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    84 months ago

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    WASHINGTON (AP) — Four Russian men accused of torturing an American during the invasion of Ukraine have been charged with war crimes in a case that’s the first of its kind, the Justice Department announced on Wednesday.

    The American told federal agents who had traveled to Ukraine last year as part of an investigation that the Russian soldiers had abducted him, stripped him naked, pointed a gun at his head and badly beaten him, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.

    Garland has been outspoken on war crimes in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began in February 2022, and the Justice Department assigned federal prosecutors to examine the potential of bringing criminal charges.

    Independent human rights experts backed by the United Nations have said they’ve found continued evidence of war crimes committed by Russian forces, including torture that ended in death and rape of women aged up to 83 years old.

    The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin in March for war crimes, accusing him of personal responsibility for the abductions of children from Ukraine.

    The U.S. and Russia do not have an extradition treaty, but the Justice Department has brought repeated criminal cases against Russian nationals, most notably for cyber crimes and including for interference in the 2016 presidential election.


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