The International Criminal Court (ICC) has charged Russian President Vladimir Putin with war crimes of illegally deporting at least 100 children from Ukraine.
The ICC has also issued an arrest warrant on Friday against the Russian President.
The legal move will compel the court's 123 member states to arrest Putin and transfer him to The Hague for trial if he sets foot on their territory.
Meanwhile, Moscow has repeatedly denied allegations that its forces committed crimes during its year-long invasion of the neighboring country, and the Kremlin called the court's ruling as "null and void".
Interestingly, neither Russia not Ukraine are members of the ICC, although Kyiv granted it jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed on its territory. The tribunal has no police force of its own and relies on member countries to detain and transfer suspects to The Hague for trial.
While it is unlikely that Russian president Putin will end up in court any time soon, the warrant, however, means that he could be arrested and sent to The Hague if travelling to any ICC member states.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia found the very questions raised by the ICC "outrageous and unacceptable".
On being asked if Putin now feared traveling to countries that recognised the ICC, Peskov replied, "I have nothing to add on this subject. That's all we want to say."
Stephen Rapp, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues under former president Barack Obama, said, "This makes Putin a pariah. If he travels he risks arrest. This never goes away. Russia cannot gain relief from sanctions without compliance with the warrants."
Putin is the third serving president to be the target of an ICC arrest warrant, after Sudan's Omar al-Bashir and Libya's Muammar Gaddafi.
Reuters reported earlier this week that the court was expected to issue warrants.
DEPORTATION OF CHILDREN
In its first warrant for Ukraine, the ICC called for Putin's arrest on suspicion of unlawful deportation of children and unlawful transfer of people from the territory of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.
"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," it said.
Ukraine's top prosecutor, Andriy Kostin, hailed the ICC move as a "a historic decision for Ukraine and the entire international law system".
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said it was just the start of "holding Russia accountable for its crimes and atrocities in Ukraine".
Some Russians saw the hand of the United States in the ICC decision.