So much for “never again” – POLITICO

The West has decided that the price of fighting atrocities is simply too high.

The body of a young woman and a key ring with the EU stars lay outside a burned house in Irpin, Ukraine | Ignatius Ivlev-Yorke

Stopping war crimes is not in the interests of the United States — at least not if it means going to war against Russia, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Preventing atrocities like the killing of civilians in Ukraine is not in the EU’s interest – at least not if it means higher petrol prices or colder houses in winter, according to Austrian Finance Minister Magnus Brunner.

Evidence of brutal killings and torture by Russian forces in Bucha, a city on the outskirts of Kyiv, has drawn gasps of outrage and dismay from the highest levels of government of the world’s most powerful nations – from Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin to President Emmanuel Macron in Paris to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London and across the ocean to President Joe Biden in Washington.

Listen to the story behind the picture | Voice of photojournalist Ignatius Ivlev-Yorke

But as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted while addressing the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, none of these powerful people have any intention of doing anything to directly advocate the hope of stopping Russian soldiers’ aggression crimes in Ukraine – although they all concede that what was discovered in Bucha is hardly the worst of what has happened and is still happening in areas that remain under Russian control.

“Unfortunately, what we predicted has come true,” Psaki said at Tuesday’s White House press briefing. “And we may have only seen the tip of the iceberg because we had access. We didn’t have access to a part of the country where they also likely committed atrocities.”

But when asked repeatedly whether Biden — perhaps the only world leader who could muster an international coalition to militarily intervene in Ukraine — could or would do anything to stop Russia’s war crimes immediately, her response was, “That The President’s goal is, and his responsibility is, to make decisions that are in the interests of the United States and the national security of the United States and the American people, and that means not going to war with Russia.”

Never Happens Again – documented in near real-time by cell phone cameras, with the graphic images being shared around the world in moments and First person accounts appeared freshly turned even in the dirt-filled mass graves. But even in Europe, where the EU was built as a self-proclaimed peace project on the rubble of World War II, leaders can’t or won’t do anything but cry out for “accountability” – literally demanding prosecution while the gunmen are still at work are the loose, hunt more victims.

The futility of it all was made clear at the United Nations on Tuesday, when Zelenskyy gave a speech detailing some of the slaughter in Bucha and even showed diplomats a video so they could see some of the evidence for themselves.

Zelenskyi described how Russian soldiers had tortured his citizens.

“I am addressing you on behalf of the people who honor the memory of the deceased every day,” said Zelenskyy. “The memory of the killed civilians. Who were shot in the back of the head or in the eye after being tortured. Who were just shot in the street. Who were thrown into the well to die there suffering. Who were killed in apartments, houses and blown up by shells. Who were crushed by tanks in civilian cars in the middle of the street. For fun. Whose limbs were cut off, whose throat was cut. Raped and killed in front of their own children.”

He said those who refused to give up their loyalty to Ukraine, who refused to tell the Russian invaders who came to murder, loot and steal on Ukrainian soil, that they were right to shoulder the responsibility carry, were specifically targeted.

“Their tongue was only torn out because they didn’t hear from them what they wanted to hear,” Zelenskyy said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called the atrocities in Bucha and other towns on the outskirts of Kyiv in Brussels “an unbearable brutality that Europe has not seen in many decades” and warned that Russia was shifting its focus to eastern Ukraine.

The eastern Donbass region, which has been at war for more than eight years, is now preparing for what Ukrainian journalist Nataliya Gumenyuk called a “colossal attack”.

Gumenyuk, who has documented the terrible toll of war across her country, braces herself for even more untold horrors.

“Following the Bucha massacre, it feels like we need to change the way we deal with this war,” Gumenyuk wrote in the Guardian. “We used to try to understand Russia’s military strategy in order to be better prepared. But a case of rape in a village near Kharkiv, the mines in a botanical garden in Trostyanets and the shooting of men with their hands tied in peaceful Kyiv suburbs – these actions make no sense, apart from the desire to save Ukrainians punish.

At the United Nations, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, who finally admitted this week that his country had started a “war” in Ukraine rather than a “special military operation,” flatly denied that Russian forces had committed war crimes. Barely looking up as he read out a prepared statement, Nebentsia told Zelenskyy: “We lay the baseless allegations against the Russian military on your conscience.”

In an incoherent speech, Nebenzia railed against mythical Ukrainian Nazis, but he did not deny that the Russian soldiers, whom he claimed had been wrongly accused, had in fact invaded and occupied Ukrainian territory. It was unclear whether Nebenzia actually expected anyone to believe his allegation of “criminal staged events” in which Ukrainian citizens “were killed by their own radicals” rather than by the Russian troops who invaded and occupied Bucha for weeks.

For the diplomats seated around the wooden, horseshoe-shaped conference table — and particularly for the leaders of the Western powers who created the international security architecture that has failed to protect Ukraine — Zelenskyy had a number of uncomfortable questions.

“How is this different from what the Daesh terrorists were doing in the occupied territories,” asked the Ukrainian president — “aside from the fact that it’s being done by a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.”

Zelenskyy accused Russia of wreaking havoc around the world, violating state borders, fomenting wars, killing civilians, encouraging corruption and spreading disinformation.

“So where is the security that the Security Council has to guarantee?” Zelenskyy asked. “There is no security. Although there is a Security Council as if nothing happened. So where is the peace that the United Nations was created to ensure?”

If the Ukrainian president had any hope that his words would move the US or its EU allies to action, the Biden administration was quick to snuff it out — amid the president’s lingering fear that entering armed conflict with Russia would lead to nuclear war would risk.

At the White House, Psaki Zelenskyy acknowledged “the frustration we share that Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council.” But she was quick to add, “We don’t see any change.”

Regarding the atrocities in Bucha, Psaki said the US would provide additional military assistance to help Ukrainians continue to defend their country on their own, details later.

After Tuesday’s Security Council meeting, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsia said the West must face the reality of its powerlessness. “The current security architecture is incapable of guaranteeing and providing security,” Kyslytsya told reporters. “That’s a fact and you can’t deny it.” So much for “never again” – POLITICO

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