Here’s what to know about the I.C.C.’s arrest warrant for Putin.

The International Criminal Court on Friday issued an arrest warrant for war crimes against President Vladimir V. Putin and a second Russian official. Here’s a closer look at the court, the injunction, and what it could mean for Russia’s leader.

The court says Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children since the full-scale invasion of Russia began in February last year. The court also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, who has been the public face of a Kremlin-sponsored program in which Ukrainian children and teenagers have been brought to Russia.

The court said in a statement “that there are reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect is responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of population and illegal transfer of population from the occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”

A New York Times investigation published in October identified several Ukrainian children who had been taken as part of Russia’s systematic resettlement efforts. The children described a harrowing process of coercion, deception, and force. Russia has defended the transfers on humanitarian grounds.

Lawyers familiar with the ICC case recently said they expected prosecutors to proceed with the arrest warrants because there was a large amount of public evidence. On Friday, the court said in a statement that it kept in mind “that the conduct addressed in the present situation supposedly continues, and that public knowledge of the orders can contribute to the prevention of the commission of new crimes.”

The International Criminal Court was created two decades ago as a permanent body to investigate war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity under a 1998 treaty known as the Rome Statute. Previously, the United Nations Security Council had established ad hoc tribunals to address atrocities in places like the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

The court is based in The Hague, a Dutch city that has long been a center for international law and justice.

Many democracies joined the International Criminal Court, including close US allies like Great Britain. But the United States has long kept its distance, fearing that the court might one day try to prosecute American officials, and Russia is also not a member.

The Biden administration has been embroiled in an internal dispute over whether to provide the court with evidence gathered by the US intelligence community on Russian war crimes. Most of the administration is in favor of transferring the evidence, according to people familiar with the internal deliberations, but the Pentagon has refused because it does not want to set a precedent that could pave the way for eventual prosecutions of Americans.

Human rights groups hailed the order as an important step to end impunity for Russian war crimes in Ukraine, but the likelihood of a trial while Putin remains in power appears slim, because the court cannot try the defendants in absentia and Russia has said it will. do not hand over to your own officials.

The Russian Foreign Ministry quickly dismissed the orders, noting that it is not part of the court. Still, Putin’s arrest warrant deepens his isolation in the West and could limit his movement abroad. If he travels to a state that is part of the ICC, that country must arrest him, in accordance with his obligations under international law.

“This makes Putin a pariah,” said Stephen Rapp, a former ambassador-at-large heading the Bureau of Global Criminal Justice at the US State Department. “If you travel, you risk arrest. This never goes away.” And, he said, Russia cannot get sanctions relief without complying with court orders.

“Either Putin is brought to trial in The Hague,” Rapp said, or “he is increasingly isolated and dies with this hanging over his head.”

The court has no power to arrest sitting heads of state or put them on trial and must instead rely on other leaders and governments to act as its bailiffs around the world. A suspect who manages to evade capture may never have a hearing to confirm the charges.

However, late last year, a legal move complicated the issue. In November, the court prosecutor requested that progress be made with the confirmation of the charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity against Joseph Kony, the Ugandan militant and founder of the Lord’s Resistance Army, though he is not in custody and has been on the run for years. Mr. Kony, who turned kidnapped children into soldiers, is charged with murder, cruel treatment, slavery, rape and attacks against civilians.

Mr Khan’s request amounts to a trial balloon, to see if the court agrees that the charges can be confirmed even if someone is not in custody. The decision is pending.