US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Thursday that Russia’s actions against the Ukrainian people are “war crimes”.
“They constitute war crimes; these are attacks on civilians that cannot be justified by any – in any way,” Linda Thomas-Greenfiel said in an interview with BBC Newshour.
State Department spokesman Ned Price refrained from declaring Russia’s actions against Ukrainian civilians “war crimes” during a Thursday briefing, reiterating instead that the United States ” support efforts to document and investigate reports of potential war crimes in Ukraine.”
“The fact is, we’ve seen very credible reports of deliberate attacks on civilians, which under the Geneva Conventions would constitute a war crime,” he told a Department of Defense briefing. state on Thursday, citing attacks on Mariupol hospital and strikes. on schools, hospitals, buses, cars and ambulances.
“We are appalled by the brutal tactics that the Russian Federation, the Kremlin, has employed in pursuing this war of choice,” Price said.
Thomas-Greenfield said the question of whether Russia is guilty of war crimes is one “we are asked every day, and we are working with other members of the international community to document the crimes that Russia committed against the Ukrainian people. ”
In the BBC interview, Thomas-Greenfield said she couldn’t predict how war crimes would be prosecuted, but “what’s important is that we gather the evidence and have the evidence ready and ready.” available for use”.
The ambassador also indicated that the United States supports the investigation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) into Russia’s actions in Ukraine, although the United States is not a member of the ICC and criticizes others ICC investigations.
“We have always been in favor of the criminal court taking action when action is needed,” she said.
What other US officials are saying: Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that the United States was considering “credible reports of deliberate attacks on civilians that would constitute a war crime,” but did not say the United States had assessed that Moscow was guilty of war crimes.
“What we’re doing right now is documenting all of this, putting it together, reviewing it and making sure that as people and the appropriate organizations and institutions investigate whether war crimes have been or are being committed, we can support whatever they’re doing,” Blinken said on CNN’s State of the Union. “So right now we’re looking at those reports. They’re very credible And we document everything.
Meanwhile, US Vice President Kamala Harris has stopped calling Russia’s actions in Ukraine “war crimes” as civilians continue to be killed in the conflict.
Speaking alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw on Thursday, Harris said: “We are also very clear that any intentional attack on innocent civilians is a violation.”
She added: “The UN has a process in place whereby there will be review and investigations and we will of course participate where necessary and necessary.”
Footage from Ukraine clearly showed atrocities taking place, Harris said, even before an investigation determined what to call them.