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Security aid continues to flow to Ukraine, defense officials say: ‘We are moving as fast as we can’

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Security aid continues to flow into Ukraine unabated, with another shipment arriving in the past 24 hours, a senior US defense official said on Monday, while adding that alleged atrocities committed by Russian forces against civilians in Bucha should be investigated as “war crimes”. .”

“Everything we do regarding Ukraine is accelerated – everything,” a senior defense official told reporters on Monday, while adding that U.S. officials “don’t know exactly what the long-term goal is for Mr. . Putin”.

The Biden administration on Friday announced $300 million in security and lethal assistance, which is separate from the $800 million previously authorized. The extra aid should be used to buy weapons from defense contractors, an official said.

“We are aggressively going after this,” the official added.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a press conference at the Pentagon on January 28, 2022.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Officials said Monday that in the past 24 hours the United States has coordinated security assistance programs from half a dozen other countries to Ukraine.

Officials also said there had been arms shipments purchased from the $800 million in military assistance originally announced by Biden last month, all within the past 24 hours.

“We are moving as fast as we can,” an official said.

Meanwhile, senior defense officials said there is clear evidence Russia committed war crimes and called for further investigation into attacks on civilians.

Ukrainian officials said the bodies of 410 civilians were found in towns in the Kyiv region recently recaptured from Russian forces. In Bucha alone, more than 100 civilians were found buried in mass graves.


Security aid continues to flow to Ukraine, defense officials say: ‘We are moving as fast as we can’

Bodies lie in a mass grave in Bucha, on the outskirts of kyiv, Ukraine on Sunday.
(AP/Rodrigo Abd)

“It’s sickening,” an official said. “It’s disgusting.”

The official added: “We believe this should be added to the war crimes allegations and investigated.”

The comments and further help come after residents of Bucha gave harrowing accounts of how Russian troops shot and killed civilians for no apparent reason.

Russia is facing a rapidly escalating international outcry as more gruesome images and stories emerge of alleged atrocities against Ukrainian civilians.

President Biden on Monday called for a “true war crimes trial” as evidence of atrocities against Ukrainian civilians in Bucha emerged over the weekend, but denied the attacks constituted a ” genocide”, while again calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal”.


Security aid continues to flow to Ukraine, defense officials say: ‘We are moving as fast as we can’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center left, surveys the site of a recent battle in Bucha, near kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, April 4, 2022.
(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

“He’s a war criminal,” Biden said of Putin Monday morning upon his return to Washington, D.C., promising that the United States “will continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons it needs to continue to fight.” to fight”.

The president added that Putin “should be held accountable” and said the United States must “get all the details so this can be a real war crimes trial.”

“This guy is brutal,” Biden said. “What’s happening in Bucha is outrageous and everyone has seen it – I think it’s a war crime.”

Asked about additional sanctions, Biden said he was “seeking more sanctions” against Russia and would “continue to add sanctions.”

Over the weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in an interview with “Face the Nation” on CBS on Sunday, said the attacks constituted “genocide.”

When asked on Monday if he agreed with Zelenskyy’s characterization of “genocide,” Biden replied, “No, I think it’s a war crime.”

Genocide is a type of war crime under international law.


Security aid continues to flow to Ukraine, defense officials say: ‘We are moving as fast as we can’

GRAPHIC CONTENT – Lifeless bodies of men, some with their hands tied behind their backs, lie on the ground in Bucha, Ukraine, Sunday, April 3, 2022.
(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch documented evidence of summary executions, unlawful violence and threats against civilians, and repeated rapes between February 27 and March 14. A report by the organization also implicates Russian soldiers in the looting of civilian property, including food, clothing and firewood. .

Under international humanitarian law, belligerent armed forces are responsible for war crimes if they are found to have deliberately killed, raped, tortured or otherwise inhumanly treated captured civilians and detained combatants.

Russian troops had arrived at Bucha at the start of the invasion and remained there until March 30.

Russia denies having anything to do with the widespread killing of Ukrainian civilians, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying on Monday that “we categorically reject the charges”.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed in a statement that new photos and videos of the corpses “were staged by the kyiv regime for Western media.”

Security aid continues to flow to Ukraine, defense officials say: ‘We are moving as fast as we can’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pauses during a news conference in Moscow on November 30, 2021.
(Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP)


And Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the attacks “fake”.

“The other day, another fake (news) attack was undertaken in the city of Bucha in the Kyiv region, after the departure of the Russian army in accordance with plans and agreements,” Lavrov said. “Several days later, a fake (video) was staged and is now being broadcast on all media channels and social media by Ukrainian officials and their Western patrons.”

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