AG Merrick Garland Visits Ukraine as Crime Continues to Surge in US

Joe Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland made a surprise visit this week to Ukraine in an apparent move to support ongoing war crimes trials taking place there against members of the Russian military.

The Ukrainian government is reportedly working on around 16,000 war crimes investigations involving Russian troops.

Ukraine’s top prosecutor Iryna Venediktova met with Garland to discuss international efforts underway to assist the nation with identifying, apprehending, and prosecuting anyone involved in “war crimes and other atrocities,” according to a Justice Department spokesperson.

In addition to Ukraine’s internal investigations, the International Criminal Court (ICC) last month began the largest war crimes investigation it has ever undertaken. The ICC is leading a Joint Investigation Team with Ukrainian, Polish, and Lithuanian prosecutors’ offices. The E.U. has also sent its legal division, Eurojust, to assist in the investigations.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) also opened an independent investigation into possible Russian war crimes last month. The HRC has conducted a special session to evaluate claims that Russian troops have committed atrocities against civilians in the areas near the Ukrainian capital city Kyiv.

Allegations have surfaced that Russian troops killed as many as 400 civilians in the town of Bucha and forced others to dig mass graves for those who were shot.

Garland’s visit to Ukraine comes as major American cities face surging violent crime rates and abortion activists are engaged in domestic terror attacks as the probable end of Roe v. Wade draws near.

According to Fox News, at least five cities are on pace to surge far beyond last year’s murder rates. Atlanta, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Washington, D.C., are all far ahead of homicide numbers through this time last year.

The trend toward larger homicide numbers has been developing since 2020, when murders went up by almost 30% nationwide over 2019. The number for 2021 was 5% up from the 2020 surge. Washington and Atlanta’s homicides are up more than 13% this year over last.

New Orleans is on pace to become the U.S. murder capital if the trends so far this year hold up there. The year-to-date homicide rate there is 72 per 100,000 residents. Birmingham, Baltimore, and St. Louis are the next cities behind New Orleans, with homicide rates of 58 or 59 per 100,000 residents each.

Even though the Department of Justice has overseen the Attorney General’s travel to investigate international affairs, New Orleans City Councilman Oliver Thomas is suggesting the National Guard may be needed in his city. The Democrat said that “may be the only realistic thing we can count on.”