The U.S. State Department said Wednesday that Russia was trying to create an “excuse” for occupying Ukraine with baseless allegations of “genocide” and mass graves in the Donbass region.
The Russian media this week published articles and photos of alleged mass graves in the separatist-held area of Donbass. Moscow Has been fighting with Ukrainian forces since 2014.
On Tuesday (15) Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Kiev of committing “genocide” in Donbass. Foreign Ministry spokesman Nate Price said Moscow had fabricated the allegations to invade Ukraine.
“For weeks, we have seen Russian officials and the Russian media publishing numerous articles in the press, one of which may be an excuse for an invasion,” Price said.
The allegations also spread on social media, including the genocide, mass graves and the possibility of the Ukrainian government using chemical weapons against the Donbass people.
Bryce recalled that before Russia invaded the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine in 2014, Moscow had accused it of persecuting people in the Kiev region, insisting that “none of these allegations have any real basis” and that many of them speak Russian.
At the White House, Press Secretary Jen Saki said Moscow’s allegations were a ploy. “We are at a point where we believe the attack could happen at any time and there will be a fabricated excuse before that,” he said.
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