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Garland heads to Ukraine to talk war crime prosecution

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Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday will make an unannounced visit to Ukraine to meet with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova and discuss U.S. and international efforts to prosecute war crimes resulting from Russia’s invasion, according to a Justice Department official.

Garland is the latest member of President Joe Biden’s cabinet to make a trip to the war-torn country; Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled there together in April. The Justice Department previously announced last week that Garland was traveling elsewhere in Europe for various meetings.

Garland’s visit will come after he revealed in April that the Justice Department is contributing to international investigations into alleged war crimes in Ukraine, escalating U.S. involvement in efforts to hold Russia legally accountable for atrocities committed during its invasion.

“This department has a long history of helping to hold accountable those who perpetrate war crimes,” Garland said at the time, invoking his predecessor Robert Jackson — a former attorney general in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration who went on to serve as the chief U.S. prosecutor of Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials.