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US bolsters Ukraine’s capacity to document Russian war crimes with new aid package

The US has provided a technical assistance package to Ukraine’s investigative units, including 66 vehicles, 250 drones, nine 3D ground laser scanning systems, and a DNA laboratory.
Equipment the US provided to Ukraine.
Equipment the US provided to Ukraine. Credit: Ukraine’s Interior Ministry
US bolsters Ukraine’s capacity to document Russian war crimes with new aid package

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine has received technical assistance from the US for its investigative units, the Ministry announced on 17 February. The aid includes 66 vehicles, 250 drones, nine 3D ground laser scanning systems with software, and a DNA laboratory.

Investigations reveal that, during the occupation of Ukraine’s Kherson, Kharkiv, and Kyiv oblast, Russian soldiers have committed a significant number of civilian murders, including those of children.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko expressed gratitude to the US government and specifically to Ambassador Bridget Brink for their comprehensive support during nearly two years of Russia’s full-scale war. Klymenko highlighted that the US Embassy’s Law Enforcement Section has provided over $287 million in assistance to the Ministry’s system during this time.

“Our American partners, our friends, give us the opportunity to defend our state for two years, believe in our strength, and receive the appropriate equipment, weapons, and any necessary assistance. The US is once again providing us with a large package of assistance that will go to the forces of the National Police of Ukraine and the State Border Guard Service units. You are making a huge contribution to the development and functioning of our units,” Klymenko said.

Ambassador Bridget Brink emphasized that the gesture from official Washington to transfer technical assistance is a testament to the steadfast support for Ukraine on its path to justice and punishing Russia for war crimes.

“We provide this assistance so that your units can safely collect evidence and show the world the terrible crimes committed by the Russian army on the territory of Ukraine. My country highly values your values, and on behalf of the President of the United States, I confirm our comprehensive support,” Brink said.

Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, the US has provided $17 million in assistance to the investigative units of the National Police.

US Ambassador Bridget Brink and Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko. Credit: Ukraine’s Interior Ministry

Klymenko and Brink inspected all the transferred equipment, with the minister noting that its application would allow for the quick and high-quality documentation of all Russian crimes. He mentioned the “ANDE 6C” rapid DNA profiling laboratories, which are now equipped in all Main Departments of the National Police of Ukraine, allowing for the establishment of a DNA profile in just over an hour and a half.

“The police officers have undergone appropriate training with specialists-criminologists to work with such rapid DNA profiling laboratories. We already have effective cases of identifying individuals killed as a result of Russian missile strikes on our cities. Important for our work are also 3D scanners and unmanned aerial vehicles. They are used to inspect event sites and objects that have been damaged as a result of missile strikes, artillery shelling, and bombings,” Klymenko explained.

Ivan Vyhivskyi, Head of the National Police of Ukraine, noted that the technical assistance would be sent primarily to the front-line regions, which are under Russian attacks daily.

“The National Police highly appreciate all your help from the moment of our body’s creation, especially since the beginning of the full-scale war. The US is our biggest partner. Together to victory,” Vyhivskyi declared.

Klymenko also showed Brink the work of the Ministry’s Situation Center regarding the collection of evidence of Russian crimes on the territory of Ukraine and how the center’s employees predict future threats.

“Today, Ukraine is fighting for justice. We are liberating our lands and saving our people. And we are extremely grateful that we are not alone in this fight for life. We have strong support from the US government. Thanks to your help, we give the occupiers a worthy rebuff and know we have the power to win!” the Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine concluded.

On 16 February, the National Police of Ukraine reported that Ukrainian law enforcement had identified 875 out of 1,008 bodies discovered in the territories of the Kharkiv Oblast that were occupied by Russia at the beginning of the full-scale invasion and deoccupied by Ukraine’s forces in September 2022. Among the identified victims, 29 were children.

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