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Mayhem In Ukraine: Kiev Regime Commits War Crimes

By Countercurrents

4 June, 2014

Kiev's military operation in eastern Ukraine has left 181 people killed including 59 of ruling regime troops, and 293 injured, according to the country's prosecutor general Oleg Makhnitsky.

Reports by media including RIA Novosti and ITAR-TASS said:

Kiev 's armed forces have shelled hospitals, orphanage and school. Children have been wounded by the assault.

The Kiev prosecutor general Oleg announced the recent casualty figures at a press conference. However, it was not clear whether the death toll included casualties among self-defense forces fighting the Kiev regime.

However, the spokesman for the Kiev 's military operation Vladislav Seleznev put the number of self-defense force members killed at 300.

The prosecutor general has also added that over 220 people have been abducted, including 12 foreign citizens, since the uprising started in Lugansk and Donetsk Regions.

Kiev has been conducting its military operation in eastern Ukraine since April, following a mass uprising against the coup-appointed government, demanding broader independence from the capital Kiev .

The military operation will continue until the region “can live and function normally and the people are calm,” Kiev 's acting defense minister Mikhail Koval said on Friday.

The day after the Ukraine presidential elections on May 25, the likely winner, Chocolate

Billionaire Petro Poroshenko, announced that the military operation in the southeast of the country would continue, demanding “it must be more effective, and military units must be better equipped."

This demand was made despite Kiev 's troops already actively using heavy artillery units, mortars, aviation, fighter jets and helicopters, APCs and tanks in their operation in the south-east.

Just a few hours after the early results of the elections were announced, Ukrainian troops stepped up its military activity and deployed fighter jets and helicopters at Donetsk International Airport in an attempt to win it back from self-defense forces.

More than 50 civilians and as many self-defense troops were killed in the subsequent clashes, local militia estimated.

On May 28, Kiev troops targeted civilian quarters of Slavyansk , for the first time shelling one of the city's schools and a kindergarten.

All the pupils and teachers were quickly evacuated from the school as the shell hit the roof and exploded right above the hall where children played.

The shelling also damaged a block of flats and a dormitory in the city's teachers' college, shattering glass in the windows of the college.

People donate blood for those injured in clashes between the Kiev forces and the self-defense in Donetsk on May 27, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Natalia Seliverstova)

People donate blood for the injured in clashes between the Kiev forces
and the self-defense in Donetsk on May 27, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Natalia Seliverstova)

Shortly afterwards, the Ukrainian military shelled a children's hospital, also in Slavyansk .

This past weekend, over a thousand people rallied in Donetsk demanding that children be protected from Kiev 's assault.

The Kiev forces quickly blamed the violence on self-defense units, which they refer to as “terrorists.”

In a recent move, Kiev deployed fighter jets to the city of Lugansk , eastern Ukraine , where eight people died after an explosion in a regional administration building on June 2. Wounded people were trapped inside the administration HQs, which caught on fire. Locals outside the building were urged to flee the area as unexploded shells were found in the park nearby.

“ Ukraine 's Air Force struck Lugansk downtown at 4pm. Military aircraft made a targeted strike, deploying cluster bombs. The administration building is partially destroyed,” the government of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic (LNR) said.

While Kiev has denied launching the fatal attack and blamed on the explosion on “terrorists” trying to launch an anti-aircraft missile, the leader of the ruling Party of Regions, Aleksandr Efremov, has called it “unprecedentedly” cruel crime and demanded it be investigated in The Hague court.

Kiev has admitted showering Lugansk with dozens of missiles from the air, saying that its Air Force helicopters and jets “fired more than 150 missiles” in Monday's military action.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) also confirmed on Tuesday that the deadly explosion at the city's administrative building was indeed an air strike.

Kiev has so far denied the responsibility for the incident, saying its forces “do not target” civilian areas.

The OSCE Ukrainian mission's daily report stated that "on 2 June, shortly after 15:00 hrs, rockets hit the occupied regional administration building. Based on the SMM's limited observation these strikes were the result of non-guided rockets shot from an aircraft."

An earlier statement by the Ukrainian defense ministry said: “All in all, for fulfilling the combat support of the Ukrainian border guards the army aviators fired more than 150 missiles, carried out three jet sorties and five helicopter sorties.”

Children's hospital shelled

Seven children were hurt as the Ukrainian military shelled the city of Slavyansk , a stronghold of the protesters, on Friday night, said Pavel Astakhov , Russia 's ombudsman for children's rights.

Self-defense forces in Slavyansk say the Ukrainian military shelled the town's residential area during the night, with one of the shells hitting a children's hospital. A kindergarten was also shelled.

A children's clinic was also damaged by artillery fire.


image from vkontakte by user Yarik Musaev

On Wednesday, a school in Slavyansk was bombarded and one of the shells
blasted through the roof of the school's assembly hall.

Fatalities were only avoided because teachers and pupils managed to find shelter in the basement of the school building.

“I want to appeal to the leaders of all states around the globe to urge [ Ukraine 's president-elect], Petro Poroshenko, to save the children of Donbass,” the ombudsman stressed.

Last week, Astakhov wrote to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the OSCE to attract attention to violations of humanitarian law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the Ukrainian regime.

He also urged international organizations to put pressure on Kiev in order to provide a humanitarian corridor for the people to be evacuated from the war zone in the south-east of the country.

