The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has tapped Eli Rosenbaum to lead the War Crimes Accountability Team, as it pertains to the alleged war crimes and atrocities committed during Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The DOJ's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) has experience within this investigative scope, previously being tasked with identifying and deporting Nazi war criminals through the years; and now, Rosenbaum — who reportedly has the nickname of "Nazi Hunter" — will be overseeing the investigations in Ukraine.
"Working alongside our domestic and international partners, the Justice Department will be relentless in our efforts to hold accountable every person complicit in the commission of war crimes, torture, and other grave violations during the unprovoked conflict in Ukraine," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a release.
Also, the release states, "This initiative will bring together the Department's leading experts in investigations involving human rights abuses and war crimes and other atrocities; and provide wide-ranging technical assistance, including operational assistance and advice regarding criminal prosecutions, evidence collection, forensics, and relevant legal analysis."
On Tuesday, Garland made an unannounced visit to Ukraine to meet with the country's prosecutor general.
Garland's primary objective: discussing the United States' commitment to prosecuting those responsible for war crimes in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The DOJ release reiterates that Rosenbaum will be responsible for coordinating efforts across the department, along with other federal agencies.
Prosecutors from the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section will also work with Rosenbaum on holding those responsible accountable.
DOJ officials will have jurisdiction over incidents which involve the wounding and killing of American journalists covering the Russian invasion.
According to the DOJ release, numerous Russian war crimes have been reported throughout the war, including the killing of civilians and multiple allegations of Russian soldiers raping women.
It remains to be seen if a global tribunal will conduct separate war trials for the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
After the events of World War II during the mid-1940s, the Nuremberg, Germany-based International Military Tribunal (IMT) oversaw war trials involving Nazi Germany.
Judges from the Allied powers — Great Britain, France, the United States, and Soviet Union (now Russia) — presided over the hearings, which resulted in 199 defendants, 161 convictions, and 37 death sentences, including 12 reportedly tried by the IMT.
And according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, beginning in 1979, the OSI "opened hundreds of investigations and initiated proceedings of Nazi war criminals. These investigations lead to the denaturalization and/or removal of more than 100 Nazi offenders from the United States."
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