Top US general calls Russia out for war crimes, saying Putin's forces are purposefully gunning for civilian targets

Top US general calls Russia out for war crimes, saying Putin's forces are purposefully gunning for civilian targets
Mark Milley
Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.AP Photo/Susan Walsh
  • Gen. Mark Milley said Russia's "deliberate" attacks on Ukraine's civilians are a "war crime."

  • The Russian military launched a barrage of deadly strikes on cities across Ukraine this week.

  • "Indiscriminate and deliberate attacks on civilian targets is a war crime in the international rules of war," said Milley.

US Army Gen. Mark Milley said Wednesday that Russia's latest deadly missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian cities were "deliberate" strikes on civilian targets, making them a "war crime."

Russian President Vladimir Putin's forces launched strikes on cities across Ukraine this week, including the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, in retaliation for damage done to a key bridge between Russia and Crimea, an important supply line in Russia's war against Ukraine.

"In the past few days, Russia has increased their strikes on civilian infrastructure, power generation and dams," Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the top US general, told reporters after a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Brussels, Belgium.

Milley said that Russia "deliberately struck civilian infrastructure with the purpose of harming civilians."

"They have targeted the elderly, the women and the children of Ukraine," Milley said, adding that "indiscriminate and deliberate attacks on civilian targets is a war crime in the international rules of war."

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who spoke alongside Milley, said that Russia's latest "assaults on targets with no military purpose again reveal the malice of Putin's war of choice."

"Russia's atrocities have further united the nations of good will that stand with Ukraine," Austin said.

Milley and Austin's remarks follow an earlier statement by President Joe Biden.

"These attacks killed and injured civilians and destroyed targets with no military purpose," Biden said earlier this week. "They once again demonstrate the utter brutality of Mr. Putin's illegal war on the Ukrainian people."

Since Russia launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in early February, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other governments have repeatedly accused Putin's forces of committing heinous war crimes in the eastern European country.

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