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President Joe Biden accused the Russian military of torturing Ukrainians using electrocution and other methods in an official statement Sunday.
Biden’s statement marked the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. In it Biden accused several nations of using torture on either their own people or the people of nations they were attacking. Biden has in the past called for Russia and Putin to be put on trial for war crimes.
“Any instance of torture is one too many, and yet every year countless victims suffer this brutal violation of their human rights and dignity,” Biden wrote. “This year we have been shocked by the horrific acts committed by Russian forces in Ukraine, including multiple, credible reports of torture such as beatings, electric shocks, and mock executions.”
“In Mali and Burkina Faso, terrorist groups have been documented to have massacred and tortured local populations, while in Mali and Central African Republic, Kremlin-aligned Wagner mercenaries have reportedly employed similar cruel and unlawful tactics,” he added.
Biden’s statement comes days after Attorney General Merrick Garland made a surprise visit to Ukraine to throw America’s weight behind ongoing war crimes trials against the Russian military.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) also opened its largest investigation ever into alleged war crimes in late May.
The ICC is working in a Join Investigation Team alongside Ukrainian, Polish and Lithuanian prosecutors. The European Union’s legal branch, Eurojust, is also participating in the effort.
War crime allegations arose after the Russian withdrawal from around Kyiv revealed that Bucha, a town in the area, saw Russian troops kill as many as 400 citizens and force others to dig mass graves.
Biden denounced the Russian military’s actions in Bucha as a war crime and called for an international trial.
Ukrainian authorities are also prosecuting roughly 16,000 cases of alleged war crimes by Russian forces.