The Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, announced this Wednesday that the Government has concluded that Russian troops have committed war crimes in Ukraine, an affirmation that could lead to criminal prosecutions in US courts already other international processes.
Both Blinken and the president of the United States, Joe Biden, had already accused the Russian forces of committing war crimes, but until today the Department of State had not made a formal statement against Russia for having committed this type of crime.
For its part, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office has reported that the country has already collected almost 5,000 pieces of evidence of war crimes committed by Russia and submitted by citizens.
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, to which the United States does not belong, has opened, at the request of almost 40 countries, an investigation in Ukraine for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
US will use ‘all tools’ to hold perpetrators accountable
The Secretary of State has explained that the internal review has been based on data from intelligence agencies and public information and has underlined that Washington will continue to collect information on possible war crimes and share it with its allies and other international institutions in the face of possible trials in the future so that perpetrators accountable to justice.
In this sense, Blinken has affirmed that the United States will use “all available tools” for those responsible to be prosecuted and has mentioned the possibility of criminal proceedings.
Blinken has also said that since Russia began the invasion, its troops have directed attacks against targets that were “clearly” being used by civilians, including apartments, schools, hospitals, ambulances and shopping malls. He has also made reference to a maternity hospital and a theater in the city of Mariúpol, where the clashes keep more than 100,000 civilians in subhuman conditions.
Ukraine has almost 5,000 tests
The Ukrainian government created a platform called warcrimes.gov.ua so that the Ukrainians can provide information on war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine with photos and videos. Since its creation, “citizens presented 4,953 evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity“, according to the Office of the Attorney General.
“The whole country joins the collection of evidence of the atrocities of the Russian invaders. The prosecution, state and law enforcement agencies, human rights and civil society organizations, experts and specialists, international institutions, journalists and ordinary citizens have the opportunity to act as a united front to document the terrible crimes committed by the Russian aggressor,” says the Attorney General’s Office.
All information collected by this platform will be used in the future by the Office of the General Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, in the Ukrainian courts, during possible special international courts, as well as by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the International Court of Justice of the UN and by the Ministry of Justice in the European Court of Human Rights, according to the prosecution.