U.S. Attorney General and Ukrainian Prosecutor General Met to Strengthen Joint Efforts to Hold Accountable Perpetrators of War Crimes and Other Atrocities Committed in Ukraine | OPA

US Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Ukraine’s Attorney General Andriy Kostin met in Washington today to discuss efforts to hold individuals accountable for war crimes and other atrocities following Russia’s unprovoked and unjust invasion of Ukraine. The leaders outlined areas for enhanced cooperation and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will facilitate appropriate cooperation, coordination and conflict resolution between each country’s respective investigations and prosecutions.

“The United States stands with the Ukrainian people in their relentless pursuit of the rule of law and justice for the victims in the face of ongoing Russian aggression,” said US Attorney General Garland. “Today the Justice Department and the Attorney General’s Office announced our decision to work more closely together to identify, arrest and prosecute individuals involved in war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine. We will work tirelessly to bring perpetrators to justice.”

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“The MOU we signed today allows us to step up our joint efforts to ensure accountability for international crimes,” said Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Kostin. “By creating a formal framework for cooperation, we will strengthen the effective investigation and prosecution of crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine and provide a measure of justice for victims.”

The MoU between the US and Ukraine will boost the efficiency of investigations and prosecutions by removing obstacles to the timely and effective exchange of information and evidence in investigations and prosecutions by the two countries in accordance with national laws, and facilitating technical cooperation .

The MOU builds on earlier efforts by the ministry following the Attorney General’s trip to Ukraine on June 21, 2022. During that trip, Attorney General Garland announced the creation of a War Crimes Accountability Team to centralize and strengthen the Justice Department’s ongoing work to account for those who committed war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine following the unprovoked invasion of Russia. The team brings together the department’s leading experts on investigations into human rights abuses, war crimes and other atrocities; and provides wide-ranging technical support, including operational support and advice in relation to law enforcement, evidence gathering, forensics and relevant legal analysis. A central part of the team’s mission is to advance ongoing investigations into potential war crimes for which the United States has jurisdiction, such as the killing and wounding of US journalists covering unprovoked Russian aggression in Ukraine.

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Leaders also discussed the importance of continued efforts to tackle Russian black financing and circumvent sanctions. In March, Attorney General Garland announced the creation of Task Force KleptoCapture (TFKC) to further use the department’s tools and agencies to counter efforts to circumvent or undermine the US government’s collective action in response to Russian military aggression. TFKC, a multi-agency law enforcement task force led by the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, is dedicated to enforcing the sweeping sanctions, export controls and economic countermeasures that the United States, along with its foreign allies and partners, have imposed in response to Russia’s unprovoked Military invasion of Ukraine. Since its inception, the task force has facilitated the seizure and confiscation of assets, including superyachts and aircraft, from sanctioned individuals with close ties to the Russian regime; dismantled Russian criminal networks; and enforced violations of sanctions, among others.

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For more information on the Department of Justice’s obligation to ensure accountability for war crimes victims, see Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Visits Ukraine, Reaffirms US Commitment to Help Identification, Arresting, and Prosecuted Individuals Involved in War Crimes and Atrocities | OPA | Ministry of Justice

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