Here’s some news and events over the last few days.
Yesterday, with one imagines literally nothing better to do, Russia’s forces in Ukraine opened up 10 times, wounding 2 Ukrainian soldiers. Five of their firing attacks used heavy mortars, with the majority of incoming fire hitting the Donetsk region.
It’s Russian mortars and their larger artillery which are the random, destructive killers along the front line. The below picture and video graphically illustrates the result of such shelling. A Ukrainian soldier last week stands in a very large shell crater, created by a Russian shell. Ukrainian forces return fire and so it goes on and on… with civilians caught in the middle.
Out and About with one of Russia’s “Useful Idiots.”
And how they work together to promote each other.
Keeping with the shell hole theme, here’s a snapshot of how Russia’s more subtle propaganda works. It’s a form of Picture Propaganda.
Dean O’Brien is considered by many to be just another of Russia’s useful western idiots. This month he’s been out and about in Russian occupied territory. On his blog, O’Brien confirms “the vast majority of western media organisations haven’t been allowed to come here for a while now.” Yet tellingly he was allowed. In fact for several years, no media other than Russian state & pro-Russian media/journalists have been allowed to report from there. All Ukrainian bloggers and free-lance reporters have either been imprisoned or fled the region for their own safety.
O’Brien is typically pro-Russian. As such, he’s brimming over with the usual cliche contradictions. Claiming a need to “cover the conflict from both sides” on March 24th, he promptly let forth a tirade against the “Fake news, hidden political agenda, regurgitated news and pro-Kyiv” reporting about the conflict. So he sounds totally unbiased then.
Let’s look at one of his blog posts.
Whilst in occupied Ukraine, O’Brien visited the Saint Iversky Monastery (May 30th blog post). Located on the edge of the now occupied city of Donetsk, it’s a mere stones throw from the shattered remains of the Donetsk International airport. Back in 2014 the monastery found itself on the front line, and remains today on that very same front line.
Now, most of us will be shocked by the sight of a ruined church, “riddled” as O’Brien tells us “with shrapnel and shell damage.” Upon reading his blog post you’d be forgiven for thinking the Ukrainian army shelled it simply because it was a church and monastery and has carried on shelling it in an effort to kill civilians.
What O’Brien fails to mention, is the truth behind how the monastery came to suffer such an unholy, hail of bullets and shells.
From Sept 2014 to late Jan 2015, Russia’s forces launched a continues devastating artillery barrage and countless bloody ground assaults on the below Donetsk airport. Held by a small force of Ukrainian infantry, Russian artillery, mortars, tank fire, rocket fire and every conceivable shell known to mankind, reduced the entire airport to rubble.
2015: View across the cemetery from the Monastery to the airport.
The monastery played a strategic military role in Russia’s wholesale destruction and capture of the airport. During the fighting it was occupied by Russia’s forces and mercenaries. Efforts to relieve and supply the handful of Ukrainian soldiers bravely holding out in the airport, were hindered by heavy fire from the monastery. From the church belfry and upper stories of the monastery buildings, Ukrainian military movement could be observed. This height advantage made it easier to fire on Ukrainian positions north of them, to hit the airport and put down fire on Ukrainian supply columns racing along the airports runway, from the nearby village of Pisky. Worth noting that in 2014/2015 the several thousand residents of Pisky were forced to flee the village due to mass, WW2 style shelling by Russia’s forces. Every single house and building has been damaged, with most destroyed beyond repair.
By deliberately turning the church and monastery into a fortified, military position, Russia’s forces, or to use O’Brien’s words – “non-government” forces, signed its structural death warrant. Despite O’Brien admitting he was keen to visit the site, he failed to mention its use as a military position. Why give the impression Ukraine’s forces shelled it for no good reason? Why does his blog post fail to give even the most basic background to the monastery’s misfortune? Or does he think Ukrainian forces should have ignored the deadly hail of fire coming from the monastery?
The Kremlin’s Propaganda.
Russia’s on-going propaganda campaign falsely claims the Ukrainian army constantly fires indiscriminately along the 487km front line. That the Ukrainian army deliberately targets civilians. That Russia’s republics in Ukraine never open fire. O’Brien looks to be perpetuating that propaganda.
