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U.S. State Department formally states that Russia has committed war crimes in Ukraine

In a press statement, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that the U.S. government “assesses that members of Russia’s armed forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine.”  Blinken said since launching “his unprovoked and unjust war of choice” Russian President Vladimir Putin has unleashed unrelenting violence that has caused death and destruction across Ukraine.

Blinken said in the statement: “Last week, I echoed President Biden’s statement, based on the countless accounts and images of destruction and suffering we have all seen, that war crimes had been committed by Putin’s forces in Ukraine. I noted then that the deliberate targeting of civilians is a war crime. I emphasized that Department of State and other U.S. government experts were documenting and assessing potential war crimes in Ukraine.”  Blinken said the U.S. government will continue to track reports of war crimes and will share information with allies and partners, as well as with international organizations and institutions “as appropriate.”

The statement said as with any alleged crime, a court of law with jurisdiction over the crime is ultimately responsible for determining guilt in specific cases. The state department said examples of Russian war crimes in Ukraine include attacks on hospitals, schools, ambulances, critical civilian infrastructure “and other atrocities.”

Editorial credit: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com

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