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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova hit out at Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby on Saturday after erupting over her country’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a post on the Telegram messaging platform, she wrote in an ‘opinion’ post that the press officer was ‘losing his cool’.
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She called his comments “rude, insulting and embarrassing”, noting that he “spoke some nonsense” about Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Among other gibberish, he said it was ‘difficult to watch what Russian forces are doing in Ukraine’. Really? How hard can it be for a US rear admiral to watch anything? ” she asked.
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Nearly 5.5 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the onslaught began on February 24 and while the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reported 6,134 civilian casualties in Ukraine on Friday, the bureau says the actual numbers are considerably higher.
Kirby, responding to a reporter’s question about whether Putin is a rational actor, said on Friday he would not go into the psychology of the Russian leader.
“It’s hard to look at what he is doing in Ukraine, what his forces are doing in Ukraine and to think that any ethical and moral individual could justify that,” he replied. “It’s hard to look at the — sorry. It’s hard to look at some of the footage and imagine that any thoughtful, serious, mature leader would do that. So I can’t speak to his psychology, but I think we can all talk about his depravity.”
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Images of mass graves and bodies littering the streets of the city sparked global outrage.
Russia has previously claimed the photos were staged by Ukraine and denied committing war crimes.