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AMSTERSDAM/KYIV: The International Criminal Court is planning to seek the arrest of Russian officials for forcibly deporting children from Ukraine and targeting civilian infrastructure, a source said on Monday, in what would be the first international war crimes cases arising from Moscow’s invasion.

The source said the arrest warrants could include the crime of genocide, and were expected to arrive in the “short term” if approved by a pre-trial judge at the Hague-based court.

Russia would be certain to reject any arrest warrants against any of its officials. But an international war crimes prosecution could deepen Moscow’s diplomatic isolation and make it difficult for those accused to travel abroad for fear of arrest.

Russia denies deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, saying its attacks are all intended to reduce Kyiv’s ability to fight. It has not concealed a programme under which it has brought thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia, but presents it as a humanitarian campaign to protect orphans and children abandoned in the conflict zone.

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