The US State Department supports international investigations into potential war crimes and atrocities committed by Russia in Ukraine and is “committed to pursuing accountability for these acts using all available tools, including criminal prosecution as appropriate,” a State Department spokesperson said.
According to the spokesperson, the State Department “supports Ukrainian authorities, who are already working to document potential atrocities for prosecution”, as well as “the important work of human rights documenters in Ukraine “.
It also supports the United Nations commission of inquiry charged with investigating possible human rights violations by Russia and the OSCE expert mission invoked by the United States and 44 other countries. last week using the Moscow mechanism.
The Moscow mechanism is used to set up short-term fact-finding missions on human rights issues. This is a serious step, and according to the OSCE, it has only been triggered nine other times since its inception in 1991. It was last used in 2020 to investigate human rights abuses in Belarus.
In a hearing on Tuesday, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency said he did not believe the United States had yet seen direct evidence that Moscow had committed war crimes in Ukraine.
“I don’t know if we have any direct evidence besides what we see on social media. Certainly the bombing of schools and facilities that are not associated with the Ukrainian military would tell me that he is going all the way if he hasn’t already,” Lt. -General Scott Berrier.
In a State of the Union interview with CNN on Sunday, Secretary of State Tony Blinken “saw very credible reports of deliberate attacks on civilians that would constitute a war crime.”
“We have seen very credible reports of the use of certain weapons. And what we’re doing right now is documenting all of that, putting it all together, reviewing it, and making sure that as people and the appropriate organizations and institutions investigate whether war crimes have been or are being committed, we can support whatever they do,” Blinken said. “So right now we are looking at those reports. They are very believable. And we document everything.
Last week, the US Embassy in Kyiv tweeted that “it is a war crime to attack a nuclear power plant. Putin’s bombing of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant takes his reign of terror one step further. #LaHague #Zaporizhzhia #StandwithUkraine. However, embassies in Europe have been instructed by the State Department not to retweet this tweet.