AG Merrick Garland to make surprise visit to Ukraine

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US Attorney General Merrick Garland is making a surprise visit to Ukraine on Tuesday to meet with Ukrainian prosecutors on hitting Russia with war crime charges, according to multiple reports

A Department of Justice official confirmed the trip to ABC News, revealing that the attorney general will meet with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova. 

Together, they will discuss Ukrainian, US and international efforts to identify the people responsible for war crimes and other atrocities that have occurred throughout the brutal Russian war. 

It is unclear what else the two will discuss or how long the meeting will last. 

The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment. 

In May, Garland promised US support for Ukraine in holding Russia accountable for the horrific war crimes that have occurred over the past four months. 

In May, Garland promised US support for Ukraine in holding Russia accountable for the horrific war crimes that have occured over the past four months. 
ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin first invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 — displacing more than 7.7 million people and killing thousands more civilians. Some have estimated that Russian troops have committed as many as 10,000 war crimes in the invasion. 

Top US officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and President Biden, have long accused Putin and his cronies of committing war crimes, citing the initial destruction of apartment buildings, schools, hospitals and critical infrastructure as civilians remained inside. 

One of the most shocking attacks occurred in March, when Russian troops bombed a theater in the southern port city of Mariupol that was being used as a civilian bomb shelter — and marked with the word “children” in large Russian letters.

“Based on information currently available, the U.S. government assesses that members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine,” Blinken said at the time. “Our assessment is based on a careful review of available information from public and intelligence sources.”

Several Russian soldiers have begun to face the penalty for their crimes as a Ukrainian court sentenced two men to more than 11 years in prison for shelling towns in the eastern part of the country.

Just days before, the first war crimes verdict was struck down as a Ukrainian court sentenced 21-year-old Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin to life in prison for killing an unarmed civilian only four days into the war.

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