RUSSIA + UKRAINE

US VP Harris supports call for war crimes probe of Russia

Mar 10, 2022, 7:19 AM
US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a joint press conference with Poland's President Andr...
US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a joint press conference with Poland's President Andrzej Duda on the occasion of their meeting at Belwelder Palace, in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, March 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday embraced calls for an international war crimes investigation of Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, citing the “atrocities” of bombing civilians, including a maternity hospital.

Speaking alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda at a press conference in Warsaw, where she is demonstrating U.S. support for NATO’s eastern flank allies, Harris expressed outrage over the bombing Wednesday of the maternity hospital and scenes of bloodied pregnant women being evacuated, as well as other attacks on civilians. She stopped short of directly accusing Russia of having committed war crimes.

Related: Utah Jazz Foundation will fund 32,200 nights of housing for refugees

“Absolutely there should be an investigation, and we should all be watching,” said Harris, noting that the United Nations has already started a process to review allegations. “I have no question the eyes of the world are on this war and what Russia has done in terms of this aggression and these atrocities.”

Duda, for his part, said “it is obvious to us that in Ukraine Russians are committing war crimes.” He added that in his view the invasion was “bearing the features of a genocide — it aims at eliminating and destroying a nation.”

Harris praised the Polish people for their generosity for taking in nearly 1.5 million refugees since Russia invaded Ukraine last month.

Related: Expert says people will pay even more for groceries due to high gas prices

“I’ve been watching or reading about the work of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and so I bring you thanks from the American people,” Harris said earlier during a meeting with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki hours after the U.S. House passed a massive spending bill that includes $13.6 billion in aid for Ukraine and its European allies.

The legislation includes $6.8 billion to care for refugees and other economic aid to allies.

Harris also met Thursday afternoon with Ukrainian refugees who have fled to Poland since the Russian invasion began. She praised the refugees for their “courage” and said the conversation would help inform U.S. assistance efforts.

The vice president is also scheduled to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau while in Warsaw. The Canadian leader has been in Europe in recent days meeting with allies about Ukraine.

Harris’ whirlwind visit to Poland and Romania was billed by the White House as a chance for the vice president to consult with two of the leaders from eastern flank NATO nations about the growing humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Already, more than 2 million refugees have fled Ukraine — with more than half coming to Poland — and even more expected to arrive in the days ahead.

Duda warned of a “refugee disaster” if Poland doesn’t receive more assistance to help house and feed Ukrainians fleeing the conflict. He said he asked Harris for the U.S. to “speed up” the process for those Ukrainian refugees who would want to go to the U.S. and might have family there.

“The United States is absolutely prepared to do what we can and what we must to support Poland, in terms of the burden that they have taken on,” said Harris.
But differences between Warsaw and Washington over a Polish plan to send Soviet-made fighter jets to a base in Germany for Ukraine’s use have cast a shadow over Harris’ visit to Poland. Just as Harris arrived in Warsaw late Wednesday evening, the Pentagon definitively rejected the idea.

The proposal was publicly floated by Poland — without first consulting the U.S. — days after Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden administration was “very, very actively” looking at a proposal under which Ukraine’s neighbor Poland would supply Kyiv with Soviet-era fighters and in turn receive American F-16s to make up for their loss. Polish government officials, however, insisted any transfer of planes must be done within the NATO framework.

“In a nutshell we have to be a responsible member of the North Atlantic Alliance,” said Duda.

On Wednesday, the Pentagon shut the door on the prospect of NATO transferring jets to Ukraine, saying such a move with a U.S. and NATO connection would run a “high risk” of escalating the Russia-Ukraine war.

Harris, in her remarks, brushed aside any notion of tensions between Poland and the U.S. over how to effectively support Ukraine. “I want to be very clear, the United States and Poland are united in what we have done and are prepared to do to help Ukraine and the people of Ukraine, full stop,” she said.

Gen. Tod D. Wolters, the commander of U.S. European Command, said in a statement Thursday that the “most effective way to support the Ukrainian military in their fight against Russia is to provide increased amounts of anti-tank weapons and air defense systems.” That effort by the U.S. and allies is ongoing, Wolters added.

Harris will travel on Friday to Bucharest, where she’s to meet Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

AP writer Zeke Miller contributed from Washington.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Russia + Ukraine

A US Bradley Fighting Vehicle patrols the countryside of the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli in S...
Natasha Bertrand, Kylie Atwood and Oren Liebermann, CNN

Inside the US and German standoff over sending tanks to Ukraine

The Biden administration is stuck in a standoff with Germany over whether to send tanks to Ukraine ahead of a key meeting of Western defense leaders in Germany on Friday.
20 days ago
A helicopter crash near a kindergarten in the Kyiv region has killed at least 16 people, including ...
Maria Kostenko, Sophie Tanno, Brent Swails and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Helicopter crash near Kyiv kills 16, including Ukrainian interior minister

At least 30 others, including 12 children, are in the hospital following the helicopter crash in the city of Brovary, Ukraine, on Wednesday,
22 days ago
The mercenary group, Wagner, has emerged as a key player in Russia's invasion of Ukraine -- recentl...
Mick Krever and Katharina Krebs, CNN

Former Wagner commander flees to Norway and seeks asylum

Andrei Medvedev, in an interview with a Russian activist, said that he feared for his life after refusing to renew his service with Wagner.
23 days ago
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the US Congress at the US Capitol in Washington, D...
Kevin Liptak and Maegan Vazquez, CNN

Zelensky delivers impassioned speech for more help fighting Russia on the ‘frontline of tyranny’

Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to meet with President Biden, and delivered a speech to Congress later that night.
2 months ago
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky holds a press conference with the heads of state of France, ...
Kevin Liptak, CNN

4 takeaways from the historic visit of Volodymyr Zelensky to Washington

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky flew to Washington on Wednesday to discuss what the next state of the war in his country might look like.
2 months ago
...
Kevin Liptak, CNN

Zelensky arrives at White House for historic meeting with Biden

Zelensky arrived at the South Lawn of the White House just after 2 p.m. ET and was met by President Joe Biden.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
US VP Harris supports call for war crimes probe of Russia