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(Last Updated On: June 17, 2023)

The Australian authorities are seeking to “soft-pedal” the war crimes that the country’s troops committed in Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Friday.

“It’s absolutely clear that the ruling establishment of the Green Continent is trying its best to soft-pedal the issue of the war crimes committed by Australian troops in Afghanistan, a topic it finds very uncomfortable. In any case, this seemed to be the underlying reason behind the activity – or, more precisely, the inactivity – of the previous liberal cabinet led by disgraced Prime Minister Scott Morrison, which included a no less notorious defense minister, Peter Dutton,” the diplomat noted.

She said that members of veteran organizations, media outlets and some political forces not affiliated with the current authorities have been pointing out that “attempts to close the shameful Afghan files by putting all the blame on privates and sergeants from special operations forces were unacceptable.”

“In particular, Senator Malcolm Roberts of the One Nation opposition party suggested during parliamentary hearings in May that Chief of the Australian Defense Force General Angus Campbell return the Distinguished Service Cross that he was awarded in 2012 as commander of the Australian troops in the Middle East,” Zakharova said.

According to her, new data about Australian war crimes make it clear that “this issue is institutional and deeply-rooted, particularly in the elite units of the country’s armed forces.” “The ruling circles’ attempts to hush the public outcry by taking only palliative measures indicate double standards and the hypocritical nature of Australia’s political class, which disregards its own flaws but readily castigates other countries for failing to meet Western standards,” Zakharova emphasized.