The U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has embraced calls for an international war crimes investigation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, pointing out the “atrocities” of bombing civilians, including the maternity hospital. In company with the Polish President Andrzej Duda at a press conference in Warsaw, she reveals the U.S. support for NATO’s eastern flank allies. Harris demonstrated the wrath over the bombing Wednesday of the maternity hospital and scenes of bloodied pregnant women being taken away, as well as other attacks on civilians.
She stopped short of directly accusing Russia of having committed war crimes. “There should be an investigation, and we should all be watching,” said Harris, noting that the United Nations has already started a process to review allegations. “I have no question the eyes of the world are on this war and what Russia has done in terms of this aggression and these atrocities.” Her visit to Poland came despite the commotion between Warsaw and Washington over a Polish suggestion to send its Soviet-made fighter jets to a U.S. and NATO base in Germany to go to Ukraine and Poland, in turn, would receive American F-16s. Poland had publicly drifted the proposal without consulting the U.S. With Harris arriving in Warsaw late Wednesday, the pentagon doubtlessly declined the idea, claiming that it would shoot up the Russia-Ukraine war.
Polish president, Duda, evaded questions about why Poland announced its proposal without consulting the United States. He emphasized that his government’s intention was driven by a desire for NATO to make a joint decision on the matter. “In a nutshell, we have to be a responsible member of the North Atlantic Alliance,” Duda said. Harris’ welcome for an investigation of war crimes came after the Biden administration on Wednesday warned that Russia might seek to use other means of attack like chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine after the White House rejected Russian claims of illegal chemical weapons development in the country it has invaded. The White House came up with the idea after Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova without proof, summons Ukraine of running chemical and biological weapons labs with U.S help.
The International Criminal Court prosecutor announced last week he was to initiate an investigation that will aim at the senior officials who are accountable for war crimes, crimes against humanity, or even genocide in the middle of the crisis as the civilian deaths are increasing and the extensive destruction of property during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Though the investigations at the ICC take years, relatively few convictions have ever been won. The ICC was set up in 2002 to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The crime of aggression can’t be investigated in Ukraine because neither Russia nor Ukraine is a court member, though they were added later.