Pentagon press secretary John KirbyJohn KirbyDefense & National Security — Russia sends warnings to the West US sending secretly acquired Soviet air defense equipment to Ukraine: report US transfers Patriot missiles to Saudi Arabia MORE said Tuesday that there is “clear evidence” that the Russian military is conducting war crimes in its invasion of Ukraine.
“Russia is the aggressor here and I think we have seen here at the Pentagon — we’re certainly seeing clear evidence that the Russian military is conducting war crimes,” Kirby told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday.
“We think it’s important for the investigative process to continue. We’re going to contribute to that. But obviously, relations with Russia are not at a premium nor should they be given the unprovoked and illegal aggression that Russia has put on the people of Ukraine,” he continued.
Kirby’s comments come after the US condemned Russia for committing “war crimes” amid its war with Ukraine. The condemnations mark a shift in tone for US officials, as images and reports show, among other things, Russian attacks on civilians.
The United Nations’ human rights office on Tuesday reported 2,510 civilian casualties since the invasion against Ukraine started on Feb. 24, including 953 who were killed and 1,557 who were injured. However, he believes the current figures are “considerably higher.”
President BidenJoe BidenEx-Trump personal assistant appears before Jan. 6 panel Defense & National Security — Russia sends warnings to the West On The Money — Feds propose new disclosure rule for public companies MORE called Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinDefense & National Security — Russia sends warnings to the West Biden tells CEOs they have ‘patriotic obligation’ to guard against Russian cyberattacks Russian chess grandmaster suspended for publicly supporting invasion MORE a “criminal war” last week, escalating the administration’s language on the invasion. Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenDefense & National Security — Russia sends warnings to the West US sanctions Sudan police over crackdown against coup protests Facebook failed to detect hate speech against Rohingya, report finds MORE has also said that his agency will be documenting possible war crimes.
The Pentagon spokesman said the US and other nations were documenting potential evidence to help investigators at the international level determine if Russia has committed war crimes.
Kirby declined to hypothetically speak on what would happen when those investigations were finished, but he said “there will be consequences for that on the international scale.”
“We see that the Russians are clearly — there’s clear evidence that their military — their forces are conducting war crimes. We’re not shying away from that,” Kirby said. “I mean, you can see it for yourself in just the video footage that you guys show every day.”