Ukraine

DPR Frontline Village Resident Question to West: “Why do you support (Ukrainian) Nazis?”

 

In Krutaya Balka, a village north of Donetsk which is routinely attacked by Ukrainian forces with shelling and heavy machine gun fire, I meet a man standing outside his home, where he lives with his wife, roughly 600 metres from the front line.
 
To my question about where his home has been damaged he laughs, “Many times. Which house hasn’t been? The roof, the wall… from mortar fire and heavy machine gun fire.”
 
He replies are in line with the others I’ve spoken with: things got worse after Zelensky became president; the attacks are daily; where would he leave to? He is in favour of joining Russia.
 
“We should go to Ukraine, which damaged my house? I’m Russian, this is Russian land. Everyone who knows history knows this. Of course I want to join Russia! In earlier times, before the war, I didn’t care either way. But after all Ukraine did what it has done, absolutely I want to be a part of Russia. I can’t imagine being back in Ukraine. Anyway, most of the people here would be killed as ‘separatists’. A known Ukrainian politician (Boris Filatov) said: ‘At the beginning, give them what they want, later hang them.’

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Donbass Defender: “Those who support Ukraine should come talk with civilians, to understand how much they suffer”

North of Donetsk, I visit Krutaya Balka village, on the outskirts of Yasinovataya, another heavily hit area.

The village is divided into two parts: one part exposed on the front-line, we can’t go there, the road leading to it is under sniper fire; the other half of the village is slightly further away, and has 15 people still living there, again mostly elderly.

Just off a road prone to Ukrainian sniping, I interview Ryka, the young-looking DPR Platoon Commander who has accompanied me here.

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DPR Older Couple: “the Ukrainian side shoots whenever they want; no one holds them accountable”

 

When in the Donetsk People’s Republic and visiting the Mine 6-7 area, I saw a school whose basement is now used as a shelter.

There, I met an elderly couple who have been living in that dank, stinking, basement for six years, their home destroyed.

Outside the battered school, Dmitry commented: “You see, each dot on the wall is from shrapnel. Of course there were direct hits also.” One of the direct hits is a hole in the roof of the building.

In the basement a musty stink overwhelmed.

Sitting in one corner of the paint-chipped, barebones, room, what possessions they were able to salvage piled near them, an older couple explained that their house was destroyed by two direct hits with heavy artillery, and that their only hope is to get Russian passports, that this will somehow end the war.

They agreed to talk but didn’t want to have their faces filmed.
 

“Before the ceasefire, when Ukraine would shell, the DPR military would respond and the Ukrainian side would be stop shooting for a couple of weeks, because they were afraid. Now, we are in a ceasefire, the Ukrainian side shoots whenever they want and no one holds them accountable.”

RELATED:

Civilians Remain in Bombed & Machine-Gunned Frontline DPR Village, Facing Near-Daily Ukrainian Attacks

 

In Krutaya Balka, a frontline village north of Donetsk and just outside of Yasinovataya, 15 people (mostly elderly) remain, under near-daily Ukrainian shelling & heavy machine gun fire.

I spoke with those I could find at home while I was there. All told me they were constantly being assaulted by Ukrainian forces, by heavy machine gun fire and shelling.

The machine gun fire not only punctures the walls but also can set fire to the roof, thus the whole house.

All said they had no where to go, so they stay, living in hell in an area otherwise quite lovely. Same as I heard in Zaitsevo, further north in the Donetsk People’s Republic.

This video is the first of a few I’ll upload from Krutaya Balka, letting the civilians speak about what corporate owned media will not.

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From Frontline Village of Krutaya Balka, Where Residents Under Constant Ukrainian Machine Gun Fire, Sniping, Bombing

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The other day I went to Krutaya Balka, a frontline village N of Donetsk and just outside of Yasinovataya. Around 15 people (mostly elderly) remain in this village, under Ukrainian shelling & heavy machine gun fire.

I spoke with those I could find at home while I was there. All told me they were constantly being assaulted by Ukrainian forces) by heavy machine gun fire and shelling. The machine gun fire not only punctures the walls but also can set fire to the roof, thus the whole house.

