April 18, 2024

Pathfinder News

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Ukraine: US Accuses Russia Of Depravity And Brutality

The US defence department has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of acting with “depravity” in his invasion of Ukraine.

Spokesman John Kirby became visibly emotional as he asked how anyone “moral” could justify the atrocities committed by Russia.

But Russia’s ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov has rejected the accusation.

He described Mr Kirby’s comment as “offensive and unacceptable”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday he was still open to peace talks with Mr Putin.

But he said there was a high risk they could collapse amid Russian aggression.

Speaking to Polish media, Mr Zelensky said he wanted to meet Mr Putin because “a single man decides everything” in Russia.

But the destruction left by Russian forces in occupied areas has made any discussions tenuous, he said. “After Bucha and Mariupol people just want to kill them. When there is such attitude, it is hard to talk about anything.”

On Thursday, Ukraine announced a hunt for 10 Russian soldiers accused of war crimes in Bucha – a suburb north of Kyiv where at least 400 civilians were killed.

“I don’t think we fully appreciated the degree to which [Mr Putin] would visit that kind of violence and cruelty,” Mr Kirby said.

He dismissed Mr Putin’s stated justifications for the invasion – that he is protecting Russians and Ukraine from Nazism – adding: “It’s hard to square that rhetoric by what he’s actually doing inside Ukraine to innocent people, shot in the back of the head, hands tied behind their backs, pregnant women being killed, hospitals being bombed.” But Mr Antonov accused Kirby of “resorting to street insults”.

“It has become a norm here that administration officials base their judgments on dirty lies of the Ukrainian authorities,” the Russian ambassador added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview published on Saturday that more than one million people have been evacuated from Ukraine to Russia since the war began in February.

Mr Lavrov told China’s state news agency Xinhua that it included some 120,000 foreigners, in addition to hundreds of thousands of people from the Russian-backed breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine – Donetsk and Luhansk.