The United States has formally accused Russia of war crimes amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
In a statement on Wednesday, Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin highlighted the damages done by Russian forces in Ukraine since Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded the nation last month.
“We’ve seen numerous credible reports of indiscriminate attacks and attacks deliberately targeting civilians, as well as other atrocities,” Blinkin wrote in the statement. “Russia’s forces have destroyed apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, critical infrastructure, civilian vehicles, shopping centers, and ambulances, leaving thousands of innocent civilians killed or wounded.”
Blinkin confirmed that some of the sites hit by Russian forces “were clearly identifiable as in-use by civilians,” including a maternity hospital and theater in the port city of Mariupol.
“Putin’s forces used these same tactics in Grozny, Chechnya, and Aleppo, Syria, where they intensified their bombardment of cities to break the will of the people,” Blinkin added. “Their attempt to do so in Ukraine has again shocked the world and, as President Zelenskyy has soberly attested, ‘bathed the people of Ukraine in blood and tears.’”
Over 2,400 civilians in Mariupol were killed by Putin’s forces on Tuesday, according to officials in the besieged city.
“Not including the Mariupol devastation, the United Nations has officially confirmed more than 2,500 civilian casualties, including dead and wounded, and emphasizes the actual toll is likely higher,” Blinkin said.
“The U.S. government assesses that members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine. 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,” he added.
Blinkin asserted that the U.S. will continue to track reports of war crimes committed by Russian forces as information becomes available.
“We are committed to pursuing accountability using every tool available, including criminal prosecutions,” he concluded.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chris McGrath/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.