All said they had no where to go, so they stay, living in hell in an area otherwise quite lovely. Same as I heard in Zaitsevo, further north in the Donetsk People’s Republic.

The man in the photo (walking down the lane) allowed me to interview & film him, but without including his face because every day he has to walk across an extremely dangerous area to reach his home. He said he had already been shot in the leg by a Ukrainian sniper crossing in that area. But what to do? Where to go? So he daily faces death, walking without any sort of body armour.

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DPR Defender: “(Ukraine’s) biggest mistake here was using weapons against civilians”

 

Recently, I visited Zaitsevo, a village in the north of the Donetsk People’s Republic. It has been relentlessly shelled by Ukrainian forces/paramilitaries since 2014, and continues to be bombed nearly every day and night. 

The population has dropped from 3,500 to 1,600, including 200 children.

With me was Dmitry Astrakhan, press officer of the DPR People’s Militia, and a People’s Militia officer going by the nickname “Gyurza”.

In this clip, Gyurza relates how events unfolded in Zaitsevo, how the local defenders have maintained their defensive position, and some of the violations committed by Ukrainian forces.

See related videos/posts:

DPR Village Resident Says Ukrainian Bombings Destroying Homes Street By Street

Resident of the Mine 6-7 District, DPR, Shows Damage to her Home After Ukrainian Shellings

Zaitsevo (DPR) resident: “We are not living, we are surviving”

MintPress Sits Down with Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova

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Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova weighs in on Syria, Crimea, the Moscow protests and more.
September 12, 2019, MintPress News

Moscow— In a simple meeting room at the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry building, Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova gave me a generous hour of her time in a conversation peppered with bemused laughter at Western allegations about Russia and clear frustration at the West’s incessant vilification of all things Russia.

I traveled to Moscow in August, where to my delight I had the opportunity to interview Zakharova. Given that Russia is the focus of obsessive and largely negative Western media reporting, and also the country’s role in eliminating the proliferation of terrorist groups that once controlled large swaths of Syria, I wanted to ask Zakharova for her take on a variety of topics related to both Russia and Syria.

In our wide-ranging discussion, Zakharova spoke of the U.S. sanctions regime against Russia and of the Western interference in Russian domestic issues — such as the protests seen in Moscow in July and August.

On Syria, she addressed the issue of exploitation of children in propaganda against Syria and Russia — notably Omran Daqneesh, a child whose image was splashed across newspapers and screens worldwide in 2016, incriminating Russia and Syria in an airstrike that was later proven to have never happened. An official apology from one of the most adamant perpetrators of that narrative, CNN’sChristian Amanpour, also neverhappened.

One cannot discuss the war in Syria and related propaganda without addressing the massively-funded White Helmets. In discussing the group, Zakharova gave examples of its role in fomenting support for Western military intervention, including in pushing responsibility on the Syrian government for the alleged but unproven and, by most honest accounts, staged chemical attack in Douma, eastern Ghouta, in 2018. Footage of the attack included video starring the White Helmets and another exploited Syrian boy, Hassan Diab, whose testimony of the events ran in stark contrast to the allegations against the Syrian government that were being circulated in the Western media.

Zakharova also addressed the inconsistencies around the Skripal case, the historic importance of Crimea’s referendum, and the U.K. “media freedom” conference of July 2019, where cases of imprisoned journalists like Julian Assange and Kirill Vyshinsky were notably not part of the conference program.

In an unexpected development since my discussion with Zakharova, Ukrainian-Russian journalist and editor Vyshinsky was released from his over 15 months of imprisonment without trial by Ukraine. Referring to his imprisonment, Zakharova described him as a hostage.

The interview took place at a time when Western media reporting would have one believe that the streets of Moscow were full of chaos and unrest with the protests. In fact, contrary to media reporting, Moscow was calm, as were the protests I attended on August 10. Once again, it seemed, the media was hyping and distorting reality, as they have so often done elsewhere in the world.

Zakharova’s words are a reality check and offer an informative insight into the Russian perspective on Russian, Syrian, and global events.

Feature photo | Maria Zakharova sits down with Eva Bartlett at a Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry building in Moscow, Russia in August, 2019.  Eva Bartlett | MintPress News