5 international attorneys general express support for investigations, prosecutions of Russian war crimes

Associated Press/Felipe Dana
Firefighters extinguish a fire following a Russian bombardment at a park in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

Five countries’ attorneys general vocalized their support on Thursday for international probes and prosecutions into war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine. 

In a joint statement issued by the attorneys general of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, the five officials said they supported Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova, her office and Ukrainians “in ensuring accountability for war crimes committed during the Russian invasion.”

“We support the pursuit of justice by Ukraine and through other international investigations, including at the International Criminal Court, the United Nations, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and in our own jurisdictions, in order to the ensure prompt, fair and effective investigation and prosecution of such offenses under Ukrainian, domestic or international law,” the attorneys general said.

“We join in condemning the Russian Government for its actions, and call upon it to cease all violations of international law, to halt its illegal invasion and to cooperate in efforts to achieve accountability. We look forward to working together with the Prosecutor General and her Office to ensure every perpetrator faces justice,” they added.

The development comes after the State Department announced earlier this week that it was launching a program that would collect and analyze evidence relating war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine. 

The program, called the Conflict Observatory, “will analyze and preserve publicly and commercially available information, including satellite imagery and information shared via social media, consistent with international legal standards, for use in ongoing and future accountability mechanisms,” according to the State Department.

The Russian invasion has lasted nearly three months. The conflict has led to a major humanitarian crisis that has prompted more than 6 million people to leave Ukraine.

While the U.S. has determined that Russia has committed war crimes in Ukraine, it has not yet made a determination on whether to call Russia’s actions a genocide.

Tags Australia Canada New Zealand Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict Ukraine United Kingdom United States

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