My thanks to all visiting and tolerating my often hurried scribbling. That said, here’s a front line update and an insight into how Russia’s propaganda against the Ukrainian army works.
Last night it’s reported Russia’s forces once again used mortars. Shells said to have hit the area around the town of Svitlodarsk, in the Donetsk region. Close to the occupied towns of Horlivka and Debaltseve, this area has long been a conflict hot spot. All told on Tuesday, Russia’s forces launched 10 firing attacks. On the plus side, the firing is still but a fraction of what it was before the start of the July 21st ceasefire.
Russia’s Same old Propaganda.
Goes without saying Russia’s republics in Ukraine are still crying foul play by the Ukrainian army. Yesterday saw that old fake news cliche of Ukrainian tanks firing away without a care in the world. The Donetsk republic boldly claimed the village of Kominternove (renamed Pikuzy) was hit by sustained tank fire. On Ukraine’s south coast and only 10km from Ukraine held city of Mariupol, Pikuzy marks the front line for Russia’s forces in that region.
Was any proof provided to verify this tirade of tank fire?
Apart from a 2015 pic of some Ukrainian tanks and an “archive” pic from 2016 – NO.
Adding to the dubious tank firing mix, is the continued obstruction by Russia’s forces of OSCE monitors in the Mariupol region, along with repeated imagery/footage showing Russian tanks and artillery in Pikuzy and front line villages. It’s crystal clear Russia’s forces are firing from these villages, thereby cynically & deliberately endangering the lives of civilians living in them. They know Ukrainian forces will return heavy fire from them.
August 27th: Donetsk republic claims 20 shells fired from a Ukrainian tank.
No verifiable evidence provided. Note the 2015 picture of Ukrainian tanks is not highlighted as an archive pic. Readers would naturally assume it’s a related pic.
August 27th: Donetsk republic report.
Again no verifiable evidence provided and archive pic from 2016.
Same archive pic used in Jan 2016.
My Google search for the Ukrainian tank image.
It’s a picture much beloved by Russia’s propaganda. They do like tanks flying the Ukrainian flag.
Below are a few recent August examples of Russia’s forces blocking the OSCE in the Mariupol area, including at Pikuzy. Odd that Russia’s propaganda keeps screaming – Ukraine keeps shelling civilian property etc… and yet when OSCE monitors could verify their claims, Russia’s forces either stop them from reaching the areas of alleged shelling, or delay them long enough for hardware to be hidden. We also know of instances when in order to blame Ukraine, Russia’s forces have shelled their own territory.
Note: OSCE call Russia’s forces – armed formations. OSCE Daily Reports.
Below are some of the occasions when the OSCE has spotted Russian tanks in Pikuzy and surrounding villages. Note how all of them are parked next to civilian houses. With the tanks filmed during the day, you can see why OSCE patrols are either blocked from visiting villages, or delayed long enough for hardware to be moved.
Also read my July 13th post on Russian artillery filmed shelling close to Pikuzy. Under the Minsk agreement, tanks and heavy artillery are banned from the front line region.
Map showing Pikuzy. Referenced in the above OSCE imagery, a little north of Pikuzy is the village of Oktyabr. It’s also known as Verkhnoshyrokivske.