05.05.22

Peters Helps Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Document and Deter Russian War Crimes in Ukraine

Bipartisan Legislation Overwhelmingly Passed House Last Month

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Ukrainian Caucus, helped introduce 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. Peters helped put forward this bipartisan legislation after recently returning from a congressional delegation to Europe, where he met directly with Ukrainian refugees and discussed the importance of sustaining and strengthening the trans-Atlantic alliance to maintain a forceful response against Russia’s war against Ukraine.

“The atrocities we are seeing every single day being committed against innocent Ukrainians are horrendous and unacceptable – and Vladimir Putin and the Russian military must be held accountable for these crimes,” said Senator Peters, former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Ukrainian Caucus. “This bipartisan legislation will ensure we have the evidence needed so that the Russian government cannot hide behind their crimes. I’m proud to stand with the Ukrainian people against the Russian government’s illegal invasion and will continue working to make sure we have a strong, unified front with Ukraine.” 

The House version of this legislation passed the House Committee on Foreign Affairs unanimously and was adopted by the full House by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 418-7 last month.

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.

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