US, world leaders accuse Russia of war crimes, reiterate calls for investigations

When will Vladimir Putin stop his ‘war crimes’?

Fox News senior correspondent Eric Shawn confronts Russian UN Ambassador Visally Nebenzia over ‘war crimes’ amid Putin’s attack on Ukraine.

The U.S. and leaders in other countries are repeating calls to investigate Russia for war crimes in Ukraine in the wake of a number of fatal attacks on civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and a theater.

On Wednesday, President Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” and Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday agreed, saying that “intentionally targeting civilians is a war crime.” 

He said American officials were evaluating potential war crimes and that if Russia’s intentional targeting of civilians is confirmed, there will be “massive consequences.”

Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from a maternity hospital damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. The baby was born dead. Half an hour later, the mother died too. 
(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Rosemary DiCarlo, the United Nations’ Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, reiterated to the U.N. Security Council Thursday that deliberately targeting civilians is against international humanitarian laws and called again for an investigation. DiCarlo called the attacks “indiscriminate.”

The foreign ministers of the G7 in a joint statement this week demanded Russia to comply with the International Court of Justice’s order to stop its “unprovoked and shameful war.”

Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy head, on Thursday accused Russia of “serious violations and war crimes.” 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been accused of war crimes in Ukraine by world leaders. 
((Photo by ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images))

“The European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the Russian Armed Forces and their proxies’ continued targeting of Ukraine’s civilian population and civilian infrastructure, as well as their siege of the city of Mariupol,” he said.

In the besieged city of Mariupol, Russia attacked a maternity hospital, killing at least five people, including a child and a baby, last week and rescuers continued to search through the rubble of a theater Friday after the building, where hundreds were sheltering, was destroyed. The attack came despite a written warning in huge white letters on the pavement outside the theater that said “children” in Russian, meaning children were inside. 

President Joe Biden responds to a question about Russian President Vladimir Putin in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, March 16, 2022, in Washington. "He’s a war criminal," Biden said as he left the event to mark the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

“We are trying to survive somehow,” a Mariupol mother named Elena told the Associated Press. “My child is hungry. I don’t know what to give him to eat.”

In Merefa, near the northeast city of Kharkiv, at least 21 people were killed when Russian artillery destroyed a school and a community center, a local official said. An American was among 10 killed while waiting in a bread line in Chernihiv Thursday. 

The World Health Organization said it has verified at least 43 attacks on hospitals and health facilities in the country, attacks which have killed at least 12 people.  

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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