Religious believers have a lot of trouble explaining evil. How could a loving God allow people to suffer so much at the hands of their fellow humans?
The usual unpersuasive religious bullshit is trotted out. God works in mysterious ways. God allows humans to have free will, even if they freely will cruelty. Karmic connections from past lives cause some people to harm others in a settling of karmic accounts.
I don't accept any of that. People do terrible things because some people are terrible.
Sure, there may be psychological reasons for their horrible behavior. But this doesn't excuse horrors such as what Russian soldiers did to Ukrainians in Bucha, a town held by the Russian military until it was liberated by Ukrainian forces a few days ago.
President Zelensky of Ukraine is calling what the Russians did genocide. President Biden of the United States is calling it war crimes. Whatever word is used, every decent person should be repelled by what happened in Bucha.
If anyone wants to defend Vladimir Putin and his Russian military after reading this Politico story, 'They killed everyone." Fury in Ukraine at Russian troops' barbarity, I have a two word response: Fuck you. I have zero respect for anyone who tries to explain away what happened in Bucha.
Here's how the story starts out.
KYIV — U.S. army veteran Ryan O’Leary looks a little unsteady and draws heavily as he smokes — unsurprising after what he’s seen and done over the past month during some vicious firefights on the northern outskirts of Kyiv, for weeks among the most intense front lines in Ukraine.
Added to that, he was clearly aghast at what he had seen in the last 48 hours, assisting with clean-up operations in the town of Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, in the wake of a Russian withdrawal that was part rout.
The 35-year-old Iowan, who did tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, is one of hundreds of foreign volunteers who enlisted with Ukraine’s foreign legion immediately after Russia invaded. He says he did so to “support democracy.” He reached Kyiv on March 1, and within hours was sent with about a dozen American and British military veterans to Moshchun, a village near Bucha, part of an uneven line of settlements blocking the Russians from entering Ukraine’s capital from the north.
O’Leary was in combat for a month without much pause; and then on Saturday, he was ordered to Bucha, the same day Ukraine declared the once-quiet suburban town liberated from Russian troops.
Bucha is now the focus of an international outcry. Ukrainian officials and rights groups accuse Russian forces of massacring civilians in Bucha, as well as other villages on the outskirts of Kyiv. The barbarity being uncovered in Bucha after Russian forces pulled out a few days ago is fueling demands for international war crimes investigations — and adding to Ukrainian fury.
“I’ve had seven years in combat zones fighting ISIS, fighting the Taliban, and what the Russians did to civilians is insane,” says O’Leary. The veteran adds: “They killed everyone — not just men, like the media is reporting right now. They killed women, too. It is something I am never going to forget. When you go into some of the villages, you see civilians dead with their hands tied behind their backs.
“The photos and videos you’re seeing right now only tell half the story,” he says. “We went into one house, cleared the house of mines, and in the back yard there was a van and inside there were five dead women. They had been shot; then someone had tried to burn them.” There have been other reports of scorched and semi-burnt female bodies, prompting suspicions that whoever set them alight was trying to destroy evidence of rape.
Naturally Russia is lying about the war crimes their troops committed in Bucha. Echoing what right-wing conspiracy theorists said about the killing of dozens of school children in the Sandy Hook tragedy, Putin's liars are claiming that the bodies in photos of Bucha were "crisis actors" pretending to be dead.
But the New York Times has debunked that obvious fabrication, proving that satellite images show that 11 of the bodies were in the same location when found by Ukrainian soldiers since March 11, when Bucha was controlled by Russia.
Further, Russia has a track record of war crimes. Wanton killing of civilians occurred in Chechnya and Syria at the hands of the Russian military.
Now it is happening in Ukraine. Sadly, almost certainly more reports of war crimes against women, children, and men who had no connection to the Ukrainian forces will come out after additional cities are liberated from Putin's invading force.
I doubt anyone who reads this and thinks that Russian soldiers were justified in murdering innocent civilians would be willing to say so in a comment, using their real name. However, if you're OK with war crimes, I think you should be OK with letting the world know who you are.
Someone with no sense of morality.