Garland makes unannounced visit to Ukraine

Attorney General Merrick Garland made an unannounced visit to Ukraine Tuesday to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart to discuss the prosecution of war crimes in the Russian invasion. 

Garland met with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova to reaffirm the United States’s commitment to identify, apprehend and prosecute those who have taken part in war crimes during the Russia-Ukraine conflict, according to a tweet from Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley. 

Garland said in a video Coley posted that he came to Ukraine to continue the discussions he has had with Venediktova on how the U.S. can assist and is assisting Ukrainian officials in holding individuals responsible for the “atrocities the world has seen.” 

“The United States is sending an unmistakable message: there is no place to hide,” he said. “We and our partners will pursue every avenue available to make sure that those who are responsible for these atrocities are held accountable.” 

A number of alleged Russian war crimes against Ukrainian civilians have been reported throughout the war, including thousands of civilians being killed or kidnapped and taken to Russia and multiple allegations of Russian soldiers raping women as they advanced. 

Garland is the latest Biden administration official to make a trip to Ukraine, although Biden himself has not yet visited since the war began. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited the capital Kyiv in late April. First lady Jill Biden visited last month with Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska.

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