Blinken: ‘Someday, Someway’ Accountability Coming for Brutality in Ukraine

Blinken: 'Someday, Someway' Accountability Coming for Brutality in Ukraine (Getty)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Wednesday, 06 April 2022 02:01 PM

"Someday, someway, somewhere," those who committed and carried out the war crimes that have taken place in Ukraine will be held accountable, even if Russian President Vladimir Putin never stands trial, Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised in an interview airing Wednesday.

"The wheels of accountability can move slowly, but they move," Blinken said in an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell. "It takes time, and part of this is building the case."

There is already a Ukrainian special prosecutor working on the case, he said, adding that the United States is supporting her efforts, and a commission of inquiry has been set up at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

"We’re supporting those efforts, building the case, getting the evidence, documenting it," Blinken said. "The International Criminal Court is looking at this too."

Such efforts, however, take time and documentation, he cautioned, but he said he promised there will be a "relentless effort" to hold the people who are responsible for the brutalities that have been witnessed responsible.

"What we’re seeing, Andrea, is I think beyond what any of us even could fully anticipate," he told Mitchell.

"We said before Russia committed this aggression that there would be atrocities, that it was a deliberate part of their campaign, and even knowing that, when this Russian tide receded from Bucha and we saw the death and destruction left in its wake, and we saw what that looked like, including people who had been assassinated – and in fact, their hands tied – executed, their hands tied behind their backs – the abuse committed against women, against children, it’s horrific."

UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield has compared the violence around Ukraine to the Holocaust, but Blinken said everything must be documented to fully understand what happened.

"This is in some ways the most documented war in real-time that we’ve experienced because of technology, because of smartphones, because of the incredible courage of reporters who remained in Ukraine," said Blinken. "But even so, the things that we’re not seeing in real-time, including Bucha – and it’s only when that tide recedes that you see what’s actually happened."

He also described what he has seen as a "gut punch, and said he is concerned that what's still not known will be "horrifying" when it is all revealed.

Blinken further commented on testimony given by Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who told members of Congress this week that the war in Ukraine could go on for many more years.

"We want to see this come to an end as quickly as possible, and that’s exactly why we’re making sure that we’re doing everything we can to support Ukraine and to give them the assistance that they need to put pressure and to increase pressure on Russia, even as we’re strengthening the defenses of our NATO alliance," said Blinken.

This includes President Joe Bide's authorization for $100 million in a drawdown to provide more Javelin missiles to Ukraine.

"Between the United States and other allies and partners, for every Russian tank in Ukraine, we have provided or will soon provide 10 anti-tank systems," said Blinken. "They have the tools that they need, they’re going to keep getting them, and we’re going to keep sustaining that."

However, Blinken acknowledged that the hostilities could go on "for some time."

"The Russians, even as they’re moving their forces, they’ve retreated from Kyiv, they’ve retreated from the north and the west, they’re consolidating forces in the east, in the Donbas," he said. "They have a lot of force still left. The Ukrainians have something else that’s ultimately stronger, and that is a fierce determination and will to defend their country with the support of many countries around the world."

That means that ultimately, Ukraine will be able to hold onto its sovereignty, but to do that "may take time, and in the meantime, tremendous death and destruction," said Blinken. "But what is so powerful here is that the Ukrainians have made it very clear that they will not subjugate themselves to Vladimir Putin’s will."

Original Article