Ukraine, 'Five Eyes' justice officials discuss war crimes

·1-min read
Workers exhume bodies at a site in Bucha, Ukraine where civilians killed during Russian occupation were buried, amid allegations of many war crimes by Russian fighters in the Kyiv suburb. (AFP/FADEL SENNA) (FADEL SENNA)

Top justice officials from the five English-speaking members of the "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance held talks with Ukraine's prosecutor general on investigating war crimes, the US Justice Department said Thursday.

The attorneys general of the United States, Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada met virtually Wednesday with Iryna Venediktova, their Ukrainian counterpart, on Wednesday as Kyiv seeks action on thousands of suspected war crimes resulting from Russia's invasion.

The six "discussed their coordinated efforts to hold accountable individuals whose criminal actions are enabling war crimes in Ukraine," the US Justice Department said in a statement.

"Our commitment to working with our international partners, including Ukraine's prosecutor general, to investigate and prosecute those responsible for atrocities in Ukraine remains steadfast," said US Attorney General Merrick Garland in the statement.

"We will be relentless in our efforts to bring to justice those who facilitate the death and destruction we are witnessing in Ukraine."

Last week Venediktova told Deutsche Welle, the German broadcaster, that Ukraine investigators had identified 8,600 suspected war crimes cases, and another 4,000 connected to war crimes, linked to the war which began on February 24.

The alleged crimes documented include "killing civilians, bombing of civilian infrastructure, torture" and "sexual crimes" that are being reported in the "occupied territory of Ukraine", Venediktova said.

The Justice Department said Garland also updated his counterparts on US efforts to penalize billionaire oligarchs who support Russian President Vladimir Putin, and on the $33 billion in new aid for Ukraine that the White House has requested from Congress.

Also on the call were British Attorney General Suella Braverman, Australia's Attorney General Michaelia Cash, Canadian Minister of Justice David Lametti, and New Zealand's Attorney General, David Parker.

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