Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 19.05.2018
Around 2 o’clock in the morning on May 18, Russian occupation troops opened fire from 122-mm artillery, targeting the village of Troitske in Luhansk region. Troitske is 11 kilometres to the south of Popasna in free Ukraine and 69 kilometres to the west of Luhansk city in Russia-invaded and occupied Ukraine. Fifteen artillery shells exploded in residential neighbourhoods of the Troitske village.
A 13 year old boy and his father were killed instantly when Russian shellfire struck their cottage in Troitske. The mother, a 36 year old woman, was gravely injured and taken to hospital in Lysychansk where by the end of the day she was reported to be in stable condition. An older brother of the killed boy, an 18 year old, was struck by shrapnel in his leg.
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry is treating the shelling of peaceful civilians in Troitske by Russians as a terrorist attack. The Anti-Terrorist Operation is still ongoing, but now as a component of the Joint Forces Operation. The National Police of Ukraine and the Security Services of Ukraine work in concert with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and all these arms of Ukrainian state power are motivated to act by the senseless brutality and evil criminality of the Russian terrorists. They want them brought to justice.
Russia continues to attack residential areas of towns and villages, and to target civilian infrastructure. Russian forces shelled the Donetsk Filtration Station that is near Avdiivka and which supplies clean drinking water to almost 200,000 people in the area. The station has been knocked offline because shellfire damage to chlorine pipes required that plant workers be evacuated for their own safety. Water in reservoirs will suffice for three days.
Russia shelled a a residential area of Mykolaivka Druha from occupied Holmivskyi and shelled a school in Svitlodarsk with 370 pupils inside from occupied Lozove. One adult civilian was injured close to the school in Svitlodarsk by the effects of Russian shelling. These war crimes (targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure) were committed on May 17.
On the night of May 18, residential areas of the town of Toretsk were being shelled by Russian forces. Another war crime by Putin’s invasion army. A direct hit was made on a house, but a family of four (including a 2 year old) somehow managed to survive without injury. The deputy head of the Donetsk regional administration, Tetyana Nepohana, said that the enemy intentionally pounds deep into free Ukraine territory to get at civilians.
Infuriatingly, the United Nations calls on “all sides” to refrain from attacking civilians. Even though it’s the Russians who are attacking and the Ukrainians who are the victims, UNICEF and OCHA (the UN Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) bring about a sharing of blame because of their moral equanimity and cowardice. Putin’s evil aggression against the Ukrainian people is elevated to the same moral level as the heroic self-defence by Ukrainians. That is not what the United Nations should be doing if it is to be an agent of peace.
Attacks on Ukrainian civilians in Crimea by Russia takes the form of political persecution and the taking away of Ukrainian citizenship and all civil and human rights. On the 74th anniversary of the Deportation of the Crimean Tatars by the Stalin regime, the Putin regime today is on the verge of ethnic cleansing against the Crimean Tatars.
The captive population of Europeans in Crimea and Donbas suffers enormously under the depredations of invader Russia. Russia is at war with Ukraine, and Russia does not respect the rules of war. Putin’s War is barbaric war.