Four Russian Soldiers Accused of War Crimes on American in Ukraine Charged by US
Four Russian soldiers have been charged with war crimes against an American living in Ukraine during the Russian invasion, marking the first usage of a US law aimed at prosecuting those who commit war crimes against American citizens. The soldiers allegedly abducted the American from his home, tortured and held him in a Russian military compound for ten days. The soldiers, who include two commanding officers of the Russian Armed Forces and two lower-ranking members, are charged with unlawful confinement, conspiracy to commit war crimes, inhuman treatment, and torture.
Four Russian Soldiers Charged With War Crimes Against American in Ukraine
CNN reports that four Russian soldiers face charges for war crimes against an American living in Ukraine during the Russian invasion, according to recently unveiled court documents.
This marks the first time the US has used a long-standing law to prosecute war crimes against its citizens. Merrick Garland, Attorney General, referred to the charges as “a significant move towards accountability for the illegal war in Ukraine.”
Garland stated at a Wednesday press conference that the Justice Department has charged four Russia-affiliated military personnel under the US war crimes statute for crimes against an American citizen, in light of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.
The indictment alleges the soldiers violently seized the American from his home in the Ukrainian village of Mylove. They supposedly beat and tortured him in a Russian military compound over a period of 10 days in April 2022.
The American was reportedly bound, stripped and brutally beaten by the soldiers. While illegally detained, he was allegedly tortured and photographed over several interrogation sessions.
Two of the accused are Russian Armed Forces commanding officers, while the others are lower-ranking members. The American, a protected person under the Geneva Convention of 1949, was not involved in the war.
The Russian soldiers threatened to kill the captive American, terrifying him with mock executions and threats of sexual assault. When his answers didn’t satisfy them, they allegedly threatened him with death and forced him to do labor for the Russian military.
“The victim repeatedly believed he was going to die,” Garland shared. The accused soldiers – Suren Seiranovich Mkrtchyan, Dmitry Budnik, V Alerii Lnu and Nazar Lnu – face charges including unlawful confinement, conspiracy to commit war crimes, inhuman treatment and torture.
Garland lauded the bravery of Ukrainian prosecutors and investigators, stating that the US and its partners would ensure accountability for Russia when the time comes. “The rule of law is how we protect our shared humanity,” he said.
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