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Attorney General Merrick Garland travels to Ukraine to meet with counterpart about war crimes related to Russian invasion

Attorney General Merrick Garland traveled to Ukraine on Tuesday to meet with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova to talk about U.S. efforts to assist Ukraine determine, apprehend, and prosecute people linked to war crimes in Russia’s war towards Ukraine, in accordance to the Justice Department.

“I am 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 instructed the press in attendance, including he and Venediktova have been gathering to proceed discussions on war crimes in Ukraine.

“The United States is sending an unmistakable message. There is no place to hide. We and our partners will pursue every avenue available to make sure that those who are responsible for these atrocities are held accountable,” stated the Attorney General.

While Garland and Venediktova have been meeting, the Justice Department stated Garland introduced the creation of the War Crimes Accountability workforce, which can participate within the investigation of potential war crimes in Ukraine that fall below U.S. jurisdiction. 

In March, an American journalist was killed and one other was wounded by Russian forces within the city of Irpin exterior the capital of Kyiv as they have been touring to movie refugees. That identical month, a Fox News cameraman and a neighborhood producer working for the community have been killed in an assault that left the community’s correspondent Benjamin Hall injured as they reported close to Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.

Led by former Director of the Office Of Special Investigations and one-time Nazi war crime prosecutor Eli Rosenbaum, the initiative will “centralize and strengthen the Justice Department’s ongoing work to hold accountable those who have committed war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine,” in accordance to a launch from the Justice Department.

The lawyer common additionally introduced his division will present Ukraine with a federal prosecutor to advise on combatting kleptocracy and corruption. Earlier this year, the Justice Department launched Task Force KleptoCature aimed toward focusing on the property of Russian oligarchs who search to evade U.S. sanctions and commerce insurance policies towards Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. Recently, a megayacht was seized after officers decided it belonged to sanctioned gold mining billionaire Suleiman Kerimov and two jets allegedly belonging to oligarch Roman Abramovich have been accused of violating U.S. restrictions.  

The beforehand unannounced meeting between the 2 chief legislation enforcement officers comes after Garland has been outspoken about the U.S.’s position in investigating potential war crimes in Ukraine. 

“This Department has a long history of helping to hold accountable those who perpetrate war crimes,” Garland instructed the press earlier this year.  “We are aiding worldwide efforts to determine and maintain accountable these chargeable for atrocities in Ukraine.  And we are going to proceed to achieve this.’  

Earlier this month, Garland met with European Union Commissioner for Justice and Consumer Affairs Didier Reynders in Washington, D.C. The two talked about how to finest help ongoing war crimes investigations related to Russian aggression towards Ukraine.

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