US politicians wrote to the CEOs of Meta, TikTok and YouTube asking them to archive any content that could be evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine.
Four senior Democrats, who are the chair of powerful House committees that deal with oversight, foreign affairs, and national security, sent the letters.
The letters are not legal orders, but they have the backing of significant political power.
One of the letters that NBC News saw was addressed to Mark Zuckerberg. It states: “We are writing to encourage Meta to take measures to preserve and archive content on its platforms that could be used as evidence.”
This would help “the US government, international human rights, accountability monitors [who] will] investigate Russian war crime, crimes against humanity and other atrocities committed in Ukraine.”
Other important developments:
* Supporters and relatives of the Ukrainian fighters are hiding in the Azovstal Steel plant, under bombardment in Mariupol’s southern port. They have demonstrated in Kyiv to plead for their rescue
* A close Russian ally, Putin, stated that the West’s increased military support for Ukraine could lead to war between Russia (and NATO).
* The German industrial giant Siemens AG has announced that it will be leaving Russia. It has been operating in Russia for nearly 170 years.
* Europe was under greater pressure to secure alternative gas supplies after Moscow placed sanctions on European subsidiaries, Gazprom, and Ukraine. This resulted in a halt to a gas transit route and pushed prices higher
More Than 10,000 possible war crimes under investigation
A British diplomat was able to record evidence that Russian troops had committed sexual violence against children, as well as other violations of UN Security Council rules affecting young people during wartime.
Ambassador to the UN from Britain, Dame Barbara Woodward said that there is evidence that Russia has committed four of six grave violations of the Security Council’s Children in Times of War Act.
London counter-terror police searching for evidence of possible war crimes claimed they were struck by the “incredibly distressing” material as well as eyewitness accounts from those on the front line.
The Ukrainian prosecutor general office said that it is investigating more than 10700 war crimes, involving over 600 suspects and including Russian soldiers.
A trial in Kyiv is currently underway for a Russian soldier accused killing a civilian. Sergeant Said Shyshimarin (21), is charged with shooting a 62 year-old man in his head in the northeastern village Chupakhivka.
This is the first time that a Russian soldier has been charged with war crimes in connection to the conflict.