According to the U.S. State Department, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be held accountable for war crimes that have been carried out against civilians in Ukraine.
Michael Carpenter, the U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said on Friday that Putin will be held to account for them and said, “We want to signal that no one will be outside the scope of the law.”
Carpenter's statement comes following findings of a report that studied Russian military forces’ action in several Ukrainian cities from April to the end of June.
The study mentioned grievous indications of systematic torture and rape by Russian units that Putin later lauded for battlefield heroism.
Regarding whether these incidents were carried out with the permission of Putin, Carpenter said, “one can assume that much of the Russian leadership should be aware of what is happening.”
Carpenter also pointed to Putin’s decision, after reports of battlefield atrocities emerged, to bestow the prestigious title of “guards” on the units that operated in Bucha for their heroism and battlefield distinction in the Ukraine campaign.
“It’s hard to see that at the time that this was done in April, the Russian leadership would be unaware of the allegations against those units in Bucha,” Carpenter said.
© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.