A Belarusian opposition activist says that he has provided the International Criminal Court with materials allegedly detailing President Alexander Lukashenko’s involvement in the forcible transfer of Ukrainian children to Belarus, accusations angrily rejected by Minsk.
Lukashenko has been Moscow’s closest ally, allowing the Kremlin to use Belarusian territory to send troops and weapons into Ukraine, welcoming a continued Russian military presence in Belarus and the deployment of some of Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons there.
The authoritarian leader has also agreed to a “union state” project that has seen Moscow and Minsk tighten their economic, political and defense ties, while so far stopping short of a full merger.
Pavel Latushka, a former Belarusian culture minister, said Tuesday that the materials he has handed over to the ICC indicate that more than 2,100 Ukrainian children from at least 15 Russia-occupied Ukrainian cities have been forcibly taken to Belarus with Lukashenko’s approval.
Latushka voiced hope that the materials would prompt the ICC to issue a warrant for Lukashenko’s arrest, as it did with Russian President Vladimir Putin.