The Swedish government has joined calls for Russia’s military actions in Ukraine to be investigated for possible war crimes.
“Sweden strongly condemns Russia’s attacks on civilian objects in Ukraine, incl. schools & hospitals. International humanitarian law & protection of civilians must be upheld at all times,” the Swedish prime minister’s office said via Twitter. “Fully support @IntlCrimCourt investigation—accountability for war crimes must be ensured,” it added in the tweet.
Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday threw her support behind efforts to investigate Russia for possible war crimes in Ukraine, saying the U.S. would work with international efforts already under way. Germany’s federal prosecutor’s office earlier in the week said that it had opened an investigation into suspected war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russian forces during the invasion of Ukraine.
War crimes, broadly defined, include willfully killing or causing suffering, widespread destruction and seizing of property, deliberately targeting civilian populations, and other serious violations of laws applicable in armed conflict. The International Criminal Court also prosecutes three other offenses: crimes against humanity, genocide and the crime of aggression.
Calls for such an investigation have grown after a Russian airstrike hit a maternity hospital in the besieged southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, killing at least three people.