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Garland In Ukraine, Vows Holding War Criminals Accountable

Attorney General Merrick Garland visited Ukraine to discuss U.S. and international efforts to prosecute war crimes resulting from Russia’s invasion, reports Politico. Appearing with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova, Garland expressed “the unwavering support of the United States for the people of Ukraine” amid “an unprovoked and unjust Russian invasion.” He said, "I’m here to continue our discussions … about the actions that the United States is taking to assist the Ukrainian authorities in holding accountable those responsible for the atrocities, for the war crimes that the entire world has seen." he said.

The U.S., Garland said, “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.” With his visit Tuesday, Garland becomes the latest member of President Biden’s cabinet to make a trip to the war-torn country; Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled there together in April. Garland’s visit comes after he said in April that the Justice Department was contributing to international investigations into alleged war crimes in Ukraine, escalating U.S. involvement in efforts to hold Russia legally accountable for atrocities committed during its invasion. “This department has a long history of helping to hold accountable those who perpetrate war crimes,” Garland said then, invoking his predecessor Robert Jackson — attorney general in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration who went on to serve as the chief U.S. prosecutor of Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials.

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