Published on A socialist in Canada, July 30, 2022:
Report by RIA Novosti, July 30, 2022 (Translated by A Socialist In Canada, original in Russian here, with related news report. And below that: Kiev loses control of key cities during its announced ‘counteroffensive’, analysis published in RIA Novosti, July 28, 2022)
Russian Ministry of Defense publishes the lists of those killed and injured in the missile strike by Ukraine on the prison in Yelenovka, Donetsk
RIA Novosti, MOSCOW, July 30 – The Russian Ministry of Defense has published a list of Ukrainian prisoners of war who were killed and wounded during the missile strike by the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the pre-trial detention center in Yelenovka, Donetsk. The settlement is located south of Donetsk city.
“As a result of a deliberate missile attack on July 29 from the American HIMARS multiple launch rocket system on a pre-trial detention center in the village of Yelenovka, the Kyiv regime killed or injured most of the 193 Ukrainian prisoners of war who were there,” said Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, official representative of the department.
He specified that 50 people died in the attack. The remains of 48 of them were removed from the rubble of the building, two more died on the way to the hospital. 73 Ukrainian prisoners of war were seriously injured. All of them received necessary medical care.
There are 123 names of prisoners of war on the Ministry’s list. The oldest is 49 years old, the youngest is 20. Information on their units and military ranks is not specified. “All political, criminal and moral responsibility for the bloody massacre against Ukrainians is borne personally by Zelensky, his criminal regime and Washington supporting them,” Konashenkov concluded.
On the night of July 29, Ukrainian artillery attacked the pre-trial detention center, which held prisoners of war, primarily militants of the nationalist Azov regiment. The building was almost completely destroyed by fire. Shell fragments of the American ‘HIMARS’ multiple launch missile system were found on the spot. The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case.
The Ministry of Defense called the shelling a blatant provocation, committed with the aim of intimidating Ukrainian servicemen and preventing their surrender. The head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, attributed the attack to the fact that the prisoners had begun to testify.
In mid-May, about 2,500 fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and Azov Battalion laid down their arms. They were surrounded in the Azovstal steelmaking complex in Mariupol. The wounded were sent to hospital while many were placed in the prison complex in Yelenovka.
* Kiev knew the prison it shelled in Donetsk held Ukrainian prisoners of war, RT, July 29, 2022 The Ukrainian military attacked the facility “to hide crimes” the inmates could expose, the Donetsk republic’s military has claimed
* Video report of deadly shelling Yelenovka prison, broadcast on RT Ruptly, July 29, 2022 (three minute video, includes brief interviews with DPR officials, in Russian)
* As public opinion turns against military conscription in Ukraine, how will the Zelensky regime respond? Analysis by Maksim Artemyev, published in RT, July 25, 2022
Kiev loses control of key cities during its announced ‘counteroffensive’
By Vladimir Kornilov, columnist, RIA Novosti, July 28, 2022 (translation by A Socialist In Canada, original in Russian here)
Ukraine is creating new and novel military history. Never before has a planned military operation been so widely announced, publicized and publicly discussed in all its details even before it began. From the moment the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Oleksiy Reznikov, announced in the pages of The Timesin Britain that the army had received an order from President Volodymyr Zelensky to start retaking the south of Ukraine, literally everyone has been writing and talking about the future counteroffensive on Kherson.
If you are an ordinary Ukrainian and you wake up today living in the information dome of the propaganda resources of Kiev, the regime will not hesitate to tell you the dates and places of the upcoming battles during the “liberation” of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. Firstly, the extraordinarily talkative chief of Ukrainian intelligence, Kirill Budanov, announced to the whole world that the counteroffensive was planned to begin in August. That was followed by a raining down of loud statements by Ukrainian officials and politicians that by September, this successful (what else?) operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine would be completed.
The ex-president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, has gone the farthest. Live on television, he accurately indicated the date by which this “super secret” operation must be carried out. “We need to get there before 9/11,” he said. True, he tied this urgent need not to the anniversary of the terrorist attack in New York against the twin towers, but to … a single day of voting in Russia.
No, it is not the elections of the Sakhalin Regional Duma or the head of the Republic of Buryatia that excite the downed pilot of Ukrainian politics. Poroshenko’s fears are explained by the plans to hold referendums in the newly liberated territories of Ukraine. “On September 11, they are trying to hold pseudo-referendums like the Crimean one [in 2014], with which they will use to annex occupied territories to Russia, and then attack us under the pretext that they are defending Russian territory. We must stop them from doing this,” explains the chocolate oligarch.
But Poroshenko did not limit himself to announcing dates. Declaring that he “does not reveal the secrets of the military command”, he immediately laid out almost all these secrets, live and in colour. He tells how Ukrainian militants plan to launch an offensive on the right [eastern] bank of the Dnieper River to Kherson. At the same time they will “cut the land corridor in the Zaporozhye region”.
Never has there been a more open military operation in world history. It is surprising that Stalin did not think of announcing to the whole world where and how he plans to encircle the Germans near Stalingrad, or that Churchill did not announce in advance the date and place of the landing of Allied troops at the opening of the second front in Normandy, France in 1944. Obviously, they did not realize the role and importance of public relations, as the current Ukrainian strategists understand so well.
It is not surprising that Russia’s most experienced military analyst, Yevgeny Poddubny at RIA Novosti, who has seen many battles and military campaigns, expressed doubts about the stated intentions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In particular, he wrote: “The Kyiv regime and Western curators are shouting so loudly about a coming attack on Kherson that I see it as a distracting from the fact it is an unsuitable target. Here we have a new chapter in the military science of preparing future operations.”
