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Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers Remarks for Ukrainian Constitution Day


Washington, DC
United States

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Good afternoon.

Thank you, Ambassador Markarova, for inviting me to join you today. Your tireless work on behalf of Ukraine is an inspiration to all of us. You are a champion for your country. And our country is grateful for your partnership.

Tomorrow will mark 28 years since Ukraine’s Constitution declared Ukraine sovereign and independent. It will mark the third Constitution Day spent under bombardment from Russia in its relentless, unprovoked war of aggression against that independence.

In the face of unimaginable horrors at the hands of Russian forces, the people of Ukraine have demonstrated unimaginable courage.

Our counterparts in the Office of the Prosecutor General have worked relentlessly to open investigations into Russia’s war crimes and track down and prosecute defendants under the law.

They have sought to uncover the full truth of the crimes committed against the people of Ukraine.

At the same time, they are planning for a future beyond this war — a future with the rule of law at its foundation.

The Justice Department is honored to stand alongside them.

In December, the Justice Department filed historic charges against four Russia-affiliated military personnel for heinous crimes against an American citizen in Ukraine. These were the first-ever charges under the U.S. war crimes statute.

Our work has not stopped there.

Just yesterday, we unsealed an indictment charging a Russian citizen for conspiring with Russian military intelligence to launch cyberattacks against the Ukrainian government on the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We also allege he later targeted Ukraine’s allies, including the United States.

We are continuing to investigate war crimes that fall within our jurisdiction and to coordinate with our Ukrainian partners to support their investigations of Russian war crimes.

We are working with our international partners to ensure accountability for Russian war crimes and crimes against humanity.

We are freezing and seizing the assets of Russia’s enablers and working to deprive the Russian defense industry of key technologies and critical Western components.

We are using all of our legal tools to ensure that Russian perpetrators of aggression, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in Ukraine do not get away with them.

And we are standing with the people of Ukraine as they seek justice and freedom.

The world has watched as the people of Ukraine have fought back against Russia’s aggression.

Your resolve has changed history. Your courage has inspired us all.

The United States is proud to stand with you today, and every day.

Thank you. Slava Ukraini.

Updated June 27, 2024