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Russian War Crimes in Ukraine to Be Discussed at Helsinki Commission Hearing

WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today announced the following hearing:

RUSSIAN WAR CRIMES IN UKRAINE

Wednesday, May 4, 2022
NEW TIME: 2:00 p.m.
Dirksen Senate Office Building
Room 562

Watch live: www.youtube.com/HelsinkiCommission

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 will discuss the findings of the OSCE report, examine evidence being collected to document Russian war crimes in Ukraine, and analyze paths to bring perpetrators to justice.

The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:

Panel 1: OSCE Experts

  • Wolfgang Benedek, Professor of International Law (ret.), University of Graz
  • Veronika Bílková, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Charles University in Prague
  • Marco Sassoli, Professor of International Law, University of Geneva

Panel 2

  • Beth Van Schaack, U.S. Ambassador at Large for Global Criminal Justice
  • Timothy Snyder, Professor of History at Yale University; Permanent Fellow, the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna
  • Iryna Venediktova, Prosecutor General, Ukraine

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