Russians and Ukrainians blame each other for a bombing in the heart of Donetsk

Russians and Ukrainians blame each other for a bombing in the heart of Donetsk

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A lifeless body lies in a bombed-out area in Donetsk, on August 4, 2022.

In a tragedy that has become commonplace in recent months in Ukraine, eight civilians were killed and four wounded on Thursday morning, August 4, near a bus stop and a church in the town of Toretsk. Russian forces are trying to take this Donbas region town five kilometers from the front line by subjecting it to daily artillery fire.

In a much rarer event, six people were killed by shelling in the heart of Donetsk, the separatist regional capital of 900,000 people occupied by Russia since 2014. One shell hit the Donbas Palace, a luxury hotel where Russian state media employees and official delegations stay. ; Others killed pedestrians on Pushkin Boulevard, behind the theater.

Images of the bombing were immediately broadcast by Russian media. One of the videos showed a soldier talking to the camera at the same time as the sound of an explosion. The center of Donetsk, located 12 kilometers from the front line, is very rarely hit by strikes.

At the time of the explosions, a memorial ceremony for a pro-Russian female fighter killed in action the day before was beginning in the theater. Olga Kachura had been celebrated by Russian propaganda as the only female commander in the ranks of the pro-Russian separatist army. Vladimir Putin posthumously awarded her the title of Hero of Russia by decree on Thursday. In Ukraine, Ms. Kachura had been sentenced in absentia to 12 years in prison for “participation in a terrorist group or organization.” She was accused by the Ukrainian Interior Ministry of shelling civilians in 2015 during the siege of Debaltseve.

Read more Ukraine slams ‘unfair’ Amnesty report on its military presence in civilian areas

A succession of unprecedented attacks on Donetsk

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The pro-Kremlin TV channel Pervy Kanal presented the event as unprecedented because “never in the last eight years have Ukrainian forces targeted a funeral with artillery.” […]. Today, the Ukrainian neo-Nazis, as they say, have hit rock bottom.”

The Ukrainian side has denied any involvement in the bombing. Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the chief of staff of the Ukrainian president, said that “only the Russians have hit Donetsk, or the ‘people’s militia’ of the unrecognized criminal ‘republics.’” It makes no sense for us to bomb this or that. event in Donetsk. Our goal is to destroy three types of targets: fuel depots, artillery shell depots as well as operational and tactical command centers in order to reduce the offensive potential of the invader.” The Ukrainian official said it had been staged for the purposes of Russian propaganda. : “These explosions [are necessary] only to show what ‘ferocious beasts’ are on the other side of the front, and that it is therefore necessary to fight more fiercely, and continue the invasion to kill Ukrainians.”

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Russians and Ukrainians blame each other for a bombing in the heart of Donetsk

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