New U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds first press briefing at the State Department in Washington

U.S. has determined that Russian troops have committed war crimes in Ukraine, Blinken says

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Wednesday made a formal determination that Russian troops have committed war crimes in Ukraine and said it would work with others to prosecute offenders, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

“Today, I can announce that, based on information currently available, the U.S. government assesses that members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine,” Blinken said in a statement released as he was traveling to Brussels with President Joe Biden for an emergency summit of NATO leaders.

The assessment was based on a “careful review” of public and intelligence sources since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine last month, he said.

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America’s top diplomat said the United States would share that information with allies, partners and international institutions tasked with investigating allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“We’ve seen numerous credible reports of indiscriminate attacks and attacks deliberately targeting civilians, as well as other atrocities. 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,” Blinken said.

He cited attacks on the civilian population in the besieged city of Mariupol and elsewhere.