The US Justice Department said on Wednesday that four Russian nationals who are suspected of torturing and forcibly holding a US citizen in Ukraine have been charged with war crimes.

According to the government, charges under the US War Crimes Act are being pursued for the first time.

According to the allegations, the offenses took place following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The defendants are personnel from either the Russian military or its proxies. It was said of two of them that they had a leadership role.

The victim did not participate in the conflict; she was a resident of a small community in southern Ukraine.

The accused’s location was kept a secret by the Justice Department. If they are in Russia,extradition is considered highly unlikely.

The US Congress passed the War Crimes Act almost 30 years ago to enable the prosecution of war crimes against US citizens.

“The Justice Department will work for as long as it takes to pursue accountability and justice for Russia’s war of aggression,” a statement said.