The ombudsman's aide Renat Abayev told RIA Novosti that Astakhov “hasn't yet received a reply from either Ban Ki-moon or the OSCE.”

The evacuation of kids from Slavyansk is already underway, with 200 youngsters sent to Artek children's camp in Crimea .


Children from Slavyansk going on holiday to Artek camp have arrived in Simferopol. (RIA Novosti / Taras Litvinenko)

Children from Slavyansk taken to Artek camp arrived in Simferopol . (RIA Novosti / Taras Litvinenko)

There are also plans to transfer another 300 children to Svyatogorsk and other towns in the Donetsk region (where the situation is calmer), as well as health resorts in the Odessa Region.

The Slavyansk administration says that it has received over 1,000 requests from parents, who want their children evacuated from the town, which has been besieged by Ukrainian forces for almost two months.

There are 5,000 pre-school children and 12,000 kids between 6 and 17 years old in Slavyansk , the administration added.

Ukraine army shells hospital

A wall of a hospital in Krasny Liman (Screenshot from YouTube video)

A wall of a hospital in Krasny Liman (Screenshot from YouTube video)

The village of Krasny Liman near Slavyansk was heavily shelled by the Ukrainian army.

Residents and a train driver were killed and injured as shells hit a hospital, school and train station.

The local hospital was also heavily shelled, with patients and personnel still inside the building. Unconfirmed reports said a surgeon was also killed.

There are no official figures of the killed and injured so far.

The Ukraine army has been detaining people.

The Ukrainian National Guard raided apartments in Krasny Liman, a village about 20 kilometers north of Slavyansk with a population of about 23,000, and looked for self-defense forces.

The Ukrainian army scattered leaflets over the city from a helicopter, calling on the self-defense forces to surrender.

The Ukrainian Air Force fighter jets fired missiles at the villages of Semenovka and Cherevkovka near the city on Tuesday, the People's Mayor of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomarev.
At least five missile strikes were carried out on Semenovka.

The Ukrainian troops brought to Slavyansk up to 100 units of military equipment, including tanks, self-propelled artillery and Tulpan mortars, self-propelled Gvozdika howitzers and Grad multiple launch rocket systems.

The civilian population in Slavyansk is hiding from the constant shelling in basements.

Slavyansk, Ukraine (RIA Novosti / Maks Vetrov)

Slavyansk (RIA Novosti / Maks Vetrov)

“This morning they hit the children's policlinic in the center of the city and the reception ward of the children's hospital. It was at 5 am,” Vladimir, a Slavyansk resident, told RT.

“The hospital and the policlinic stand close to each other. The hospital was damaged worse than the policlinic,” another resident said. “There were no victims.”

There were some children staying in the hospital at the time of the attack. They were all taken to the building's basement for cover after the shelling started, said Olga, a nurse working there.

“I've worked here for 30 years, and I never thought I would have to come to a ruin to do my job. That's our government and our ‘valorous' Ukrainian troops for you,” she said.

Kiev said it did not use artillery on Friday and claimed that it was the militia, who trained their own guns on the hospital to put the blame on the Ukrainian military.

Troops loyal to Kiev intensified the military crackdown on the militias of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in mid-April. They are using artillery, aviation and armor in a bid to take control of the restive region.

Orphanage not spared

Still from a YouTube video by Andrei Petrov

Still from a YouTube video by Andrei Petrov

Several buildings, including an orphanage, have been severely damaged by artillery fire in Slavyansk , where fighting between self-defense troops and Kiev 's army renewed over the weekend.

Fortunately, there were no casualties among children at Sails of Hope orphanage, as all of them were evacuated after the building previously came under fire on May 19.

This is the third time that the orphanage has been shelled. Its windows are now shattered, and its roof and walls are riddled with bullets. There is a massive hole under a window.

Another facility shelled on Sunday, the Scientific and Research Institute of High Voltages, is some six kilometers away from the orphanage. The building sustained severe destruction, as a mine exploded on the road in front of it. According to reports, five civilians received shrapnel wounds.

Walking distance from the institute, the Slavtyazhmash plant – which produces heavy machinery for coal mining – was also targeted by artillery fire. As a result, part of the building burst into flames.

“The plant was fired at from Karachun Mountain , where the Ukrainian army's artillery is deployed,” RIA Novosti quoted a self-defense representative as saying.

The already turbulent situation in the Donetsk region has significantly deteriorated after the presidential elections on May 25, when Ukrainian troops intensified a military operation in eastern Ukraine .

Meanwhile, several funerals of those killed in Monday's shelling were held in Slavyansk on Wednesday. According to the latest reports, four people have died from shrapnel wounds since then.

While Kiev authorities continue to assert that the military action in the southeast is meant to protect the people against “terrorists,” many on the ground in Slavyansk have a directly opposite opinion on the issue.

“We are simply horrified – you see? Horrified that our 'brave army,' which we pay taxes to maintain, is [doing] nothing else but destroying us. And our president, who must protect the civilian population – he is determined to exterminate us,” a woman working at the damaged school no. 13 told RT's Ruptly news agency.

“For some reason, they think that we here in Slavyansk are all terrorists,” the woman said.

The militias are holding off the attacks through a combination of guerrilla tactics and weapons seized from the Ukrainian troops. They scored a major success on Thursday, when they shot down a helicopter carrying one of Kiev 's generals.


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