As of the latest updates on the Ukraine war, an arrest warrant has been issued while Russian President Putin made a surprise trip to Crimea.

Allegations have been made against Vladimir Putin for carrying out the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.

On the anniversary of the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a surprise visit to a children’s center in the region.

During his visit on Saturday, he stopped by an art school and interacted with children. This visit comes a day after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin, holding him personally responsible for the abduction of Ukrainian children during Russia’s invasion of the country.

US President Joe Biden responded to the ICC’s move, stating that Putin had “clearly committed war crimes” and that the decision made a strong point.

However, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated that Russia does not recognize the ICC’s decisions and regards them as “legally void.” It’s worth noting that the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 was considered illegal by most of the world.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, announced on Saturday that the organization aims to recruit around 30,000 new fighters by mid-May. In an audio message on Telegram, he revealed that the group’s recruitment centers, which were recently established in 42 cities across Russia, have been hiring an average of 500-800 individuals daily. Prigozhin has been leading Russia’s operations in the town of Bakhmut, which has seen one of the most prolonged and intense battles of the war.

Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor, has expressed his support for the International Criminal Court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, stating that it demonstrates that “nobody is above the law.” The ICC had called for Putin’s arrest on suspicion of unlawful deportation of children and unlawful transfer of people from Ukraine to Russia since Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor last year. Speaking at a joint news conference in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Saturday, Scholz praised the ICC as the right institution to investigate war crimes and emphasized that the law applies to everyone, regardless of their position.

As the deal allowing Ukraine to export grain approaches its expiration date, the United Nations’ humanitarian chief has emphasized that its extension is critical to maintaining global food supplies and preventing price hikes.

The original 120-day agreement was renewed last November and is set to expire on Saturday. If neither party objects, the agreement would be automatically extended for another 120 days.

However, Russia’s UN ambassador has objected to the extension, proposing instead a 60-day extension – half of the original timeframe.

The Russian envoy argued that the UN-Russia memorandum is ineffective and has failed to exempt Russian agricultural exports from Western sanctions.

In response, the UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, Martin Griffiths, stressed the importance of fully implementing the memorandum to ensure continued access to grain exports from Ukraine.

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