According to Harris, the US has officially accused Russia of crimes against humanity in Ukraine.
The US will hold responsible Russians and “their superiors,” the vice president said at the Munich Security Conference.
Harris explained that Russia is behind a “widespread and systematic onslaught” on Ukraine’s civilian population in a keynote speech at the Munich Security Conference. She provided evidence of execution-style killings, rape, torture, and forcible deportations, some of which involved minors. As a result, Russia has engaged in illegal conduct against non-combatants in addition to war crimes, as the administration explicitly found in March.
In her #MSC2023 address, US @VP Kamala Harris put a spotlight on #accountability and justice for the crimes committed in #Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/3knmWUW1WK— Munich Security Conference (@MunSecConf) February 18, 2023
The vice president referred to pictures of bodies laying in Bucha streets and a Russian soldier molesting a four-year-old girl, saying, “Their actions are an assault on our common values, an attack on our common humanity.” “Inhumane and barbaric.”
The United States has formally concluded that Russia has committed crimes against humanity, Harris said in Munich
She promised that the culprits and “their superiors” would be “brought to account” and that the Biden administration will continue to support Ukraine in its investigation into these alleged crimes.
“Let us all agree: justice must be served on behalf of all the victims, both known and unknown,” she continued.
The statement is one of the strongest ones made by a Western nation to date as allies debate how to penalize Russians for transgressions. Also, it intensifies the legal aspect of America’s support for Ukraine, which has long maintained that Russia is to blame for these atrocities and that Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, is ultimately to blame.
Putin was not specifically mentioned by Harris, but it is evident that the invasion he started almost a year ago is to blame for the fact that Ukrainian civilians are now the targets of these international law violations.
Although not having a formal definition in a treaty, “crimes against humanity” are nonetheless decided by the International Criminal Court and other international authorities. According to the Biden administration’s conclusion, Russian activities have been violated to a greater extent than war crimes but not to the same degree as genocide.
According to the United Nations, “in contrast to genocide, crimes against humanity do not need to target a specific community.” Alternatively, any civilian population, regardless of affiliation or identification, could be the target of an attack. Another significant distinction is that it is not essential to demonstrate a general specific intent in cases of crimes against humanity.
Yet, some others want the Biden administration to take things a step farther. A resolution to acknowledge Russia’s war on Ukraine as a genocide was presented by both of West Virginia’s senators—Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Shelley Moore Capito—back in the United States.
Others, like Tom Malinowski, a senior human rights officer at the State Department and a former member of Congress, hold that “giving Ukraine the tools to halt these crimes is more vital than these disputes about what to characterize Russia’s atrocities.”
The head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Andriy Yermak, asserted that unless the Russian government is held accountable, his nation won’t feel secure. Getty Images/Sergei Supinsky
But certainly, he said, “there’s no doubt that Russia is committing crimes against humanity, and we’re entitled to say so.
Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, said his nation wouldn’t feel safe until Russia’s leadership was punished on Friday, just after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed by video to the group of officials and specialists present.
“Creating a special court to try the Russian leadership for the crime of aggression is the quickest and most straightforward method to increase the security of Ukraine and the entire globe. During the opening of the “Ukraine is You” exhibition, he said, “Europe and the entire civilized world understand why it is vital.
Amnesty International, a human rights organization, stated in November of last year that Russia was “likely” committed crimes against humanity. They cited examples of people being forcibly transferred and deported from Ukraine.