U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the launching of a task force to help “identify, apprehend, and prosecute” those involved in war crimes in war-torn Ukraine, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Tuesday.
In a meeting with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova, Garland commended the efforts of Ukraine to “defend democracy and uphold the rule of law.”
“The United States stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine in the face of Russia’s continued aggression and assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Garland said.
“The world has seen the many horrific images and read the heart-wrenching accounts of brutality and death that have resulted from Russia’s unjust invasion of Ukraine,” he added.
Garland then confirmed that the DOJ would deploy a War Crimes Accountability Team to “centralize and strengthen the… ongoing work to hold accountable those who have committed war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine.”
He explained that the initiative would bring together leading investigators of human rights abuses and war crimes, and provide a range of technical assistance with prosecutions, evidence collection, and legal analyses.
Among those experts in the task force will include Eli Rosenbaum, the DOJ veteran who previously served as the Director of the Office of Special Investigations, which was responsible for identifying and deporting Nazi war criminals from 1994 to 2010.
His efforts earned him the reputation of a “legendary Nazi hunter.”
“There is no hiding place for war criminals. The [DOJ] will be relentless in our efforts to hold accountable every person complicit in the commission of war crimes, torture, and other grave violations,” said Garland.