Russian Govt statement quotes ABC "facts" on "cold-blooded murders by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan"
This report is published by Tass, the Russian news agency. It features a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry in which Russia calls for an enquiry into Australia's special forces.
Good work Fairfax and the ABC.
MOSCOW, June 9. /TASS/. Moscow calls on the Australian and Afghan authorities to investigate the crimes committed by Australian troops in Afghanistan and bring those responsible to justice, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
According to the ministry, Moscow has "taken notice of the 2016 secret defense force documents, which became publicly available recently." The report "points to Australian troops’ systematic, unauthorized and groundless use of weapons, particularly against civilians."
"In 2017, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported shocking facts about cold-blooded murders committed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan," the statement reads, adding that "the shooting of a boy in Kandahar in September 2012 caused the most outrage."
Russia believed it significant that "no one was held accountable for these crimes, while the Australian Department of Defense only expressed deep concern about the matter."
"We condemn such actions by Australian troops," the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed. "We call on the Australian and Afghanistan to conduct an independent and impartial investigation into these crimes and punish those responsible."
The Sydney Morning Herald wrote earlier, citing a confidential defense inquiry that "some members of Australia’s elite special forces allegedly committed war crimes in Afghanistan amid a ‘complete lack of accountability’ from the military chain of command." According to the newspaper, the report "also describes ‘enormous and difficult challenges’ facing the Australian government to confront conduct that goes ‘well beyond blowing off steam’ and involves ‘problems deeply embedded in the culture’ of the elite taskforce at the spearhead of Australia’s mission in Afghanistan."
And on Sunday, that report was the basis for articles in the Kabul press like this one.
On Thursday, Australian media outlets accused some soldiers of committing war crimes between 2001 and 2016. The troops were suspected of illegal application of violence and disregard for human life in Afghanistan.
The Foreign Ministry in Moscow on Saturday asked the Australian government to conduct a thorough investigation and hold those responsible to account.
A statement from the ministry said: “We condemn such acts by the Australian military and urge the authorities of Australia and Afghanistan to conduct an impartial investigation...”
Last year, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) revealed several cases of murder committed by Australian servicemen in Afghanistan, including the shooting of a boy in Kandahar in 2012.
All of the above is based on leaks about rumours and allegations published by the ABC and Fairfax, with the flames fanned by elements within the ADF.
Life just got a little bit harder for our troops in the field.
War is not a game. It's not social media. People die because of PC crap.
There was a sense of glee amongst some media last week talking about these allegations.
You have to wonder whose side they're on.