Tensions rise in Georgia, Putin looks to China, and ICC puts arrest warrant on Putin

By: Aeden Evenson-McDermott

The country of Georgia is finding itself caught up with its former Soviet Republic and the present state of the world. With an overwhelming majority of Georgians wanting to get EU membership, and become a more reformed democratic institution, there has been pushback by some on the far-right. There most recently has been a push by the right-wing and conservatives to change the constitution to allow the government to become more authoritarian in certain measures. Many are fed up with the measures being proposed by various officials and individuals that they see as wanting to lower the country. Corruption is still a prevalent issue, and with Russia’s influence growing in the former Soviet Republic this is allowing for the restrictive measures to gain traction in Georgia.

Russia has used its influence as it has turned its attention to disrupting Georgia’s politics as a distraction from their invasion of Ukraine. It remains to be seen what comes of this, as thousands march for their rights to a hopeful future of EU membership and to stand against Russia.

As Eastern Europe finds itself in a world intertwined with the two most powerful autocrats (Putin and Xi JinPing), the West is grappling with defending democracy while not going too far to provoke our adversaries.

With the current standstill in the war on Ukraine, Russia is playing their cards towards a war of attrition. Ukrainian resilience is allowing for the further pushback of Russian forces which is leading to significant casualties, especially on the Russian side. Russia’s loss of manpower constantly has their efforts diminished and has Putin angered. He has persistently requested support from his few remaining allies and has especially sent requests for various military hardware to be delivered to his country. He has received kamikaze drones from Iran and has secretly, while somewhat silently, asked president Xi of China for military support and assistance.

The two autocrats would reconvene for their most recent summit for 2 and a half days with president Xi holding private meetings with Russian president Putin. The free world has been keeping a close watch on the moves that these two men would be making through their discussions from the 20th-22nd of March.

It really wasn’t a surprise that President Xi would travel to Moscow, especially with the tighter bond between the two countries’ alliances. Since Xi’s election in 2012 the two men have built a strong relationship and have held 40 one on one meetings.

When the somewhat crippling sanctions came in full force to Russia, back in February of 2022, China was a mainstay ally who refused to condemn the invasion of Ukraine and took a pretty neutral stance on the whole issue.

Through the buying of natural gas and oil, to the economic stability, and modern tech being provided to Russia, China is allowing for the state of Russia to be refurbished. The two leaders agree on the common consensus of being against the United States while treading water to remain intact with the world in terms of trading.

The ongoing war in Ukraine that continues to be further pushing Russia away has made Putin turn to hosting Xi for a variety of reasons. The main reason was that Putin strongly considered asking for lethal aid which China has remained silent on but has never given a definite no to.

The 12 point peace plan proposed by Xi has been deemed as a non starter by Ukraine, the U.S. and Western Allies. It mainly is because it would be keeping Crimea as Russian controlled territory even though it is Ukrainian land, calling for a cease fire between Russia and Ukraine (which would most likely allow for Russia to regroup and buildup manpower for a new offensive), and a plan that favors Russia in ending the war but doesn’t give all Ukrainian land back to the Ukrainians.

Most notably, in recent weeks, the ICC (International Criminal Court) has issued an arrest warrant for President Putin of Russia and for the Commissioner of Children’s Rights Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova. This comes at a time when Russia is continuing to lose and manpower is short. The arrest warrant is mainly for the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children to Russian controlled territory as well as many Ukrainians who were forced to be taken to Russia. Lvova-Belova, who is the Commissioner of Children’s Rights in Russia, has been in control of the handling of displaced children since the war started. She herself has “adopted” at least one kid from Ukraine and has been an advocate of having Russian families take in Ukrainian children.

Putin and Lvova-Belova have both been pro Russian and have the mindset of making the Ukrainian children lose their identity and therefore become Russian citizens. With the forced deportation and the illegal adoptions which have taken place, the ICC has issued arrest warrants for both of them under the Rome Statute. Although, in the near future, most likely nothing will happen for them to be arrested, it further isolates Russia and its leaders from traveling to much of the world, and especially to the West.

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