May 06, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine), members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, have joined a bipartisan group of their Senate colleagues to 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 committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The bill was passed last month by the House of Representatives by an overwhelmingly bipartisan 418-7 vote.
“The world has watched in horror as Putin has used brute military force in an attempt to subjugate the peaceful country of Ukraine, killing countless innocent civilians in his path,” said Senator Collins. “From Bucha to Mariupol, the abject cruelty and viciousness of the Russian occupation have been on full display. Our bill would help ensure that these atrocities are identified and preserved, exposing war crimes committed by Putin, Russian generals, and soldiers. As we continue to support the Ukrainians in their fight to defend their people and their democracy, this effort will place additional pressure on Russia to bring an end to this terrible war.”
“Russia’s barbaric invasion has devastated Ukraine, demolished cities, and killed an untold number of Ukrainians who want nothing more than to live peacefully in their home country. This unprovoked assault is horrific, and it is absolutely essential that those responsible pay the consequences,” said Senator King. “Our bipartisan bill is an important step to hold Vladimir Putin and his accomplices accountable for their atrocities – and puts Russian leaders on notice that the world is watching their every step.”
The Ukraine Invasion War Crimes Deterrence and Accountability Act would issue a statement of policy and require a report to Congress within 90 days of its passage to ensure the U.S. is undertaking coordinated efforts to collect, analyze, and maintain evidence of war crimes and atrocities 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 is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Rick Scott (R-FL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Gary Peters (D-MI), John Boozman (R-AR), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Senators Collins and King, both members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, have forcefully condemned Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian sovereignty. They recently joined a bipartisan Congressional delegation to Poland and Germany where they met with NATO leaders, Ukrainian refugees, and U.S. servicemembers for a first-hand look at the humanitarian crisis and America’s efforts to support Ukrainians. Before Russia began its attacks, they cosponsored a resolution supporting the American partner in the face of Russian aggression and called for maximum intelligence sharing with Ukrainian officials. They also recently participated in a virtual conversation on the escalating threat posed by Russia in Eastern Europe with Ambassadors from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.