vladimir Putin Has NOT Been Arrested

Fact Check

  • by: Rebaz Majeed
Fact Check: Vladimir Putin Has NOT Been Arrested No Evidence

Has Vladimir Putin been arrested? No, that's not true. While the International Criminal Court had issued an arrest warrant against him, for alleged war crimes, there is no evidence that he has been arrested. The Russian President made an address at the country's Victory Day parade on May 9, 2023 in Moscow, days after this claim was posted. The event was extensively covered by broadcasters including NBC and BBC.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) where it was published by a TikTok account on May 1, 2023 with the title "The Russian President Vladimir Putin has been arrested". The video started by saying:

Breaking news that we've just received: As you can see on our screen, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of committing war crimes in Ukraine.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

TikTok screenshot

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Fri May 12 08:17:08 2023 UTC)

On March 17, 2023, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Judges issued an arrest warrant for the Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of committing war crimes in its war against Ukraine. In an article that has been published by the ICC Web Page, it says:

"Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, born on 7 October 1952, President of the Russian Federation, is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation (under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute). The crimes were allegedly committed in Ukrainian occupied territory at least from 24 February 2022. There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes, (i) for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others (article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute), and (ii) for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts, or allowed for their commission, and who were under his effective authority and control, pursuant to superior responsibility (article 28(b) of the Rome Statute)."

While this decision might limit Putin's ability to travel internationally, the Kremlin dismissed the allegations of the International Criminal Court. Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said:

"The decisions of the international criminal court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view."

  Rebaz Majeed

Rebaz Majeed is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. He is a multilingual freelance journalist and researcher. He worked for five years as a reporter for Voice of America (VOANews) in Iraq. Currently, he is pursuing his MA in Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East at Free Berlin University. Rebaz brings extensive knowledge and expertise to his role at LeadStories.

Read more about or contact Rebaz Majeed

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