Russian President Vladimir Putin at a joint press conference with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko in Moscow, Russia, February 18, 2022.
Sergey Guneev | Kremlin | Sputnik via Reuters
WASHINGTON – The Biden administration on Wednesday is going to announce additional sanctions against Russian financial institutions, as well as Kremlin officials and members of their families, three people familiar with the matter told NBC News.
The new package of sanctions, adopted jointly with allies in the European Union and the G7, will also ban new investments in Russia and state-owned enterprises, NBC sources said.
“These measures will degrade key instruments of Russia’s state power and cause acute and immediate economic damage to Russia and bring to justice the Russian kleptocracy that finances and supports Putin’s war,” said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
News of the additional measures are the next rounds of coordinated sanctions that have crossed Russia over Iran and North Korea as the country with the largest sanctions. These measures have hurt the Russian economy as Moscow promotes a brutal invasion of its neighbor.
The new sanctions were imposed amid growing global allegations of Russian war crimes in Ukraine. Last weekend, Ukrainian officials said hundreds of civilians had been tortured and killed by Russian troops in Bucha.
Psaki said that Russia’s actions in Bucha contributed to the decision to impose additional sanctions.
“Unfortunately, the horrific photos we saw from Bucha are not the first violation of war crimes or atrocities we have seen on the ground. So partly so, but they were at work and part of our process of bringing consequences,” she said. she.
“We continue to evaluate and decide on the additional implications and steps we can take,” she added.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky called the consequences in the suburbs near Kiev, which he saw with his own eyes on Monday, as “genocide.” He accused Russia of war crimes.
In a dramatic speech at the United Nations on Tuesday, Zelensky called for the creation of a tribunal like Nuremberg to investigate and prosecute Russian war crimes.
“The massacre in our city of Bucha is just one, unfortunately, just one of many examples of what the occupiers have been doing on our land for the last 41 days,” Zelensky said in a nearly 20-minute speech, adding, “The world has not seen it yet.” that Russia has done elsewhere in Ukraine.
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky appears on the screen when he addresses the members of the Spanish Parliament via video link against the background of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Madrid, Spain, April 5, 2022.
John Medina Reuters
The United States and European allies have previously accused Russia of war crimes in Ukraine, citing evidence that the country deliberately attacked civilian targets. Russia called its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” and denied attacks on civilians.
According to the United Nations, more than 1,400 people, including 61 children, have died since Russia’s invasion of its former Soviet neighbor on February 24; he added that the death toll was probably higher as the armed conflict delayed reports.
The head of the UN Humanitarian Aid Service, Martin Griffiths, told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that Russia’s war had forced more than a quarter of Ukraine’s population to leave the country.
“Current relocation figures tell us that more than 11.3 million people have been forced to flee their homes, and 4.2 million of them are refugees,” Griffiths said.
Children fleeing the war in Ukraine are resting in a temporary refugee shelter that was abandoned by a TESCO supermarket after being transported from the Polish-Ukrainian border on March 8, 2022 in Przemyśl, Poland.
Omar Brands Getty Images
On Monday, President Joe Biden called Russian leader Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” and said he should be prosecuted for ordering violence in Ukraine.
“This guy is brutal, and what’s going on in Bucha is outrageous, and everyone has seen it,” Biden told reporters. He added: “I think this is a war crime … He should be held accountable.”
Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, echoed similar sentiments and said the State Department would help investigate possible UN war crimes.
Ahead of a trip to Belgium ahead of NATO-G-7 meetings, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called reports of Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine “more than credible.”
“What we saw in Bucha is not an accidental action of a rogue unit. It is a deliberate campaign of murder, torture, rape, atrocities,” Blinken told reporters traveling with him. “The reports are more than credible. There is evidence for the world to see.”
Earlier on Tuesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters that the alliance was committed to supporting an investigation by the UN International Criminal Court.
“Targeting and killing civilians is a war crime. All the facts must be established and all those responsible for these atrocities must be brought to justice,” Stoltenberg said, adding that the alliance had solid evidence of war crimes committed in Bucha and other cities. Ukraine. .