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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for a “fair tribunal” in a Nuremberg-style trial to hold Russia accountable for war crimes in a late night address Wednesday.
“Just as September 1, 1939 and June 22, 1941 ended in Nuremberg trials, February 24, 2022 must end in a fair tribunal. Russia must be held accountable for all the evil it has brought to Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said in what has become a regular nightly address to Ukrainians since Russia invaded nearly 4 months ago.
Zelenskyy’s comments came just one day after Attorney General Merrick Garland visited Ukraine and announced the U.S. would not only support the International Criminal Court investigations into Russian war crimes but would launch its own probe.
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“The United States stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine in the face of Russia’s continued aggression and assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Garland said in a statement Tuesday. “America – and the world – has seen the many horrific images and read the heart-wrenching accounts of brutality and death that have resulted from Russia’s unjust invasion of Ukraine.”
Garland said the Department of Justice (DOJ) will create a War Crimes Accountability Team to investigate and hold accountable those who have committed war crimes and human rights violations.
Zelenskyy championed U.S. efforts to independently investigate Russian war crimes and said the probe will be “one of the largest contributions to the protection of international law and order of our time.”
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Garland appointed Eli Rosenbaum to serve as the Counselor for War Crimes Accountability following his lengthy career in identifying and deporting Nazi war criminals.
Rosenbaum, who is a 36-veteran of the DOJ, served as the Director of the Office of Special Investigations and oversaw the criminal division in the department that investigated and prosecuted cases involving Nazi criminals.
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Rosenbaum will now coordinate efforts across the DOJ and federal government to hold accountable those who have committed war crimes in Ukraine.
“There is no hiding place for war criminals. The U.S. Justice Department will pursue every avenue of accountability for those who commit war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine,” Garland said. “Working alongside our domestic and international partners, the Justice Department will be relentless in our efforts to hold accountable every person complicit in the commission of war crimes, torture, and other grave violations during the unprovoked conflict in Ukraine.”