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Tipsheet

The State Department and the Pentagon Appear to be at Odds Over Ukrainian Atrocities

AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

Yeah, this is a mess. There are reported atrocities being committed by Russian forces in Bucha, outside of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. The pictures are disturbing. The accounts are horrific, and we don’t know who is telling the truth. The recent atrocities are being used to drum up a case that Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine. If true, are these war crimes? Yes, but not all war crimes are genocide. With Ukraine wanting a more aggressive response from the US, NATO, and the European Union, we must tread carefully here. Ukraine has an interest in the genocide narrative as it would force the world to respond under international law. This is a war where nuclear exchanges can erupt, and we don’t have a crack foreign policy team leading this effort. I’m not saying anything new. 

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And here’s why we need to be careful. The Biden administration’s talking points on sanctions and whether they were deterrents were a mess because half of his team said one thing while the other voiced something very different. On the Bucha massacres, we have Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying that it’s evidence of Russian forces’ deliberate campaign to kill, rape, and torture.


Yet, the folks over at the Pentagon cannot confirm the atrocities (via Reuters):

 The U.S. military is not in a position to independently confirm Ukrainian accounts of atrocities by Russian forces against civilians in the town of Bucha, but has no reason to dispute the accounts either, a senior U.S. defense official said on Monday.

"We're seeing the same imagery that you are. We have no reason whatsoever to refute the Ukrainian claims about these atrocities -- clearly, deeply, deeply troubling," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"The Pentagon can't independently and single handedly confirm that, but we're also not in any position to refute those claims."

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The liberal media is taking this as fact on its face. It wouldn’t shock me if Russian forces were committing these heinous acts. It also wouldn’t shock me if Ukraine was putting on a show to generate more international attention and pressure. This is a region of the world where propaganda wars are fought aggressively. Take it easy.

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