Russia’s navy has dedicated struggle crimes in Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated in an announcement launched Wednesday, citing U.S. intelligence and public reviews of assaults on civilians and journalists.
“Our assessment is based on a careful review of available information from public and intelligence sources,” Blinken wrote. “As with any alleged crime, a court of law with jurisdiction over the crime is ultimately responsible for determining criminal guilt in specific cases. The U.S. government will continue to track reports of war crimes and will share information we gather with allies, partners, and international institutions and organizations, as appropriate. We are committed to pursuing accountability using every tool available, including criminal prosecutions.”
Earlier Wednesday, U.S. Representatives Eric Swalwell and Ted Lieu despatched a letter requesting Attorney General Merrick Garland to analyze Russia for struggle crimes associated to the deaths of two Americans in Ukraine.
President Joe Biden final week referred to as Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” when requested by reporters if he believed Putin to be one, which the Russian authorities referred to as “unacceptable” in response. The Russian authorities stated Biden’s assertion was “unforgivable” when American bombs have additionally killed individuals throughout the globe.
Prior to Wednesday’s assertion from Blinken, American officers had pointed to examples of Russian forces attacking and bombing hospitals, residential buildings and colleges as probably struggle crimes, however stopped in need of straight calling the actions struggle crimes. Other international leaders like Polish President Andrzej Duda have stated Russia is committing struggle crimes, citing an assault earlier this month on a hospital in Mariupol whereas ladies and youngsters have been reportedly nonetheless inside.
The United Nations has estimated at the least 2,500 civilians have been killed, not together with the over 2,400 which were reported by officers within the metropolis of Mariupol, Blinken wrote.
The Council of Europe additionally stated final week that it was expelling Russia from its ranks, which was adopted by Russian officers claiming that they deliberate to depart the human rights group on their very own.
Beth Van Schaack, U.S. ambassador at giant for international legal justice, stated at a Wednesday press briefing that the American authorities is ready to pursue all potential avenues for “full accountability” of struggle crimes dedicated in Ukraine, together with legal prosecution.
Van Schaack, who was confirmed to her new place final week, stated that worldwide doctrines exist that permit for troopers who commit struggle crimes, in addition to superior officers conscious of the crimes, to be charged and tried.
She did cease brief, nevertheless, of claiming whether or not Putin himself might face struggle crime fees and stated whereas these doctrines exist permitting commanders to be charged, she would go away it to a courtroom with the correct jurisdiction to find out whether or not the Russian president could possibly be charged.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price stated on the information convention that the announcement was made after “extensive consultations” with international governments about reviews of struggle crimes and worldwide considerations in regards to the “brutality” of Russian forces.
Newsweek has contacted the Ukrainian and Russian international ministries for touch upon Blinken’s assertion.
Follow Newsweek‘s stay weblog for updates on the Russia-Ukraine battle.
This is a creating story that will probably be up to date as extra data turns into out there.