When analyzing the statements of Ukrainian propagandists and comparing them with reality, the idea pokes through that the ‘counteroffensive’ on Kherson is just an attempt to thicken the ‘fog of war’ and distract the Russian military from its main task of liberating Donbass. For as long as Russia’s special military operation has lasted, we have heard so much talk about a “transition of the Ukrainian army to a counteroffensive”. For example, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhny, reported back in May to his American boss, General Mark Milli , that the troops under his charge had launched a massive counterattack in the Kharkov and Izyum directions. Somehow, everyone has forgotten about the outcome of this “brilliant” operation.
If the Ukrainian public did not have the memory of aquarium fish regarding the statements of their leaders, it would remember that the mythical ‘cat Bayun’ of Ukrainian propaganda, Alexei Arestovich, announced earlier that a “complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Kherson” had begun on April 5. Since then, he has repeated this mantra.
The Ukrainian public would also remember that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have allegedly been conducting a large-scale counterattack on Kherson since the beginning of June. The Ukrainian military has repeatedly reported on the extraordinary success of this long-standing ‘counterattack’.
We have repeatedly heard statements that many cities and villages of the Kherson region are already “liberated from the Russian occupiers”. But the missing element in these statements is the naming one even of these settlements.
Here is the same Arestovich the other day trying to designate a specific place for another “brilliant operation to de-occupy the Kherson region”. He announced to the whole world that in the area of the village of Vysokopole, Ukrainian soldiers created a “cauldron” trapping Russian soldiers, allegedly surrounding more than 1,000 of them. Less than a day later, Arestovich walked back his own statement, awkwardly explaining: “Our people are not quite successful there … Not everything is favorable for our people there.” The truth is that the Ukrainian military suffered a crushing defeat near Vysokopolye when it made an adventurous attempt to go on the attack.
That is why the Kyiv leaders, reporting on the victories of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and on the number of “liberated settlements”, try not to give geographical names. Otherwise, the claims can be easily checked. Lately, they have thoughtlessly begun to announce statistics of their “victories”, not realizing that a meticulous analysis of the figures cited would reveal a sad picture for Kyiv.
For example, on July 2, Zelensky announced that during the fighting, the Armed Forces of Ukraine were able to “liberate 1,027 settlements, while another 2,610 are still under the control of the enemy”. As of July 26, according to Ukrainian reports, these figures looked like this: 1,028 “liberated” against 2,621 “still occupied”. So if we are to believe this official data of Zelensky’s office, during the steadily developing “counteroffensive”, the Ukrainian army occupied a grand total of one new settlement (again, no one knows the name) and lost 11. But is anyone in Ukraine embarrassed by such statistics? No, the main thing is to believe and not double-check the data so as not to get upset.
Zelensky himself and his team are, of course, not so divorced from reality as to believe in Ukraine’s victories. Apparently, they openly talk about this to their overseas guests. This became clear from the revelations of U.S. Congressman Michael Waltz, who was hosted by the head of the Ukrainian regime on July 22 as part of a visiting delegation of the House of Representatives. On July 25, Waltz, sitting in the Fox News studio, described what he heard and saw in Kiev: “Zelensky feels that he is slowly losing.” So much for the ‘great victories of Ukraine’.
Does this mean that Ukraine’s publicized counter-offensive will once again be limited to the noise on television? Not necessarily. Kiev needs to ‘do something’ before mid-autumn in order that Joe Biden and his party may have something to present to voters confirming the “effectiveness” of military assistance to Ukraine. The Democrats really need this during the autumn 2022 election campaigning.
Former people’s deputy of Ukraine, Spiridon Kilinkarov, does not share the opinion that the widespread announcements of the upcoming operation in southern Ukraine are just a distraction from the main front in Donbass. Speaking of a counter-offensive, he said: “It will inevitably happen, I have no doubt … We are dealing with actors, producers, directors. And of course, they will try to make some kind of show out of this counter-offensive.” He predicts that this will be timed to coincide with the Independence Day  of Ukraine on August 24 and is associated with the need to report to the West that its colossal military spending makes sense. The defeat of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in this adventure will raise serious questions for the West about whether to continue to provide assistance to the Zelensky regime or whether the time has come to change it.
Western analysts themselves, while covering Ukraine’s preparations for the publicized counter-offensive, express cautious skepticism about its prospects. They admit that the losses among the military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be huge. The New York Times cites the bravura statement by (allegedly former) U.S. Marine Michael Maldonado that “Kherson will become the second Fallujah.” And this once again confirms: the Americans consider Ukraine as another Iraq or Afghanistan, nothing more. Considering that Fallujah was taken at the cost of almost complete destruction of the city and mass casualties among the civilian population, it seems Washington will not object to the total destruction of Kherson.
It is not surprising that the Western press is already directly admitting the shelling of peaceful cities in the Kherson region by American HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems and are even very happy about this fact. They say it means that Ukraine is preparing for an offensive. And they don’t give a damn about how many civilians (who are still citizens of Ukraine) will die if Zelensky tries to implement another adventurous scenario to please the West. They have decided to do a repeat of Fallujah, and so the planned destruction must be appropriate.
Of course, all these plans are doomed to failure, no matter where Kyiv eventually tries to go on the attack. And it’s not just the superiority of the Russian army in terms of weapons, experience, knowledge and determination to fulfill all the tasks of the special operation. The fact is that the tactics of the Ukrainian military have always been based on the use of civilians as human shields. This is the only way they fight, digging in and hiding behind women and children in residential areas.
Their planned ‘offensive’ will require the Armed Forces of Ukraine to go out into the open field, where you cannot take civilians with you. That is why, even sometimes acting in numerical superiority, these warriors still lose offensive battles, as was the case the other day in Vysokopolye. No U.S.-supplied ‘HIMARS rocket launchers or Turkish-made ‘Bayraktar’ drones can alter this.
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