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US official says Russians must access the truth on Ukraine

April 6, 2022 GMT
U.S. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, right, is joined by Ukraine's Ambassador to Cyprus Ruslan Nimchynskyi, right, and Cypriot Foreign Affairs Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, left, at the site of an anchor that the Ukrainian city of Odesa donated to the Cypriot coastal town of Larnaca during their twinning on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. Nuland said that Ukraine not only fights for its own sovereignty, but for the freedom and rights of the entire democratic world and that Cyprus and the U.S. stand in solidarity with the country.(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
U.S. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, right, is joined by Ukraine's Ambassador to Cyprus Ruslan Nimchynskyi, right, and Cypriot Foreign Affairs Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, left, at the site of an anchor that the Ukrainian city of Odesa donated to the Cypriot coastal town of Larnaca during their twinning on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. Nuland said that Ukraine not only fights for its own sovereignty, but for the freedom and rights of the entire democratic world and that Cyprus and the U.S. stand in solidarity with the country.(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
U.S. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, right, is joined by Ukraine's Ambassador to Cyprus Ruslan Nimchynskyi, right, and Cypriot Foreign Affairs Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, left, at the site of an anchor that the Ukrainian city of Odesa donated to the Cypriot coastal town of Larnaca during their twinning on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. Nuland said that Ukraine not only fights for its own sovereignty, but for the freedom and rights of the entire democratic world and that Cyprus and the U.S. stand in solidarity with the country.(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
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U.S. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, right, is joined by Ukraine's Ambassador to Cyprus Ruslan Nimchynskyi, right, and Cypriot Foreign Affairs Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, left, at the site of an anchor that the Ukrainian city of Odesa donated to the Cypriot coastal town of Larnaca during their twinning on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. Nuland said that Ukraine not only fights for its own sovereignty, but for the freedom and rights of the entire democratic world and that Cyprus and the U.S. stand in solidarity with the country.(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
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U.S. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, right, is joined by Ukraine's Ambassador to Cyprus Ruslan Nimchynskyi, right, and Cypriot Foreign Affairs Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, left, at the site of an anchor that the Ukrainian city of Odesa donated to the Cypriot coastal town of Larnaca during their twinning on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. Nuland said that Ukraine not only fights for its own sovereignty, but for the freedom and rights of the entire democratic world and that Cyprus and the U.S. stand in solidarity with the country.(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

LARNACA, Cyprus (AP) — Russian “disinformation” about its war against Ukraine needs to be exposed, including on Russia’s “war crimes,” a U.S. State Department official said on a visit to Cyprus Wednesday.

Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland said Russian “lies” have evolved to the point of blaming Ukrainians for actions by Russian forces, including “the war crimes we see on the ground.”

“So we all have an interest in exposing Russian disinformation, ensuring our citizens have the truth and ensuring that Russian citizens also (have the truth) ... despite the Iron Curtain that Putin has put down over that,” Nuland said.

Nuland was in Cyprus as part of a five-nation tour aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and rallying support for Ukraine.

Asked whether the U.S. has asked Cyprus to transfer its Russian-made weapons, including short-range anti-aircraft batteries and tanks, to Ukraine, Nuland said Washington is in touch with other nations about supporting Ukraine “in any way that they can.”

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“It is not for the United States to ask of Cyprus. It is for Cyprus to make its own decisions about what it wants to and can do,” she said.

Cypriot officials said no weapons would be transferred to Ukraine without securing replacements, to avoid weakening the war-divided island nation’s defenses.