Elenovka
© Sputnik
Detention center housing Ukrainian POWs damaged by shelling near the settlement of Elenovka, Donetsk People's Republic.
Washington bears "political, criminal, and moral responsibility" for "war crimes" committed by the Ukrainian military, Russia's Defense Ministry said on Tuesday. The statement came in response to an interview by a top Ukrainian spy, who revealed that Kiev consults with Washington before using US-made HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems and that Washington actually has veto power over decision-making.

"All this irrefutably proves that Washington, contrary to the statements of the White House and the Pentagon, is directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine. It is the Biden administration that is directly responsible for all the Kiev-approved missile attacks on residential areas and civilian infrastructure in the settlements across Donbass and other regions that caused mass civilian casualties," Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov has said.

According to Moscow, US-supplied HIMARS systems have repeatedly been used by Kiev forces to target facilities that were not legitimate military targets. Arguably the most dire recent example of this strategy was an attack on a penal colony in Elenovka in the Donetsk People's Republic, which was housing Ukrainian POWs, including fighters with the notorios neo-Nazi Azov regiment. The attack left at least 50 prisoners dead and another 73 injured.

"The Biden administration, together with Zelensky, bears political, criminal, and moral responsibility for the massacre in Elenovka and other war crimes in Ukraine," Konashenkov said.

The explosive interview with a Ukrainian senior intelligence official, Major General Vadim Skibitsky, was published by The Telegraph newspaper on Monday. The spy revealed Kiev's troops were getting feedback from Washington and London before launching HIMARS rockets. This allows "Washington to stop any potential attacks if they were unhappy with the intended target," The Telegraph noted.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev's failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev's main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and "create powerful armed forces."

In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.