US media is reporting on how some US influencers are responding to the recently discovered evidence of war crimes committed by Russian troops in Ukraine. According to a report in The Bulwark:
The gruesome discoveries in Bucha, Trostyanets, and other Kyiv suburbs newly freed from Russian occupation have shifted the discourse on Russia’s war in Ukraine, putting the focus on Russian atrocities against the civilian population. By now the horrific photos and videos—bodies buried in mass graves or lying by the roadside, some victims with hands tied execution-style behind their backs—have been seen around the world and have shocked the conscience of everyone except the habitual Kremlin apologists. Survivors’ harrowing accounts of rape, torture, looting and other war crimes by Russian forces are also emerging. Inevitably, there are also the skeptics warning about propaganda, fakes, and emotional reactions. How, in the midst of a crisis with passions running high, do we respond to news of appalling tragedies? This is hardly the first time that atrocities and war crimes have been reported since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on February 23. On March 16, the Donetsk Regional Theater of Drama in Mariupol, where over a thousand people were sheltering—and “children” was written in large letters in the front and the back of the building—was bombed, leaving as many as 300 dead. The Russian state-owned media, and their American amen chorus, blamed Ukrainian extremists from Ukraine’s supposedly “neo-Nazi” Azov Regiment. (While Azov has a shady history—it started out as a volunteer battalion with ties both to neo-Nazis and to Jewish billionaire and politician Ihor Kolomoyskyy—most experts believe its current incarnation is not extremist.)
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The report goes on to discuss the reactions to the Russian war crime evidence by leftwing American journalist Gleen Greenwald:
Confronted with all this horror, what’s a pro-Russia spinner to do? Well, if you’re Glenn Greenwald, you lament the media’s uncritical use of “horrifying yet context-and-evidence-free photos and videos posted by Ukrainian officials” and praise the New York Times for at least acknowledging that these images and claims were not independently verified. Then you ignore the Times’s (and other media’s) subsequent firsthand coverage of the atrocities (and try to shift the focus to Hunter Biden’s laptop).
In March the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported on an extensive Twitter thread debunking an article claiming Russia’s bombing of a Mariupol theater was a false-flag operation carried out by Ukraine’s Azov Battalion.
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