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Biden Administration Holds Russia Responsible for ‘War Crimes’

March 23, 2022 (EIRNS)—On the eve of President Biden’s participation in an emergency NATO summit on Ukraine in Europe, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced with drama this afternoon that the U.S. government has determined that “members of Russia’s [armed] forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine.” This assessment—like the charges used to justify U.S. invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. before this, where true war crimes were committed—is “based on the countless accounts and images of destruction and suffering we have all seen,” and “is based on a careful review of available information from public and intelligence sources,” Blinken asserted. He promised that “the U.S. government will continue to track reports of war crimes and will share information we gather with allies, partners, and international institutions and organizations, as appropriate” (emphasis added).

Blinken acknowledged that “as with any alleged crime, a court of law with jurisdiction over the crime is ultimately responsible for determining criminal guilt in specific cases,” but the administration will proceed as if it’s a closed case: “We are committed to pursuing accountability using every tool available, including criminal prosecutions.”

Russia has already challenged various of the “credible reports” of atrocities against civilians cited by Blinken as prima facie evidence of Russian war crimes, with documentation of their having been carried out by the openly neo-Nazi Azov Battalion (e.g., blowing up the Mariupol Drama Theatre), or were strikes not on civilians, but on bastions of neo-Nazi forces (e.g., the “aerial bombing” of the empty maternity hospital in Mariupol occupied by Ukrainian Nazis for weeks).

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