Another Kyiv attack hit central Donetsk, targeting a funeral and a hotel where many journalists stay and work
At 10:13 a.m. today (Thursday), Ukraine began shelling the center of Donetsk. There were five powerful explosions in the space of ten minutes. The latest blast blew out glass on the ground floor of my hotel, including a lounge – where journalists often congregate before and after leaving to report from the field – and the lobby. About a minute earlier, I had passed by the latter. A cameraman’s assistant who was there at the time of this fifth explosion suffered a concussion from the force of the explosion.
A woman walking outside the building was killed, along with at least four other people, including a child. Donetsk Telegram channels are filled with videos that locals have taken, of the dead, injured and injured, and mourners. One of those hard-to-watch Telegram messages (warning: graphic images) features a man in shock at the horrific sight of the murdered bodies of his wife and grandchild on a street two blocks from the hotel .
The total number of injured remains unknown as of this writing. The first estimates put their number at at least ten, including two paramedics: a paramedic and a doctor.
Reading the news, you have the luxury of graphic image warnings and the choice not to watch the photos and videos of the carnage that happened today, as well as over the past eight years of the Ukraine’s war against Donbass. People here on the ground are given no warning, no choice as to whether they will see the mutilated remains of a loved one or a stranger. As uncomfortable as it may seem to see such images, they must be shown if the world is to know the truth about what is happening in Donbass, to give a voice to the people, killed and terrorized by Ukrainian forces while the media Westerners look elsewhere or cover up these crimes.
Timeline of a bomb attack
When the shelling started, I was in my room editing footage from the day before – the aftermath of another shelling of a neighborhood in Donetsk. You wouldn’t know it from most Western media coverage, but explosions are so common here that I didn’t think much of the explosion except that it was louder than usual and car alarms were going off.
Seven minutes later another explosion, much louder and much closer. From the window, smoke could be seen rising to the north, probably 200 yards away. It would have been right next to the Opera House, where the funeral ceremony of Colonel of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Olga Kachura, who was killed yesterday, began.
A minute later, another loud blast sent me running out of the room, which was facing the direction of the incoming artillery. Luckily the only damage was a broken window.
Downstairs, journalists who were in the hotel and others who were outside ready to report have taken refuge in the hallway for the time being, ready to run to the basement if things go wrong. were getting worse.
One of them told me that he was preparing to film and that he was about 10 meters from where the last shell hit. “I believe they were trying to target the funeral. And journalists too. he said. He also said there was a woman outside who had lost a leg and was probably dead now.
One would assume that the only target the kyiv forces were aiming for was Colonel Kachura’s funeral service, perhaps aimed at sending a message to the DPR military and civilians who support it. While glaring in itself, it is likely that a hotel housing journalists was not just “collateral damage”.
Ukraine regularly persecutes, censors, imprisons, tortures and targets media personnel, putting us on victim lists.
Kyiv forces know that many journalists stay at this hotel for its central location and strong wifi. Many often report live from outside the hotel. And those who stay here, as well as in other areas of central Donetsk, have reported loud and clear that Ukraine has flooded Donetsk with insidious and internationally banned landmines lately – the latest, until today. , in the list of kyiv war crimes. These explosives are designed to rip off feet and legs, and Ukraine has repeatedly fired rockets containing them, intentionally launching them at civilian areas in Donetsk and other cities in Donbass.
After blasts rumbled through central Donetsk today, emergency services arrived on the scene and, after a period of calm, journalists came out to document the damage and fatalities. The woman I had been told about lay in a pool of blood, covered with what appeared to be a curtain from one of the blown windows.
The calm did not last long. Ukraine quickly resumed shelling and reporters outside ran inside as we received four more attacks. “It’s like a common thing, they shoot one place and shoot it again. So we’re in the middle of that process right now,” said a Serb near me. The head of a local emergency services headquarters told me that kyiv was also doing triple strikes, not just doubles.
Ukraine is said to have used NATO-standard 155mm caliber weapons in today’s attack. If true, this is another case of Ukraine using Western-supplied weapons to slaughter and maim civilians in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
If, by bombing a hotel full of journalists, kyiv wanted to intimidate them and prevent them from reporting on Ukraine’s war crimes, it won’t work. Most journalists who report from the ground here do so because, unlike the West’s crocodile tears for the conflicts they create, we actually care about people’s lives here.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.