Far-right American extremists under investigation by the DOJ for Ukraine war crimes: report

According to a report from Buzzfeed News, the Department of Justice in conjunction with the FBI is investigating seven Americans for taking part in what are described as war crimes while fighting in Ukraine.

The report notes that one of the men, Craig Lang, a former US Army soldier, is already being scrutinized in the slaying of a couple in Florida, attempted to get three judges in Kyiv to let him remain in the country over fears over war crimes investigations if he returned to the U.S, telling them: "Any separatist or Russian soldier that I have killed would be a murder charge. Understand that some of my fellow combatants are under investigation by the FBI for war crimes."

As Buzzfeed reports, those worries were well-founded.

"BuzzFeed News can reveal that the Department of Justice and the FBI have in fact taken the extraordinary step of investigating a group of seven American fighters, including Lang, under the federal war crimes statute. Authorities suspect that while in eastern Ukraine, Lang and other members of the group allegedly took noncombatants as prisoners, beat them with their fists, kicked them, clobbered them with a sock filled with stones, and held them underwater," the report states before adding, "Lang, the DOJ believes, may have even killed some of them before burying their bodies in unmarked graves."

At issue is Americans joining, "Right Sector, a volunteer far-right nationalist group that formed in November 2013 and later created a paramilitary force to respond to Russia's invasion of eastern Ukraine in spring 2014," the report states.

Buzzfeed's Christopher Miller reports, "The DOJ appeal doesn't make clear whether US authorities had interviewed any alleged victims in Ukraine or confirmed that anyone was killed. But based on the evidence gathered, the DOJ appeal says, the Americans 'allegedly committed or participated in torture, cruel or inhuman treatment or murder of persons who did not take (or stopped taking) an active part in hostilities and (or) intentionally inflicted grievous bodily harm on them.'"

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