Hello this sunny Sunday morning (well it’s sunny here in the UK).
This post catches up with a good mix of news.
Well the firing is continuing, as is the intensity of it. Russia’s forces fire, Ukrainian forces return fire, and so it goes on and… Due to increased use of artillery and mortars, damage to civilian property and injuries to civilians is on the increase. To give you a flavour of front line life, on Friday the OSCE observed 460 explosions in the Donetsk region, compared to 190 on Thursday. In June, Ukrainian army reports 11 soldiers killed and 65 wounded up to the 23rd. For civilians, one can only imagine what it must be like for those living on the front line. Trying to go about your daily life, whilst every day living with the genuine risk of getting killed or injured.
Graphically illustrating that civilian challenge, is the below picture.
June 9th a 17 year old boy paid a heavy price for Russia’s occupation of eastern Ukraine. In the occupied village of Holminskyi, near the town of Horlivka, he found some ammunition. Took it home, where it promptly exploded. He lost fingers on his left hand & suffered shrapnel wounds to both legs. This was confirmed by the OSCE.
Proving both sides are quite capable of stopping firing at each other, a local ceasefire and withdrawal of forces has been agreed. At the Stanytsia Luhanska front line checkpoint, Ukrainian and Russia’s forces have started to abandon their military positions around the below, damaged bridge crossing. This is the only civilian crossing in the Luhansk region and so it’s an extremely busy one. Everyday, thousands of people attempt to cross back and forth. With delays of sometimes hours and even days, the crossings made all the more arduous due to the bridge having been blown up by Russia’s forces back in 2015. Two flimsy, steep wooden ramps are the inadequate substitute for the destroyed section.
The wooden ramps.
It remains to be seen if both sides stick to the ceasefire and refrain from reoccupying their forward positions. Let us hope so, but I’m not holding my breath.
Maps showing Stanytsia Luhanska. Yellow square marks the blown bridge section.
Occupied Donetsk City.
Posted this week by Russia’s so-called Donetsk republic, pictures below show the bullet riddled and decaying Donetsk city railway station. It was first damaged in 2014 when Russia’s forces fought to capture the city and the international airport. Like the airport which was ultimately totally destroyed by Russian artillery, the station had also only recently been rebuilt. In 2012 it consisted of a brand new main line station, two shopping malls and a new bus station. It’s now a ghost station.
So, the moral of the story is… If you get invaded by Russia, Russian shells and bullets will do their best to curtail your rail and air travel options.
Russia’s Hiding Its Hardware.
You can’t help but smile when you see Russia’s forces in Ukraine undergoing camouflage training to hide their hardware. That’s Russian armoured vehicles in Ukraine with their Russian army markings painted over, getting camouflaged with Ukrainian branches. Posted last week in occupied Luhansk, this is another of their regular propaganda videos. Its simple aim is to convince you that Russia’s sham “separatist” forces are professional (and can cut down trees).
Russia’s Picture Propaganda.
With Russia’s forces having killed and wounded a good many Ukrainian soldiers in June, Russia’s propaganda is keen say it’s republics in Ukraine aren’t responsible. Again we have the stop-gap fake claims about mine explosions. Below on June 24th, the Donetsk republic claimed 3 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 6 wounded when their vehicle hit a mine. This dubious claim is made all the more unbelievable by them having used a 2017 picture relating to a gas explosion in Illinois America. No such mine explosion was reported by the Ukrainian military, or the OSCE.
More Picture Propaganda.
Claiming to be a village in eastern Ukraine, hit by Ukrainian artillery, this week Russia’s Donetsk republic used the below dramatic pic featuring a house engulfed by flames. However, the same picture also featured in a 2015 Russian media article about a house fire in eastern Russia. This picture propaganda is designed to catch the eye and prompt engagement, through shares and comments. Few will take the time and effort to check out the reliability of such images. So, the more eye-catching they are, the more likelihood the majority of people will be influenced by your disinformation.
2015 Russian media report about the house fire. I’ve used Google Chrome to translate it.
In the small town of Marinka, this week a Ukrainian flag was sent flying across to the occupied city of Donetsk. Marinka is but a few hundred metres away from Russia’s forces positions on the outskirts of Donetsk. Will be a heartwarming sight for those in occupied Ukraine to see their beloved Ukrainian flag flying over them.
Over the last 5 years Marinka has suffered regular shelling and firing towards it by Russia’s forces. The local school has been hit numerous times and only last week, a house was hit by mortar fire, injuring 5 members of one family, including a 9 year old girl. Also an impressive Ukrainian trident was unveiled near the front line checkpoint. People passing through will see it standing tall.