US Attorney General Merrick Garland made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Friday and vowed to hold “Russian war criminals accountable for their actions”.
Garland said, “We are here in Ukraine today to speak clearly and with one voice: The perpetrators of those crimes will not be left unharmed.”
He went to Lviv in western Ukraine at the invitation of his Ukrainian counterpart to participate in the “United for Justice Conference”.
Garland told the conference that the United States stands with Ukraine’s war crimes investigators as they collect and catalog evidence from the blast sites, which include hospitals, apartment buildings and schools, dig mass graves and study human remains. do—”to tell the stories of those who no longer can,” according to a Justice Department transcript of his remarks.
Since the invasion began a year ago, Russia has been waging atrocities on the largest scale of any conflict since World War II, he said.
The United States has signed an agreement with Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia and Romania “that will strengthen our efforts to hold Russian war criminals accountable,” he said.
Garland’s second visit to Ukraine since the start of the conflict, in February 2022, was not announced ahead of time for security reasons.
It comes nearly two weeks after US President Joe Biden paid a visit to Ukraine and met with President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The United States is helping Ukraine investigate war crimes and Garland this week branded Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Russia’s mercenary Wagner military force, a war criminal.
In a statement released on February 24, marking the first anniversary of the Russian invasion, Garland said her department “stands with our Ukrainian allies in their pursuit of justice.”
US Vice President Kamala Harris last month accused Russia of committing crimes against humanity in Ukraine, saying Moscow’s forces had carried out “extensive and systematic” attacks on the country’s civilian population.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
featured video of the day
Manoj Bajpayee discusses his viral ‘gaali-galoch’ video