The below is attributable to Spokesperson Rebecca Chalif:
Today, Administrator Samantha Power met with representatives of Ukrainian civil society, who are engaged in documentation of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other atrocities against civilians in Ukraine. These coalitions have documented more than 4000 cases of human rights violations in Ukraine. Among the representatives were individuals who have conducted field visits to locations throughout the country, where they have personally collected documentary evidence and testimony of a range of horrific crimes— including indiscriminate attacks on civilians, summary executions, torture of children, and systematic sexual and gender-based violence.
Ukrainian civil society representatives shared the methods and tools they are using to document serious human rights violations and atrocities, preserve and analyze this collected information, and ensure the highest quality standards of documentation for use in existing and future accountability mechanisms. The representatives shared how their documentation has been used since 2014 and will be shared with international investigators and prosecutors, including by the International Criminal Court, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the UN Human Rights Council, and other accountability mechanisms. The civil society representatives further shared how they are working together with national judicial institutions to further bolster documentation and adjudication capacities throughout Ukraine, including advocating for required legislative reforms to align domestic legislation with international humanitarian law. Lastly, the representatives highlighted their work with national and international media to spread the truth of the atrocities suffered by civilians in Ukraine.
Administrator Power thanked the representatives and their colleagues for their service and heroic efforts to document the truth of Russia’s atrocities against the Ukrainian people and make possible accountability for these crimes. She highlighted that their work is already having a visible and critical impact in rebutting Russian attempts to deny the extent of atrocities occurring in Ukraine.
She also underscored USAID’s extensive support for accountability efforts in Ukraine and reiterated the agency’s commitment to continue this support and ensure accountability for serious human rights violations and abuses and atrocity crimes committed by Russia.