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."