For the first time, US officially accuses four Russians of war crimes in Ukraine

The US Department of Justice has formally charged four Russian citizens with war crimes during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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The US Department of Justice has filed charges against Suren Mkrtchyan, Dmytro Budnik and two other individuals whose names have not yet been established and who appear in the document under the names "Valeriy" and "Nazar". The charge was brought "in connection with the illegal detention of a US citizen in the context of the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine."

According to the investigation, the defendants illegally detained, interrogated, beat, and tortured the American for 10 days in the temporarily occupied territory of the Kherson region, threatened to kill him, and staged his execution.

After that, the victim was "forced to do manual labor," including digging trenches for the Russian army and units of the DNR terrorist organization.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland stated that "the world has witnessed the horrors of Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine, and the same has been true for the U.S. Department of Justice. That is why the Department of Justice is the first in history to bring charges under the U.S. War Crimes Statute against four Russian-linked military personnel for serious crimes against an American citizen.

The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine welcomed the indictment by the US Ministry of Justice and noted that this is "the first case of prosecution for war crimes committed during the Russian aggression within the jurisdiction of foreign countries."

The Office of the Prosecutor General also emphasized that "on an ongoing basis, it cooperates with American colleagues and exchanges information about Russia's international crimes."

On November 2, it was reported that the German Ministry of Justice has developed a draft law that will allow the prosecution of sexual violence in areas of armed conflict as war crimes and crimes against humanity.