The announcement by the International Criminal Court that an arrest warrant was issued for Russian President Vladimir Putin caused shockwaves in Moscow. Even before the announcement, the pro-regime propagandists expressed their concerns about the possibility of being charged with war crimes by the Hague tribunal. Nonetheless, many were taken completely off-guard when the charges were announced, since they apparently believed that this turn of events was possible only if Russia lost the war in Ukraine.
Radio host Sergey Mardan said it was “strange” that the ICC had decided to charge Putin for the illegal deportation of children and unlawful transfer of citizens from Ukraine to Russia, which are war crimes: “It seems to me like all of us were bewildered. I had the feeling that our entire system did not anticipate that they would make such a crazy and irreversible move,” he said.
His guest, Henry Sardaryan, Dean at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations complained that the news of the ICC’s charges dominated the Russian social media since the announcement became public.
Sardaryan proposed for Russia to retaliate in a symmetrical fashion, by initiating charges against U.S. President Joe Biden. He said, “To accuse us as a country of war crimes is laughable... Why don’t we take the initiative and make a move that would force the entire American society to discuss for several days straight whether Joseph Biden will be arrested, whether he will end up in an electric chair or spend the rest of his days in faraway places?”
Sardaryan said: “The only path that is left is bringing the special military operation to its logical conclusion and achieving all the goals set forth by the president. After that, they will be forced to negotiate with us and the ICC, as an integral part of the globalist world order, will recall the order and close the case very quickly.” He threw in an obligatory reference to Putin’s statement that has by now become a propaganda cliché: “There is nothing more important in the world than our country. If our country doesn’t exist, then nobody needs this world—first and foremost, we don’t need it.”
Head of RT Margarita Simonyan responded to the ICC announcement by implying that any country that arrests Putin would face nuclear destruction, even though this would technically mean that “the boss,” as Simonyan calls him, would go up in flames along with the offending country. She had long reported widespread concerns about the potential charges for war crimes within the top echelons of Russian officials.
Appearing on Sunday Evening with Vladimir Solovyov, Simonyan said she was appalled by the ICC’s charges, because Russia merely “took the children no one else wanted.” Simonyan added: “the Hague is shit” and said that the era of civility is over. She proceeded to wish the best of luck to Donald Trump with respect to the potential charges he is anticipating.
Vladimir Solovyov called for arrest warrants to be immediately issued for all ICC judges, describing them as “bastards” and “degenerates” who should be hunted down and arrested by Russia’s intelligence services abroad. He demanded nuclear strikes against any country that might try to arrest Putin and added, “They should fear us!”
Former president Dmitry Medvedev picked up the theme on Telegram on Monday morning, threatening the ICC with a hypersonic missile strike.
Alexander Bastrykin, who heads Russia's Investigative Committee, proposed that Moscow creates its own “international court”—the same idea multiple propagandists have been test-driving on state TV. Senator Andrei Klishas also called for an immediate arrest warrant for all the judges of the International Criminal Court. On Monday, Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against the prosecutor and judges of the ICC.
Deputy Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Irina Yarovaya said that the decision taken by the ICC constitutes an act of international terrorism directed against Russia and proposed introducing new legislation that would classify “Russophobia” as a dangerous crime.
Appearing on the channel Solovyov Live, political commentator Andrey Perla noted: “This is an extremely serious move. This is a declaration of intent to enslave Russia. In practice, of course, Russia can’t be enslaved, because we will win this war. Since these demands will continue to be voiced, they will prompt the creation not merely of an iron curtain, but of a titanium wall between Europe and Russia—between the world that is ruled by Anglo-Saxons and the world where free people live. Russia and China will be the leaders of the free world, as well as all independent nations that will collaborate with us—like Iran.”
Appearing on Solovyov Live, economist Mikhail Khazin expressed his outrage with the ICC’s decision and said that heads of state can’t be charged with crimes, unless they stand accused of genocide. Even though multiple talking heads on Russian state TV share this opinion, host Vladimir Solovyov previously threatened the Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz with inevitably having to face “another Nuremberg tribunal.”
Political commentator Yevgeny Satanovsky said: “I think that the order for President Putin’s arrest, issued by the ICC in the Hague, has been initiated by Americans. I always understood that current Western bosses and their entire team have gone completely mad, but not to this degree!” He erupted into threats: “We have made it all the way to Berlin and Paris before. I understand that Hague would be on our way to Paris. If things keep going this way, we might visit Washington as well. President Biden fervently approved of the arrest warrant for President Putin, issued by the ICC in the Hague.”
Bewilderment at the ICC’s charges didn’t prevent Putin’s propagandists from bemoaning the current—not hypothetical—legal jeopardy that Donald Trump might soon face in the court of law. Trump’s Russian biographer Kirill Benediktov told host Sergey Mardan that Trump’s and Putin’s circumstances are similar, since both of them are not being accused of the most serious crimes. For example, instead of being charged with genocide, Putin is being accused of “sending children to a resort.”
Benediktov noted: “It’s possible that our Donald Fredovych Trump might end up in the slammer for the same kind of a crime for which people used to get released without a bond. Of course, it’s shocking.” Citing Elon Musk’s Tweet, the host and his guest agreed that “our redheaded Donald Fredovych” might politically benefit from his impending arrest in the long run.