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Pentagon: ‘We’re certainly seeing clear evidence’ Russia is ‘conducting war crimes’

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Tuesday, March 22, that there is “clear evidence” that the Russian military is conducting war crimes in its invasion of Ukraine.

“Russia is the aggressor here and I think we have seen here at the Pentagon — we’re certainly seeing clear evidence that the Russian military is conducting war crimes,” Kirby told “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday.

“We think it’s important for the investigative process to continue. We’re going to contribute to that. But obviously, relations with Russia are not at a premium nor should they be given the unprovoked and illegal aggression that Russia has put on the people of Ukraine,” he continued.

Kirby’s comments come after the U.S. condemned Russia for committing “war crime” amid its war with Ukraine. The condemnations mark a shift in tone for U.S. officials, as images and reports show, among other things, Russian attacks on civilians.

The United Nation’s human rights office on Tuesday reported 2,510 civilian casualties since the invasion against Ukraine started on Feb. 24, including 953 that have been killed and 1,557 that were injured. However, it believes the actual figures are “considerably higher.”

President Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” last week, escalating the administration’s language on the invasion. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has also said that his agency will be documenting possible war crimes.

The Pentagon spokesman said U.S. and other nations were documenting potential evidence to help investigators at the international level determine if Russia has committed war crimes.

Kirby declined to hypothetically speak on what would happen when those investigations were finished, but he said “there will be consequences for that on the international scale.”

“We see that the Russians are clearly — there’s clear evidence that their military — their forces are conducting war crimes. We’re not shying away from that,” Kirby said. “I mean, you can see it for yourself in just the video footage that you guys show every day.”

This article originally appeared on TheHill.

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