Title

Russian War Crimes in Ukraine

Wednesday, May 04, 2022
2:00pm
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 562
Washington, DC
United States
Members: 
Name: 
Senator Ben Cardin
Title Text: 
Chairman
Body: 
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Name: 
Representative Steve Cohen
Title Text: 
Co-Chairman
Body: 
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Name: 
Senator Roger Wicker
Title Text: 
Ranking Member
Body: 
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Name: 
Senator Richard Blumenthal
Title Text: 
Commissioner
Body: 
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Witnesses: 
Name: 
Wolfgang Benedek
Title: 
Professor of International Law (ret.)
Body: 
University of Graz
Name: 
Veronika Bílková
Title: 
Associate Professor, Faculty of Law
Body: 
Charles University in Prague
Name: 
Marco Sassoli
Title: 
Professor of International Law
Body: 
University of Geneva
Name: 
Beth Van Schaack
Title: 
U.S. Ambassador at Large for Global Criminal Justice
Name: 
Timothy Snyder
Title: 
Professor of History, Yale University
Body: 
Permanent Fellow, the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna
Name: 
Iryna Venediktova
Title: 
Prosecutor General, Ukraine

Well-documented Russian bombings and missile strikes in Ukraine have decimated hospitals, schools, and apartment buildings, including a theater in Mariupol where hundreds of children were sheltering and the Kramatorsk rail station where thousands were waiting to escape the Russian onslaught. The withdrawal of Russian troops from towns like Bucha, Chernihiv, and Sumy has revealed horrific scenes of civilian carnage, mass graves, and reports of rape and torture. Several world leaders have accused Russia of committing genocide against the people of Ukraine.

In March, 45 Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) states began proceedings to “establish the facts and circumstances of possible cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity…and to collect, consolidate, and analyze this information with a view to presenting it to relevant accountability mechanisms.”  The resulting report, issued on April 14, found “clear patterns of international humanitarian law violations by the Russian forces” and recommended further investigations to “establish individual criminal responsibility for war crimes.” The Government of Ukraine, Ukrainian NGOs, and the International Criminal Court are collecting evidence for use in future legal proceedings.

Witnesses at the hearing discussed the findings of the OSCE report, examined evidence being collected to document Russian war crimes in Ukraine, and analyzed paths to bring perpetrators to justice.  

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