Vice President Kamala Harris called for an international war crimes investigation into Russia over its weekslong assault on civilians in Ukraine.
Speaking in Warsaw, Poland, where the vice president is meeting with European leaders to show U.S. support for NATO’s eastern flank amid the invasion, Harris said Russian President Vladimir Putin should be held to account for the war.
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“Absolutely there should be an investigation, and we should all be watching,” Harris said Thursday, expressing outrage over a bombing the day before of a maternity hospital in Mariupol, leaving children and adults buried under rubble, according to Ukrainian authorities. Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, said the hospital was no longer operational and was being used by Ukrainian forces.
Standing beside her, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that “it is obvious to us that in Ukraine, Russians are committing war crimes.”
While the vice president stopped short of accusing the Kremlin of war crimes, she said that “we are also very clear that any intentional attack on innocent civilians is a violation.”
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The call for an investigation comes as a National Security Council spokesperson said this week that the United States had begun collecting evidence of war crimes and alleged human rights abuses.