U.S. Government Formally Declares That Russia Has Committed War Crimes Against Ukraine

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP) (Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday announced that the U.S. has formally declared that Russia has committed war crimes in Ukraine. And he is urging the International Criminal Court to prosecute.

At a Glance

  • The U.S. government has determined that Russia has committed war crimes in Ukraine.
  • According to Secretary of State Blinken, attacks on civilian buildings have left thousands of Ukrainian citizens dead or wounded.
  • The Biden administration belives that an international court should prosecute Russia for its actions.

Russia War Crimes Have Left ‘Thousands of Innocent Civilians Killed or Wounded’

“Today, I can announce that, based on information currently available, the US government assesses that members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine,” Blinken said in a statement.

Blinken announced the declaration after he, President Joe Biden, and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman assessed the situation, particularly in the city of Mariupol. In their personal opinions, Russia has shown repeated and intentional brutality towards the citizens.

Since the invasion began last month, Russian forces have targeted apartment buildings, hospitals, schools. And they’ve also shelled shopping centers, ambulances, and ambulances. In the process, the attacks have killed or wounded “thousands of innocent civilians,”

Blinken also noted that the buildings were “clearly identifiable as in-use by civilians.”

In the statement, he used the Mariupol maternity hospital as an example. Blinken said that the facade clearly displayed the Russian word for”children” “in huge letters visible from the sky.” So he believes the attacks were deliberate.

It’s Up to an International Court to Prosecute

While the U.S. has made its decision, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, would have to investigate and take action.

“As with any alleged crime, a court of law with jurisdiction over the crime is ultimately responsible for determining criminal guilt in specific cases,” Blinken continued. “The US government will continue to track reports of war crimes. And [it] 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.”

In 2002, the ICC opened with the intention of prosecuting international war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. However, the U.S. is not a member of the court.

Antony Blinken made the comments as President Biden was flying to Brussels for the NATO and G-7 summits. While preparing for the summits, the White House has been preparing documents about the Ukraine war. Biden plans on presenting this and also a set of actions that the U.S. can take to prove loyalty to NATO and its mission to kelp Ukraine.