Yellow marks the church & monastery. The remains of the airport are on the right.
Back to Shell Holes.
The impression of an evil, church destroying Ukrainian army, is backed up in O’Brien’s post, with the appearance of the below unknown man. Despite the fact the filled in shell crater has weeds growing in it and is obviously extremely old, O’Brien inaccurately reports it as having happened “recently.” With this blatant misrepresentation, it’s hard to give any credibility to O’Brien’s reporting.
How do we know Russia’s forces occupied the monastery?
Because they told us. Below is Russell Bentley. He’s another of Russia’s western propagandists. A self proclaimed Communist, he left America shortly after a serving a long prison sentence for drug smuggling and money laundering. Known to be a heavy drinker and aggressively unstable, he duly pitched up in eastern Ukraine to fight for Russia’s forces.
Like O’Brien, he too is full of contradictory messages. Sept 2015 Bentley regaled us with a video about the destruction of the monastery and church by the wicked “fascist, Nazi, Ukraine.” Then in the same video breath, he takes us on a nostalgic guided tour, identifying the many monastery rooms they used to fire from. He confirms the monastery was used to give “covering fire” when Russia’s forces attacked the airport. And like some narcissistic, wannabe, Rambo figure, he claims to have killed Ukrainian soldiers from the monastery, something God might not be too happy with.
2015: Bentley walking towards the church. The main monastery buildings are on the left. Now in 2019, Bentley is severely overweight. He scratches a living doing the odd piece for Russian propaganda outlets and scamming people for money, claiming donations go towards helping children and needy causes.
Looking towards the airport, one of the many firing positions in the monastery.
Monastery building looking directly towards Ukrainian positions.
O’Brien’s blog post on the banning of western media from Russia’s puppet Donetsk and Luhansk republics.
Typical O’Brien tweet. Falsely gives the impression that the self-proclaimed, so-called Donetsk republic is officially independent from Ukraine.
O’Brien and Bentley are two of a kind. They both work to keep Russia’s orchestrated war going. They both work to generate fear and hatred of Ukraine.
Yes O’Brien I support Ukraine and everyone knows that. Why? Because neither you, Russia or anyone on planet earth has been able to credibly say how two, small self-proclaimed republics suddenly acquired more military hardware and fully equipped armies larger than most, if not all current European armies. Not to mention explaining how they acquired and keep acquiring the mountains of ammo they’ve fired off over the last 5 years.
Russia’s paid useful idiots working together.
Worth noting, that a certain Graham Phillips considers O’Brien to be a “friend.” Working for Russian state media, British born Phillips looted dead Ukrainian soldiers wallets. Soldiers who had been killed whilst defending Donetsk city airport. He’s also notorious for his sycophant support of those fighting with Russia’s forces in Ukraine, the constant wearing of military uniform, openly engaging in military actions and his unrelenting, fake news propaganda against Ukraine.
Phillips May 29th Russian social media post on his “friend” O’Brien.
2015 Jan 22nd: Phillips Twitter post – “A dead Ukrainian Cyborg photo of 3 daughters he will never seen again.” What kind of perverted person shows three young children their dead fathers face? Evidently, the kind who promote Russia’s propaganda.
Due to their herculean, heroic bravery, the small band of Ukrainian soldiers defending Donetsk airport became known as Cyborgs. So naturally Phillips was eager to dispel the myth of their invincibility, by mocking three young girls. Nov 2018: Phillips was banned from Twitter for posting “hateful content” against Ukraine.
2015: Phillips seen wearing Russian military uniform. On his left arm, he’s sporting pro-Russian insignia worn by soldiers and a white arm band identifying him as a military combatant.
All Friends Together.
Did I mention Graham Phillips is a “friend” of Russell Bentley?
2015: Illegally “working” and living in Eastern Ukraine – Phillips left. Bentley right.
2015: Phillips and Bentley in occupied Ukraine. Russian tanks and stacks of Russian ammo are seen behind them.