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RussiaApril 11 2022, 13:32 pm

US Influencers Dismiss Evidence of Russian War Crimes in Ukraine

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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