(RepublicanInformer.com)- On Thursday, Vice President Kamala Harris said she believed Russia’s bombing of a Ukrainian civilian hospital this week should be investigated as a potential war crime.
While others have called for an investigation into the possibility of war crimes committed by Russia, Harris is the highest-ranking U.S. official to condemn the attacks.
When she viewed the news coverage of the hospital attack in the port city of Mariupol, Harris said she was in shock. She responded that she believed the Kremlin should ultimately be held accountable on a broader basis for the “aggression and atrocities” Russian troops have committed during the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
During a news conference held in Warsaw, Poland, along with Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, Harris said:
“Just limited to what we have seen: Pregnant women going for healthcare being injured by — I don’t know — a missile, a bomb in an unprovoked, unjustified war.”
Duda spoke through an interpreter and called the attack “an act of barbarity bearing the features of a genocide.”
A Polish reporter then asked Harris directly whether she believed there should be an inquiry into possible war crimes for the attack, and she replied that she would support that.
Officials of the Department of Defense have said that some of Russia’s attacks in neighboring Ukraine would probably constitute war crimes. As a result, the DOD is documenting all acts of violence they are seeing to potentially be used in future investigations.
A team from the International Criminal Court has already been dispatched to the region, officials with the agency have said. Karim Khan, the organization’s chief investigator, said there was “reasonable basis” to think that Russia has already committed crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Harris’ trip to Poland, and the joint press conference Thursday, was intended to highlight unity among NATO member countries in the eastern flank as Russia is accelerating its attacks in Ukraine. In addition to meeting in Poland, Harris was scheduled to travel to Romania.
Both of those countries were former satellites of the Soviet Union and border Ukraine.
On Tuesday, the Polish government announced a plan to transfer planes to U.S. control for eventual delivery onto Ukraine. The U.S. rejected that offer, though, because there wasn’t any way to get the planes to Ukraine safely.
Many western countries have been hesitant to get directly involved in the war at this point, fearful that it could anger Russian President Vladimir Putin and convince him — and other Communist countries such as China — to expand the war greatly.
Putin himself has said that if the U.S. were to send planes to Ukraine, Russia would consider it an act of war.
Duda addressed the situation at the press conference this week, saying Poland was attempting to balance their own country’s interests while also helping Ukraine.
“There were requests addressed to us. Those requests were addressed to us by the Ukrainian side and also, to a certain extent, by the media … We decided to put those jets at the disposal of NATO, not expecting anything in return.”