In a move that should come as a surprise to few, Russia has rejected what amounts to near international consensus regarding those responsible for Tuesday’s chemical attack on Syrian civilians in a rebel controlled region of the country.

The attack, which U.S. officials believe to have been perpetrated using Sarin gas, a chemical weapon banned from use by the United Nations, killed dozens of people, including eleven children, most of whom were below the age of eight years old.  Subsequent air strikes targeted two medical facilities being used to treat the injured that resulted in the attack.

Video footage and gruesome images of the aftermath of the attack have begun to surface around the internet.  Spokesmen from both the United States and the UK have both laid the blame for the attack squarely at the feet of Bashar al-Assad, who has held the presidency in Syria since 2000 and has been repeatedly accused of using chemical agents against his own people in the effort to suppress the rebels inside his country.

In contrast to the outrage demonstrated around the world, Russia chose to blame the victims of the war crime, claiming that the air strike did not utilize chemical weapons, and instead that it must have detonated an ammunition stockpile that included a rebel collection of sarin canisters.