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US attorney general vows help to prosecute war crimes in Ukraine


US Attorney General Merrick Garland pledged during a visit to Ukraine on Tuesday to help prosecute war crimes committed since the Russian invasion in late February.

“I’m here to express the unwavering support of the United States for the people of Ukraine in the midst of the unprovoked and unjust Russian invasion,” Garland told reporters after meeting with Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova near the Polish-Ukrainian border.

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“I’m here to continue our discussions, myself and the prosecutor general, of the actions that the United States is taking to assist the Ukrainian authorities in holding accountable those responsible for the atrocities or the war crimes that the entire world has seen,” he said in remarks broadcast on Fox News.

“The United States is sending an unmistakable message — there is no place to hide,” Garland said. “We and our partners will pursue every avenue available to ensure that those who are responsible for these atrocities are held accountable.”

Venediktova thanked Garland for his support, calling it “very important.”

“We all understand that we have huge enemies,” she said.

Garland is stopping in Ukraine on his way to the US-EU Ministerial in Paris.

Nearly four months after Russia invaded Ukraine, Kyiv says it has identified thousands of suspected war crimes cases. 

Most notorious have been the allegations of wanton murder of scores of civilians in Bucha, just outside the Ukrainian capital.

US President Joe Biden has denounced the killing of Ukrainian civilians in Bucha as “war crimes.”

“Civilians executed in cold blood, bodies dumped into mass graves, the sense of brutality and inhumanity left for all the world to see, unapologetically,” Biden said in April. 

“There’s nothing less happening than major war crimes,” he said. “Responsible nations have to come together to hold these perpetrators accountable.”

The US State Department announced the creation of a new unit in May to research, document and publicize alleged war crimes by Russia in Ukraine.

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