Biden Accuses Russia of Genocide; OSCE says Russia Broke International Law

From a Washington Post story by Bryan Pietsch, Jennifer Hassan, Adela Suliman, Amy Cheng, and Andrew Jeong headlined “Biden accuses Russia of genocide; OSCE says Russia broke international law”:

Russia committed human rights abuses and broke international humanitarian law during its invasion of Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe found. The report from the Vienna-based security body, released Wednesday, said those who ordered attacks on a maternity hospital and theater-turned-shelter in the besieged city of Mariupol committed war crimes.

“Taken as a whole, the report documents the catalogue of inhumanity perpetrated by Russia’s forces in Ukraine,” said Michael Carpenter, U.S. ambassador to the OSCE, in a speech. “This includes evidence of direct targeting of civilians, attacks on medical facilities, rape, executions, looting, and forced deportation of civilians to Russia.”

The report follows President Biden’s declaration for the first time that Russia was carrying out a “genocide” in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called Biden’s remarks the “true words of a true leader,” though top U.S. officials have resisted using the term, even amid evidence of brutal torture and killings and growing accusations that Russia has committed war crimes against Ukrainians. As French President Emmanuel Macron declined to call the actions of Russian troops in Ukraine “genocide,” saying that “an escalation of rhetoric” would not help stop the war, the heads of state of Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — four of Ukraine’s most vocal supporters within NATO — traveled to Kyiv to meet Zelensky.

Satellite images captured in recent days by U.S. firm Maxar Technologies show Russian forces repositioning in Ukraine’s east, likely supplying more troops and military equipment in preparation for a fresh round of offensives in the region. A bird’s-eye view of several towns in Kharkiv and Luhansk, two provinces that sit near Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia, revealed Russian convoys with more than 200 vehicles traveling along the highway. Meanwhile, the United States is readying a dramatic expansion of its weapons assistance to Ukraine, U.S. officials told The Washington Post.

Here’s what to know

  • Zelensky proposed swapping Ukrainians in Russian detention with Putin’s trusted Ukrainian ally, oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, who was recaptured by Ukraine’s internal security service after weeks in hiding.
  • International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan called Ukraine a “crime scene” during a visit to Bucha on Wednesday, following mounting evidence that Russian troops committed atrocities during their occupation of the Kyiv suburb.
  • As the United States, Britain and Australia monitor unconfirmed reports that Russia may have used chemical weapons during its siege of Mariupol, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons notes that Russia and Ukraine are part of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits developing, acquiring or using chemical weapons. Heavy fighting has impeded investigations.
  • The Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel for updates.

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