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There Can Be No Peace Without Justice in Ukraine

(FILE) An art installation in Poland representing Russian crimes in Ukraine
(FILE) An art installation in Poland representing Russian crimes in Ukraine

"The Ukrainian Office of the Prosecutor General," said Ambassador Van Schaack, "has now recorded almost 90,000 potentially prosecutable crimes."

There Can Be No Peace Without Justice in Ukraine
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There must be justice for the millions of Ukrainians whose lives have been disrupted and destroyed by the unprovoked war of aggression launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin, declared U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice, Beth Van Schaack in recent Congressional testimony.

The United States is pursuing multiple pathways to justice for those responsible for these abuses. The first involves internationals courts and institutions, said Ambassador Schaack:

“Our efforts here include working to establish and then to renew the mandate of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry devoted to Ukraine. Multiple invocations of the Moscow Mechanism of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. We've also sought to intervene in Ukraine's case against Russia under the Genocide Convention before the International Court of Justice. And then finally. . .the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court . . . has successfully achieved two arrest warrants.”

The second pathway to justice aims to strengthen and increase the capacity of Ukrainian institutions to document, investigate, and prosecute crimes in Ukrainian courts, explained Ambassador Van Schaack:

“The Ukrainian Office of the Prosecutor General. . .has now recorded almost 90,000 potentially prosecutable crimes. Through the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group . . . we are providing expert assistance and advice, capacity building, expert training on a whole range of prosecutorial and investigative needs of the prosecutor general . . . This includes very focused attention to the scourge of conflict-related sexual violence.”

“The third pathway to justice is supporting strategic litigation that may happen in third states,” including in Europe, explained Ambassador Schaack.
Prosecutions for the crime of aggression is another means of justice, said Ambassador Schaack:

“Permitting impunity for Russia's illegal war of aggression will embolden other actors who will engage in similar blatant violations of state sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence. For this reason, we are supporting the establishment of a special tribunal dedicated to the prosecution of the crime of aggression to those most responsible.”

”There can be no secure or lasting peace without justice,” declared Ambassador Schaack. “Holding Russia to account for its war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other atrocities within Ukraine and against the Ukrainian people [is] foundational to the defense of U.S. values and also the maintenance of a peaceful, just, and secure world.”