Durbin, Wicker, Bipartisan Group Of Senators Meet With Ukrainian Prosecutor General

The Senators received an update on reports of war crimes committed by Russians

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Co-Chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, hosted Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin to receive an update on Putin’s unprovoked war in Ukraine, and specifically on reports of war crimes and crimes against humanity by Russians.  Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.S., Oksana Markarova, and President of Ukraine’s Supreme Court, Vsevolod Kniaziev, were also in attendance.

Durbin was joined by Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), Co-Chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, as well as Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), and John Fetterman (D-PA).

“Perpetrators committing unspeakable war crimes, such as those unfolding before our very eyes in Ukraine, must be held to account,” said Durbin. “Today’s meeting was deeply upsetting when discussing the atrocities committed by Vladimir Putin, but as I mentioned to Prosecutor General Kostin,  we remain steadfast in our commitment to Ukraine and the brave Ukrainian people.  In Congress, we will keep pushing to pass critical legislation to ensure Putin pays the price. The world cannot tolerate this barbarity.”

“Yesterday, I met with wounded soldiers and orphaned children from Ukraine, and it was exceedingly clear that the Kremlin is willing to commit any evil necessary to break the Ukrainian spirit,” Wicker said. “Among the war crimes committed by Putin is that over 14,000 Ukrainian children have been abducted and taken to Russia against their will.  I appreciate the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s efforts to hold Russian war criminals accountable.” 

Photos of the meeting are available here. 

Last month, Durbin’s bipartisan, bicameral Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act was signed into law by President Biden.  The legislation updates the current war crimes statute to enable prosecution of war criminals in the United States regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator or victim.  The bill also extends the statute of limitations for certain war crimes.  Durbin-authored legislation restricting U.S. recognition of any Russian forcibly annexed areas of Ukraine also passed as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act

Earlier this week, Durbin spoke at Georgetown Law Center’s event titled, “Justice for Ukraine: A Conversation with the Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin.”