US Attorney General Merrick Garland will visit Ukraine on Tuesday to discuss the prosecution of individuals implicated in war crimes in the country that has been under Russian invasion since February 24, a Justice Department official announced.
Garland will meet with Ukrainian Prosecutor Irian Venediktova to discuss US international efforts to help Kyiv “identify, arrest and prosecute individuals involved in war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine,” the official said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday that Ukraine would launch a system to collect evidence of war crimes it says were committed during Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
Ukrainian prosecutors say they have documented more than 12,000 alleged war crimes, involving more than 600 suspects, since the Kremlin began the operation on February 24.
“Next week, a special publication will be launched under the name ‘The Book of Executions’, an information system for confirming data on war criminals of the Russian army,” Zelensky said in a video speech.
This would be a key component of his longstanding pledge to hold Russian soldiers who committed what Ukrainian authorities described as murder, rape and looting, Zelensky added.
“These are concrete facts about individuals guilty of cruel crimes against Ukrainians,” Zelensky said.
He referred to the Bucha suburb, where investigators have found what they say is evidence of mass executions.
Russia says it has done everything in its power to avoid targeting civilians in its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Russian officials specifically denied the authenticity of the images of the scenes of events in Bucha, describing them as “fabrications” by the Ukrainian authorities after Russian forces left the town at the end of March.