An international court in The Hague has formally accused Putin of war crimes. Relying on 40 volumes of materials transferred from Ukraine and a variety of additional documents, the International Criminal Court accused Putin of direct involvement in the deportation of 16,000 Ukrainian children to Russian territory! The children were deported from the occupied Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Kharkov.
What does this accusation mean in reality?
Putin didn’t visit Western countries for the past year and is unlikely to come there anytime soon. Moreover, Russia is not a signatory to the Rome Convention of the Hague Tribunal, so the practical chance that he would be arrested as a war criminal is very small.
It is rather a symbolic step — Putin is being accused of war crimes for the first time. Now it would be harder for Western leaders, even if they wanted to, to meet with him and, for instance, negotiate with him. Perhaps, from the Western perspective, this is the first step towards direct attempts to replace the Russian leader.
The other important event passed unnoticed: Turkey has approved Finland’s membership in the NATO alliance. Now all that remains is to wait for the approval of Hungary, which is likely not to obstruct the process, and then Finland will join the alliance.
Finland is a neighbor of Russia and, as you know, even managed to defend its independence in the war with the Soviet Union in the late thirties of the last century. Putin has for years strongly opposed all attempts of Finland to join NATO, fearing the appearance of Alliance forces on his own border in the future. Finland itself did not try to join NATO either, preferring not to complicate its relations with its eastern neighbor.
However, as Russia invaded Ukraine, Finland’s policy changed dramatically. It now wanted to secure itself by becoming part of NATO. Almost immediately, most members of the alliance have already approved its membership. So far, only Turkey has opposed it (Erdogan has used the situation to blackmail the Europeans for new privileges and concessions). Apparently, he has achieved everything he could and now Turkey is no longer obstructing accession. Hungary will probably not interfere, so Finland’s accession to NATO can be considered a settled deal.
How Putin will react to this is still unclear. From his point of view, this is a new threat to his regime, because Finland has a long and significant border with Russia (over 1300 km). Now this is a potential new front of confrontation.
But we believe that all this is just another proof of the words of our Sages about provocations between the Powers, which are a clear sign of the coming Liberation: “If you see the kingdoms provoking one another, expect the footsteps of Moshiach”!