Russia calls on US to probe WikiLeaks documents

"The US authorities bear the responsibility to conduct a thorough, independent and transparent investigation of all the reports that have appeared in the media," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

The statement pointed out that Washington regularly ticked off other countries for human rights violations and said it should live up to its own standards by investigating the allegations of abuses by troops in Iraq.

"We are convinced that such a position will demonstrate the United States' adherence to the high standards in the human rights sphere that it constantly calls on other countries to observe," it said.

The ministry called for the results of the investigation to be published and made available to human rights groups. It expressed the hope that the US handling of the scandal would allow it to pass a "serious test" during an upcoming review by the UN Human Rights Council which evaluates respect for human rights in its member states.

Repeated US criticism of human rights violations in Russia, especially under the previous administration of George W Bush, has rankled the Kremlin and contributed to a chill in ties.

US President Barack Obama has taken a less aggressive stance on human rights in Russia, even though his administration has regularly expressed concerns over police breaking up peaceful demonstrations in Russia.

Russian and international human rights campaigners also accuse the country's security forces of torture and abuse in the North Caucasus where the Kremlin is seeking to root out a Muslim insurgency.

WikiLeaks last week released the 400,000 classified US military documents it said shed light on the Iraq war. The documents showed alleged widespread torture by Iraqi forces trained by the United States, and reports suggesting the 15,000 additional civilian deaths in the Iraq conflict.

US officials claimed WikiLeaks was jeopardising the security of its troops and Iraqi civilians.

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