The UK will deploy a team of war crimes experts to support Ukraine with investigations into Russian actions in the ongoing conflict, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced on Friday.
The specialist team will assist the Ukrainian government as they gather evidence and prosecute war crimes and will include experts in conflict-related sexual violence. They will arrive in Poland in early May and meet international partners, NGOs, refugees, and the Ukrainian government to scope out the assistance they can provide.
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“Russia has brought barbarity to Ukraine and committed vile atrocities, including against women. British expertise will help uncover the truth and hold Putin’s regime to account for its actions. Justice will be done,” Truss said.
The move comes as the Cabinet minister travels to The Hague on Friday for talks with International Criminal Court (ICC) President Judge Piotr Hofmanski at the court, where she will reaffirm the UK’s full support for the investigation and prosecution of war crimes and the use of sexual violence not just in the conflict in Ukraine but around the world.
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The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) visit follows Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab’s visit to The Hague last month to offer practical support to the court for investigating and prosecuting and the report produced under the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Moscow Mechanism, which found credible evidence of torture, rape, the killing of civilians and the forced deportation of more than half a million people in Ukraine.
While in The Hague, Truss will meet her Dutch counterpart Wopke Hoekstra for talks on working together with the Netherlands on holding Russia to account, including their work through the Joint Expeditionary Force and NATO.
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The FCDO said the UK supports the work of the ICC and is providing GBP 1 million of additional funding to help the ICC to have an improved system to store evidence submitted in relation to the Office of the Prosecutor’s (OTP) investigations.
The UK sees itself as a “leading country donor” to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, committing nearly GBP 400 million of aid for urgent economic and humanitarian support to Ukraine since the conflict began in February.