In a formal statement released on Sunday, President Joe Biden charged the Russian military for torturing Ukrainians using electrocution and other means.
The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was commemorated by Biden’s remarks. In it, Biden accused a number of countries of torturing either their own citizens or the citizens of countries they were fighting. In the past, Biden has demanded that Putin and Russia be tried for war crimes.
Biden said in a statement, “Any instance of torture is one too many, and yet every year countless victims suffer this brutal violation of their human rights and dignity. This year we have been shocked by the horrific acts committed by Russian forces in Ukraine, including multiple, credible reports of torture such as beatings, electric shocks, and mock executions.”
“In Mali and Burkina Faso, terrorist groups have been documented to have massacred and tortured local populations, while in Mali and Central African Republic, Kremlin-aligned Wagner mercenaries have reportedly employed similar cruel and unlawful tactics,” he continued.
Days before Biden’s remarks, Attorney General Merrick Garland made an unexpected trip to Ukraine to support ongoing war crimes proceedings against the Russian military.
In addition, in late May, the International Criminal Court (ICC) launched the broadest investigation it has ever conducted into alleged war crimes.
Together with Ukrainian, Polish, and Lithuanian prosecutors, the ICC is working in a joint investigation team. Eurojust, the legal arm of the European Union, is also taking part.
War crime accusations surfaced after the Russian departure from the area around Kyiv showed that Russian forces had killed up to 400 locals in Bucha and forced others to build mass graves.
Biden referred to the Russian military’s conduct in Bucha as war crimes and demanded that they be put on trial internationally.
Approximately 16,000 cases of suspected war crimes by Russian soldiers are also being prosecuted by Ukrainian authorities.