The head of the U.S. Foreign Policy Department gave an interview to CNN.
According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the pictures of the killed civilians in the city of Bucha after the withdrawal of Russian troops are a “punch in the gut.” The U.S. Foreign Minister stressed that those guilty of war crimes should be brought to justice.
Blinken’s comments came a day after Ukrainian troops entered the town of Bucha, near Kyiv, and, according to officials and eyewitnesses, found the bodies of approximately 300 civilians killed by the Russian military. The Secretary of State voiced his position in a Sunday interview with CNN.
“We can view these images as (a kind of) punch in the gut,” Blinken said. He noted that, as the Biden administration stated, it believes that Russian troops have committed (in Ukraine) war crimes and the White House is helping to collect the available evidence of these crimes.
“It is necessary to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Blinken said. — And I think the most important thing is that we cannot be indifferent to what happened. … This is a reality, it happens every day while Russian atrocities against Ukraine continue.”
Blinken did not answer the question whether the United States believes that Russian troops committed an act of genocide.
“We will carefully search and document everything we see. Let’s put [the facts] together so that the relevant institutions and organizations, including the Department of State, can see it,” he said.
These institutions include Ukrainian law enforcement agencies and the International Criminal Court investigating possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine.
According to the head of the Department of State, it is “too early to say” whether the Russian troops withdrawn from Kyiv will “regroup, replenish supplies, and then return,” or they will relocate to the east and south, as Russian officials say.
Blinken declined to confirm reports that the U.S. is facilitating the transfer of Soviet-era tanks to Ukrainian forces from Eastern European allies. However, he said that members of the NATO alliance continue to supply weapons “in all directions.”
“Ukraine has or will soon have more than 10 ATGMs (anti—tank missile systems) for every Russian tank,” he said.
Blinken will take part in a meeting of NATO foreign ministers on April 5-7 in Brussels. According to the official representative of the Department of State, Ned Price, during the meeting the alliance’s support for Ukraine will be discussed.
The allies will also consider “joint efforts to hold Russian President (Vladimir) Putin accountable and to help bring an early end to his senseless and destructive war against Ukraine,” Price said.
According to him, the U.S. Secretary of State will take part in the meeting of G7 foreign ministers for additional consultations.