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U.S. sees ‘very credible reports’ of deliberate attacks on civilians in Ukraine -Breaking

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© Reuters. U.S. Secretary Of State Antony Blinken addresses U.S. Embassy personnel in Chisinau (Moldova), March 6, 2022. Olivier Douliery/Pool via REUTERS

By Humeyra Pamuk

WASHINGTON (Reuters] -The United States received credible reports that Ukrainian civilians were attacked deliberately, U.S. Secretary Antony Blinken announced on Sunday. He added that Washington documented the attacks to help appropriate organisations in Russia’s war crimes investigation.

Blinken said that he has seen credible evidence of intentional attacks on civilians, which could be considered a war crime. He spoke to CNN’s State of the Union. He said that he had seen credible information about certain weapons being used.

Blinken said, “What we are currently doing is documenting everything, putting it all together and looking at the whole thing and making sure people and appropriate institutions investigate whether war crime have been committed or are being perpetrated that they can support them in whatever way they do.”

U.S. Embassy, Ukraine sent Friday a tweet stating that attack on nuclear plants is war crime. The Russian invasion force seized Europe’s largest nuclear power plant during heavy fighting in the southeastern Ukraine. It triggered worldwide alarm.

According to CNN, the State Department sent an email to U.S. diplomatic missions in Europe, asking them to not retweet the tweet by the Kyiv Embassy calling it a war crime. CNN reported that they had reviewed the message.

Blinken didn’t address the tweet by the Embassy, and the State Department refused to comment about whether or not the tweet represented the U.S. government’s overall position on the matter.

Russia denies that it attacked civilian areas and calls the Feb. 24 campaign a “special army operation.” It also stated it does not intend to occupy Ukraine. Ukraine was once under the Soviet Union’s control but is now seeking NATO membership.

Russia and Ukraine, like all U.N. countries, are bound by the 1949 Geneva Conventions. These established legal standards for humanitarian care in wartime and prohibited deliberate attacks against civilians.

The Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack on 1.5 million refugees has now reached its 11th birthday. It is now the most serious refugee crisis since World War Two, according to the United Nations.

With the help of many nations opposing Russia’s invasion, images of artillery and cluster bombing attacks on Ukrainian cities have been captured by the top world war crimes prosecutor.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission said that Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine are being investigated.

Von der Leyen stated, “I believe there should be a strong investigation on that question.”

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