U.S. supporting prosecutors collecting evidence on Ukraine atrocities -spokesperson

Rescuers carry a civilian injured during shelling, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, in this handout picture released March 8, 2022. Press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS

WASHINGTON, April 4 (Reuters) - The United States is supporting an international team of prosecutors and experts to help collect and analyze evidence of atrocities following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and hold those responsible accountable, a spokesperson said on Monday.

International outrage has spread over killings of civilians in northern Ukraine, where a mass grave and bodies with their hands bound were found on the roadside in Bucha, a town reclaimed from Russian forces as Moscow shifted the focus of the fighting elsewhere. read more

The United States has previously said that members of Russia's military had committed war crimes in Ukraine since the invasion was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin in February.

"We are tracking and documenting atrocities and sharing information with institutions working to hold responsible those accountable," State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters.

Price said images and reports suggest atrocities are not the act of a rogue soldier, but rather part of a "broader, troubling campaign."

At the request of Ukraine, the team will support the prosecutor general of Ukraine's war crimes unit, Price said.

"The terrible death and destruction wrought by the Kremlin's forces is going to continue as long as Putin continues this senseless, unprovoked war," Price said.

Russia has previously denied targeting civilians and rejected allegations of war crimes in what it calls a "special operation" aimed at demilitarizing and "denazifying" Ukraine. Ukraine says it was invaded without provocation.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Daphne Psaledakis and Eric Beech; editing by Grant McCool

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