The first woman to serve as Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Venediktova speaks with steely resolve and occasional humor, and approaches her task with a relentless work ethic.

The messages, reports from across Ukraine, scroll in real time: One civilian dead. Thirteen military casualties. Five civilians injured.

Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova glances at her cell phone. The stark numbers and bare-bones accounts that unreel in her hand are just the start; her staff will catalog them, investigate them — and try to bring the Russian perpetrators of war crimes to justice, AP reports.

This is her purpose: To make Vladimir Putin and his forces pay for what they have done. While courts around the world are working to hold Russia accountable, the bulk of the investigation – and the largest number of prosecutions – will likely be done by Ukraine itself.

For Venediktova, this is personal. “I protect the public interest of Ukrainian citizens. And now I see that I can’t protect these dead kids,” she says. “And for me it’s pain.”

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