Russia kills civilians in Mariupol, demands peace

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2015/01/24 • War in the Donbas

Article by: Jaroslav Jay and Alya Shandra

As of January 24, 2015, the terrorist forces in eastern Ukraine have bombarded the port city of Mariupol with a population over 400 000, targeting mostly living districts and suburbs, as well as several other prefrontal towns which remain under the protection of Ukrainian military. Up to date, 29 deaths among civilians in Mariupol only have been confirmed, children among them, yet till tomorrow this number is expected to be at least tripled; more than 102 people are wounded and are hospitalized. Seven underage children remain in extensive therapy and unconscious.

Photos by @SputnikATO: Mariupol 24 January 2015

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Heavy shelling from the Russian side of the front, from the direction of Novoazovsk, occurred on the night of January 23, and seemed like a chain of organized artillery attacks on the Ukrainian side, usually carried from afar. All in all, the terrorist forces refrain from confronting Ukrainian army directly, and stick to attacking Ukraine from the distance – as usual, using civilian housing areas as a human shield. According to Ukraine’s Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak, the shelling was conducted from the village of Sakhanka on terrorist-held territory, with six Grad missile systems, four of which were subsequently destroyed by return fire of the Ukrainian armed forces.

Investigative journalists @DajeyPetros and @Conflict_Report have immediately taken to geolocating the impact craters from the rocket launch available from open-source imagery and videos. There is no doubt that the shelling came from the eastern direction.

Previous to this series of attacks, Vladimir Putin has directed a letter to president Poroshenko, in which Putin demanded de-facto recognition of the so-called People’s Republic of Donetsk and Luhansk, referring to secret and unpublicized parts of the Minsk protocols. This threat Putin deemed his “peaceful plan.” According to Ukraine’s NSCD secretary Oleksandr Turchynov, the attacks on Mariupol are a direct implementation on the tasks Putin set forward: the January 23 meeting of Russia’s National Security Council decided to activate offensive operations on all lines of the Ukrainian front; however, as they are not able to advance directly, they shell Ukrainian-held cities from distant positions.

An infographic of the attack by Slovo i Dilo

An infographic of the attack by Slovo i Dilo

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry is assigning the entire responsibility for these acts of international terrorism on Russian Federation, since all evidence point to the Russian-backed terrorists and their Russian commandment. Earlier this week, terrorist leaders had made multiple claims, threatening further violence and refusing to participate in further negotiations. The attacks themselves, as the warlords like the DNR leader Zakharchenko claimed, were supposed to influence politics of Ukrainian government. The  Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk has called on gathering an emergency meeting of the UNSC. EU Vice President Federica Mogherini in a statement has acknowledged the attack to have been made from separatist-controlled territory and has called on Russia to “stop any form of military, political or financial support” to separatist leaders in Donbas. Meanwhile, a statement of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry “strongly condemns increased Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”

It is noteworthy that the Russian coverage of events in Mariupol follows the pattern observed during the shooting down of MH17 and the killing of civilians in a bus shelled by Russian-terrorist forces in Volnovaha: first boasting of attacks, then denial of involvement. The DNR warlord Alexander Zakharchenko first stated that”today the offensive on Mariupol has started. This is the best monument to all those killed,” as per a 17:47 report of the Russian outlet LifeNews. At 20:21, the same outlet reported Zakharchenko saying that an offensive on Mariupol was never planned, as the DNR is “saving its strength.”

As for now, 50 apartment buildings, four schools, and two kindergartens have been impacted by the shelling. Currently, residents of the eastern part of the city are being evacuated to its west and central parts. A call-to arms has been announced to defend the city. The Ukrainian National Guard medics are assisting the wounded, who lie on the streets of Mariupol bleeding. The bodies of those killed are laid on sidewalks, in front of burning businesses and housing projects, waiting for the pick-up team to deliver them to city morgues. Such is the price of Russian interests in Ukraine.

Despite the shelling, residents of Mariupol had gathered for a pro-Ukrainian rally. Mariupol became notorious for pro-Ukrainian rallies in September 2014, when it was under grave attack of an invasion during the occupation of the south-Eastern part of Ukraine by Russian forces. At that time, the residents of Mariupol wrote an appeal to EU citizens, in which they asked to “support Mariupol and show solidarity with us – as we stand against Putin’s bloody campaign.”

