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Ukraine war

U.S. says Russian forces committed war crimes in Ukraine

Review based on public info and intelligence sources, Blinken says

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a news conference about Russia's invasion of Ukraine at the State Department in Washington on March 17.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The United States on Wednesday said it has assessed that members of Russia's forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, adding that Washington's conclusion was based on a 'careful review' of available information from public and intelligence sources.

In a statement, Blinken said the United States will continue to track reports of war crimes and will share information it gathers with allies, international institutions and added that a court of law would be ultimately responsible in determining any alleged crime.

"We are committed to pursuing accountability using every tool available, including criminal prosecutions," Blinken said.

President Joe Biden last week said Russian President Vladimir Putin "is a war criminal" for attacking Ukraine.

Moscow has yet to capture any of Ukraine's biggest cities following its invasion that began on Feb. 24, the largest assault on a European state since World War Two, raising fears of wider conflict in the West.

Putin calls his offensive a "special military operation" to demilitarize and "denazify" the country. The civilian casualties are thought to be in thousands while the United Nations estimates more than 3.5 million people have fled Ukraine since the beginning of the invasion.

Blinken said there had been "numerous credible reports of indiscriminate attacks and attacks deliberately targeting civilians, as well as other atrocities" by Russia’s forces in Ukraine, mentioning attacks in the besieged city of Mariupol.

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