Ukraine Update: Russian diplomat rejects U.S. ‘crimes against humanity’ assessment, Ukrainian fighters finish advanced training course

by mcardinal

Lauren C. Moye, FISM News

Washington and Moscow traded verbal blows this weekend over the Russian invasion of Ukraine and ‘crimes against humanity.’

In remarks made at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Vice President Kamala Harris formally declared that Russia has committed war crimes.

“In the case of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, we have examined the evidence.  We know the legal standards.  And there is no doubt these are crimes against humanity,” Harris said to applause.

She added, “The United States has formally determined that Russia has committed crimes against humanity.”

In fact, organizations that the U.S. Agency for International Development relied on for this determination have documented over 30,000 war crimes in the nearly year since Russia first invaded its neighbor.

However, they added they have not determined if these crimes constitute the charge of committing crimes against humanity itself.

Russia’s ambassador to the United States rejected the statement as a demonization of Moscow. Anatoly Antonov then accused the U.S. of fueling the war.

“We regard such insinuations as an unprecedented attempt to demonize Russia in the framework of the hybrid war unleashed against us,” Antonov said on the Russian Embassy’s Telegram platform. “There is no doubt that the purpose of such attacks by Washington is to justify its own actions to fuel the Ukrainian crisis.”


AP News reported on Friday that the first class of Ukrainian fighters has completed a five-week advanced combat training course put together by the U.S. Classes were held in Germany.

635 fighters gained training in armored vehicles, which the Pentagon says will be crucial as the Ukrainians prepare their spring offensive against Russian troops.

“Our goal is to make sure that we give Ukraine additional capabilities so that they can be — not only be marginally successful, they can be decisive on the battlefield in the — in their upcoming offensive,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin II said on Wednesday.

An additional 1,600 Ukrainian troops have already started training, Pentagon Press Secretary Big. Gen. Pat Ryder said this week.

The spring offensive will be critical to determine the next stage of the war, which has mostly been stalemated after the fall saw Ukraine make great strides in pushing Russian troops back.


Russia’s Defense Ministry said it captured a new village in the Kharkiv region yesterday. The village of Hrianykivka is in eastern Kharkiv and roughly 110 miles north of Bakhmut, which is a fiercely contested frontline city.

Ukraine did not confirm the capture, but officials did say the village was being shelled.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian soldiers continue fighting to keep Rusisans from overtaking Bakhmut.

“Give us more military equipment, more weapons, and we will deal with the Russian occupier. We will destroy them,” a serviceman in Bakhmut said to a Reuters journalist in a plea to world leaders at the Munich security conference.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked his forces in the region on Saturday, acknowledging that “the most brutal and significant fighting is going on there.”

Meanwhile, there has been a bright spot in the Russian onslaught against the Ukrainian power grid this weekend. Zelenskyy said in his Saturday address that most of Ukraine currently has energy. He praised the repair workers for their work done on the generating system.