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Tipsheet

It's Official: State Department Declares Russia Has Committed War Crimes

(Sergey Guneev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

The State Department officially declared Wednesday afternoon Russia has committed a number of war crimes against Ukraine.  

"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," Secretary of Statem Antony Blinken released in a statement. "Today, I can announce that, based on information currently available, the U.S. government assesses that members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine."

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"Our assessment is based on a careful review of available information from public and intelligence sources. As with any alleged crime, a court of law with jurisdiction over the crime is ultimately responsible for determining criminal guilt in specific cases. The U.S. government will continue to track reports of war crimes and will share information we gather with allies, partners, and international institutions and organizations, as appropriate. We are committed to pursuing accountability using every tool available, including criminal prosecutions," the statement continued. 

When asked about how Russia would face accountability, given they sit on the UN Security Council, Ambassador at Large for Global Criminal Justice Bath Van Schaack told reporters domestic and International courts are available options.  

According to a NATO assessment, Russia has lost 15,000 soldiers since the beginning of the war three weeks ago. 

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