U.S. Files First War Crimes Charges Against Russians

U.S. Files First War Crimes Charges Against Russians

In a movie that's deemed to be largely symbolic, the United States announced on Monday that its prosecutors have charged four Russian men with torturing an American during the invasion of Ukraine, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

This is the first time the U.S. has ever used the War Crimes Act of 1996. The Justice Department charged Suren Seiranovich Mkrtchyan, 45, a commanding officer in Russia's army, along with another officer and two lower-ranking Russian soldiers, for severely beating and threatening to kill an American in Kherson.

It marks the first time the U.S. Justice Department has charged Russians with atrocities during the conflict using a nearly 30-year-old statute that makes it a crime to commit torture or inhumane treatment during a war, Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters.  In the meantime, it sets a precedent for Washington to pursue Russians for war crimes in the future as the war drags on.

“This is our first, and you should expect more,” Garland said.

"The evidence gathered by our agents speaks to the brutality, criminality, and depravity of Russia’s invasion," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas added.


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