Attorney General Merrick Garland made a surprise visit Tuesday to Ukraine in an attempt to show the United States stands with the country in trials in which the Russian military is accused of war crimes
Garland made the visit a part of his previously scheduled trip to Paris.
He is meeting with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova to discuss the international effort to prosecute war crimes. The two prosecutors last met in May in Washington, D.C.
Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia in late February, has opened roughly 16,000 investigations into alleged war crimes by Russian troops. Many supporting nations have launched similar investigations into alleged Russian crimes. In late May, the International Criminal Court opened its largest ever investigation into alleged war crimes.
The ICC team has joined in its effort alongside Ukrainian, Polish and Lithuanian prosecutors. The largest legal branch of the European Union, Eurojust, is participating in the investigation as well.
A significant rise in war crime allegations against Russia rose following its troops’ withdrawal from Kyiv, which revealed a mass grave in the suburban enclave of Bucha, into which Russian troops deposited as many as 400 Ukrainians.