“They constitute war crimes, there are attacks on civilians that cannot be justified in any way,” she said in an interview with the BBC’s Newshour on Thursday morning.
Other Biden administration officials did not go so far as to state explicitly that Russia committed war crimes — violations of the international laws of armed conflict — and instead referred to and supported “credible reports” that such crimes had been committed. Investigations into the actions of Moscow.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said later Thursday that the United States had “viewed highly credible reports” of Russian actions that would constitute war crimes, echoing comments made by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Sunday.
In an interview with the BBC, Thomas Greenfield said the question of whether Russia was guilty of war crimes was the question “we ask every day, and we work with others in the international community to document the crimes that Russia has committed against the Ukrainian people”.
“I keep seeing pictures of a woman being discharged from hospital, pregnant, bleeding, people screaming, children crying. It is unbelievable. And we are calling on Russia to change course. They have to end this conflict, they have to stop the fighting and they have to go back to diplomacy. We made clear our strong support for the call on Ukrainians to stop this.”
Thomas Greenfield said she could not speculate on how war crimes would be prosecuted, but “what is important is that we collect the evidence and be ready and available to use it.”
The ambassador also noted that the United States supports the ICC’s investigation into Russia’s actions in Ukraine, even though the United States is not a member of the ICC and has been critical of other ICC investigations.
“We have always been in favor of the criminal court taking action when action is needed,” she said.
Speaking at a State Department briefing later Thursday, Price also welcomed the ICC investigation, citing its focus on preserving evidence – a key factor in making a formal decision to commit war crimes.
“We want to see the evidence preserved. We and we will do the marriage between reports and evidence from the ground, and if we decide, if the international community determines that war crimes have been committed, that atrocities have been committed, that human rights abuses have been committed, and we will be held accountable,” Price said. The perpetrators are absolutely, whether they are sitting in Moscow, or whether they are leaders on the ground in Ukraine.”
“The truth is that we have seen very credible reports of deliberate attacks on civilians, which, under the Geneva Conventions, would constitute a war crime,” he said, citing attacks on a hospital in Mariupol and strikes on schools, hospitals and buses. Cars and ambulances.
Harris: Russia’s attacks amount to ‘atrocities of unimaginable proportions’
Harris, who spoke at a news conference alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw Thursday morning, said Russia’s attacks in Ukraine amounted to “atrocities of unimaginable proportions.” But it stopped short of describing Russia’s actions as war crimes. “We are also very clear that any deliberate attack on innocent civilians is a violation,” Harris said.
“The United Nations has set up a process whereby a review and investigation will take place, and we will of course participate as appropriate and necessary,” she added. “I have no doubt that the eyes of the world are on this war and what Russia has done in connection with this aggression and these atrocities,” he added.
Duda was more vocal, describing war crimes as “clear” in Ukraine, and saying that refugees coming to his country had evidence of it on their phones.
A senior administration official said Harris’ comments were in line with the administration’s position that deliberate targeting of civilians would be defined as a war crime and should be investigated, saying they were referring to an investigation by the UN Commission of Inquiry.
On Sunday, Blinken said the United States was looking into “credible reports of deliberate attacks on civilians, which would constitute a war crime,” but he did not announce that the United States had made an assessment that Moscow was guilty of war crimes.
“What we are doing now is documenting all of this, putting it together, looking at it, and making sure that as appropriate people and organizations and institutions investigating whether war crimes have been or are being committed, we can support the CNN’s State of the Union,” Blinken said. The en, whatever they were doing.” We are now looking at these reports. It is very reliable. We document everything.”