WASHINGTON––U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Ukraine Invasion War Crimes Deterrence and Accountability Act, which would ensure the U.S. is undertaking coordinated efforts to collect and maintain evidence of war crimes and atrocities committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“The world has watched Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine unfold with brutal and devastating effect. Vladimir Putin, his forces and enablers must be held accountable for the destruction and suffering they have caused. This legislation will help ensure the record is crystal clear and these perpetrators do not escape responsibility for the atrocities they have directed, committed and lauded,” Boozman said.
“The reports of Russian war crimes coming out of Ukraine are sickening, and we must ensure these atrocities are properly documented,” said Cornyn. “The House of Representatives passed this legislation nearly unanimously, and it is imperative that the Senate quickly do the same so we can prosecute these criminals to the fullest extent of the law.”
The Ukraine Invasion War Crimes Deterrence and Accountability Act would issue a statement of policy and require a report to Congress within 90 days to ensure the U.S. is undertaking coordinated efforts to collect, analyze and maintain evidence of war crimes and atrocities as defined in the U.S. Code committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine and to deter the commission of such crimes by making Russian commanders, troops and leaders aware of efforts to collect evidence and identify those committing these atrocities. The bill focuses on the development and maintenance of evidence and does not specify any specific prosecution venue in which such evidence may be used.
Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Rick Scott (R-FL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Angus King (I-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joined Boozman and Cornyn to introduce the bill.Companion legislation in the House of Representatives passed the House Committee on Foreign Affairs unanimously and was adopted by the full House by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 418-7 on April 6, 2022.