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  • Michel Cloarec

    Une bande de salauds, qui n´ont pas le droit d´être vivants sur la Terre !
    La plus grande pourriture possble de barbares s´est réunie pour faire souffrir les habitants de Mariupol.
    This was for the french from Canada and other francophones.
    IN ENGLISH !
    A bunch of bastards, which do not have the right to be living on Earth.
    The biggest pile of mouldering decay barbarians are gathering together to make residents of Mariupol suffer.
    I should go around on cemeteries all over russia and dpr and lpr to spit on your graves. I say spit, but it is stronger in french (pisser sur vos tombes)

    • disqus_aJpixObjG7

      Mais oui, mon cher Michel … mais il ne faut que deux couilles pour dire “non” a un petit mussolini… que notre occident, castré, n’a pas… t’enquiete!…tout celà se retournera contre les barbares… l’Ukraine vaincra…!

  • Dirk Smith

    Deeper sanctions, lethal aid to Ukraine, and designate Putin as the state terrorist he is. This is a blatant act of war.

    • disqus_aJpixObjG7

      Dirk all that should have been done in March 2013…there was absolutely no excuse not to have done it then.
      The West is a pussy- a coward. it won’t stand up to the little punk mussolini putin… Latest, LATEST, after MH17 it should have been done…
      If the West did not do so then… do you think they will do so now or even after the coming russian massacres against Ukrainians?
      coming up: more of the same…

  • Dr. Stanley Wesolowsky Ph.D.

    Scum, filthy terrorists. Zombies wires with imperialistic,
    totalitarian, radical nihilism.

  • Brent

    Ukraine needs to organize a “Je Suis Mariupol” march IMMEDIATELY IN MARIUPOL, and invite all of the World leaders including Obama, Merkl, Hollande, all the “Putin friendly” ones like Orban, Lukashenko, and organizational leaders like Ban Ki-Moon of the United Nations, Jens Stoltenberg of NATO, Martin Schulz, Donald Tusk of the EU and any other relevant leaders.

    The last rail line to Mariupol has been cut off by Russia terrorists. Let’s see if those scum terrrorists are brave enough to shoot at World leaders like they are at innocent citizens.

    REQUEST THEY ATTEND THIS MARCH so they can see first hand the terrorist act Russia has brought to Mariupol. Let them March east out towards Sakhanka to show how the World is united with Ukraine in solidarity against Russia’s terrorism. If these leaders, refuse to show up, then Ukraine will know who truly stands with them and who they can trust.

    • Mader Levap

      No one will went here. No one want to start actual war with Russia. No one want to die for Ukraine.

      Sounds familiar?

      • LorCanada

        There’s a saying,

        “If you don’t stand up for something you’ll fall for anything.”

      • Brent

        Is an actual war with the West necessary? isolate them economically. Cut off their access to SWIFT banking system. Cut off their access to Western markets and technology. We can find alternate sources for anything they produce, including petro products. We can cut off the money they need for their war machine. Russia can be declared a terrorist state, which brings huge implications with anyone wanting to deal with them. Why are we so afraid to do this? Because Putin has made covert threats to use nukes? If he’s going to do it, he does it on his own and pays the consequences, but at the very least we have to strangle him economically and not fund his war machine. If we do that, there’s a very good chance that 80% approval rating drops and he has to answer to his own people for how he has destroyed Russia’s economy.

        Russia announced in the last week cuts in funding for the 2018 World Cup AND also for their state controlled media. Putin raided the pension fund to subsidize Crimea.

        I just don’t think the West should continue to do nothing and let him and his terrorists murder more Ukrainians.

    • disqus_aJpixObjG7

      it takes just two balls to stand up to a little punk mussolini like putin- (as you wrote, “the little schoolyard bully” ) but that anatomy is rare in our castrate West.

      Those “leaders” know full well what’s going on but they choose to pass by the man lying on the street and look the other way. There is a difference between statesmen and politicians and the ratio is 1000 to 1

  • Dante Garibaldi

    Putin y su banda de delincuentes agreden a la distancia a los que no pueden defenderse, esta es la democracia rusa

  • Kruton

    Full mobilization!

  • vsevolod4

    Sadly, the Western press has gotten jaded by the daily reports of Russian military actions in Ukraine and it’s now just one more place that gets ignored.
    And that Budapest Accord we signed where we promised to defend Ukraine’s borders? What accord?