By Eva Bartlett,
Published on the Scrum, Aug 9, 2022:
The use of PFM-1 explosives against civilians is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions—but this evidently isn’t stopping Ukraine. “It is becoming increasingly clear that the AFU, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, is losing its fight against Russian forces in an ever-swifter slide toward defeat. We detect a mounting desperation, although the reporting of mainstream correspondents is so poor, especially when considered next to Ms. Bartlett’s—indeed, so thoroughly dedicated to the propaganda project the regimes in Kiev and Washington share—that little about this war is clear.”
We take an unusual step as we publish the following piece by Eva Bartlett, the perspicacious Canadian correspondent whose practice it is to report from “the other side.” The Scrum does not customarily pick up pieces from other publications and reproduce them in its pages. We take this unusual step because it is an unusual time. We consider it halfway to a public service to offer our readers Ms. Bartlett’s sobering, eyewitness report from Donetsk City.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the AFU, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, is losing its fight against Russian forces in an ever-swifter slide toward defeat. We detect a mounting desperation, although the reporting of mainstream correspondents is so poor, especially when considered next to Ms. Bartlett’s—indeed, so thoroughly dedicated to the propaganda project the regimes in Kiev and Washington share—that little about this war is clear.
Amnesty International has just issued a report asserting that the AFU, as we have read numerous times over the months, uses civilian locations as cover. We are asked to believe that Russian forces shelled a detention camp wherein they hold captured Ukrainians. As we speak, we are asked to believe Russians are shelling a nuclear power plant their own troops appear to be guarding. The information war grows to unmanageable proportions.
Ms. Bartlett’s report seems to us not only to expose the shocking lengths to which the AFU has gone in Donetsk City as its position grows more desperate; she also casts a sharp beam of light on how numerous of the AFU’s other acts are reported—or not.
Eva Bartlett has distinguished herself in the course of reporting many stories, not least from Palestinian territories. She has done so again in the piece that follows, and we commend her for this work. The piece originally appeared in RT.
On Saturday 30 July, just after 9 pm, thunderous explosions rocked central Donetsk. Shortly after, there were announcements that air defense had shot down Ukrainian-fired missiles containing “Butterfly” (or “Petal”) mines. Given that over 300 of these explosives. are packed into each of the Ukrainian-fired rockets, central Donetsk could literally become a minefield if they successfully landed.
Social media and Telegram warnings urged residents to stay inside, to wait for Emergency Services to clear the streets and sidewalks – which they began doing during the night. But come daylight, untold numbers of these tiny devices still remained. More warnings were issued to stay at home – better to be late for work than lose a leg. Residents that absolutely have to go out are advised to keep their eyes down to watch where they step, avoid grassy areas, and walk extremely carefully.
While Ukraine has been using these mines on Donbass for many months, in recent days, they have intensely bombarded neighbourhoods with them. Initially targeted were the hard-hit districts of Kievskiy in the north, Kirovsky in the southwest, and Kuibyshevkiy in the west. But as of Saturday night, Ukraine hammered central Donetsk with them.
And now, walking in the city center is a nightmare, one I had to endure to document how widespread these mines are here: in central streets and walkways, near apartments, in parks…
Even with warning, these nefarious “petal”/”butterfly” mines dropped by Ukraine on Donetsk are hard to see & easy to miss.
Ukraine is committing war crimes against the civilians of the Donbass, and has been for 8+ years. pic.twitter.com/p5byG95GVG
— Eva Karene Bartlett (@EvaKBartlett) August 1, 2022
Difficult to spot, easy to trigger
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