May 8, 2023
In this vacant and damaged village, news of Russia’s evacuation of occupied towns along the southern front cannot come soon enough.
Ukrainian-held Mala Tokmachka, just over a mile (2 kilometers) from Russian-held territory in the Zaporizhzhia region, has been left ghostly and battered by shelling, leaving the central square pockmarked, and the school’s facade torn off. Shrapnel is mixed in with fallen pine cones.
Raisa, a local woman passing some Ukrainian soldiers on her bicycle, said the explosions had picked up recently and she had heard small arms fire from the nearby highway. “There is no way out for us,” she said, of the remaining 200 civilians. “We have no water, gas or power for more than a year.”
Just 9 miles (15 km) down the road is Polohy, a town that Russian occupiers said Friday they would evacuate, a process which local sources said had got underway at the weekend, although some Russian soldiers apparently remain in place.
The town is a focus for Ukraine’s spring counteroffensive. While Kyiv has said it will not announce its commencement so as to cause maximum surprise, recent statements from Russian officials in occupied areas about attacks have indicated at least its opening stages are likely underway.
Polohy is one of over a dozen frontline settlements that occupying forces announced Friday would be emptied of civilians. A Russian occupation official, Yuri Balitsky, said “we cannot risk the safety of people and will provide funds for organized travel, lump sum payments, accommodation and meals.” He added children would undergo rehabilitation and rest in children’s camps,” echoing the language of previous incidents that Ukraine has dubbed forced deportation and on which the International Criminal Court based a war crimes indictment against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ukrainian officials have said the evacuations are being used to provide cover for the departure of Russian troops, and claimed civilians are being sent to the coastal town of Berdyansk, and Russian soldiers to the heavily destroyed city of Mariupol.
It is as yet unclear what impact these evacuations – which on Sunday Russian occupation officials said amounted to 1,600 people – will have on Moscow’s ability to hold frontline towns. But it is a sign of possible weakness, and in during past Ukrainian offensives, Russian positions have collapsed very suddenly, even as their spokespeople were articulating their avowed defense. At the best, these mass departures are recognition by Russian forces that the fight ahead of them will likely be intense.
The evacuees are also being moved all the way to the coastline – a reflection of the terrain to be fought over. Russia, according to satellite imagery, has built a substantial line of defenses along its southern front in the Zaporizhzhia region.
Below this line of trenches and concrete, there are reports of some ongoing defenses, but not of a depth that would suggest Russia can easily afford to lose this initial frontline. Once Ukraine’s well-prepared offensive has pushed past this first boundary, there is a risk for Moscow that Kyiv’s move to the coast is a lot easier. That could be disastrous for the Russian occupation and Putin’s strategic hold of the land corridor that runs through Zaporizhzhia and connects the Crimean peninsula to the rest of occupied Ukraine and the Russian mainland.
In the Ukrainian-held city of Orikihv, one of the last major population centers before this frontline, the prospect of Russian forces being pushed decisively back cannot come fast enough. A constant artillery duel busies the horizon, together with intermittent mushroom clouds from enormous, often inaccurate Russian airstrikes.
Four hit on Thursday, destroying two civilian houses but apparently missing any construction that could be presumed to be a target. On Sunday morning, a CNN crew witnessed a jet flying overhead that dropped two missiles – one a $500,000 Kh31-P according to Ukrainian officials – which slammed into the town, 700 yards away. The missile appeared to have missed any potential target, causing a 10-foot-deep crater in an empty patch of land in the city center.
Orikhiv is persistently battered by Russia’s rage as Ukrainian military pressure increases. The town’s rescue team said there is no longer any pattern to the shelling, which seems to strike at random times and locations. Dmytro Haydar, a rescuer, described the delicate balance his team must find between responding to strikes quickly and being caught in the regular “double-tap” follow-up attacks that Russian jets often launch to hit first-responders and survivors. “We saw them, as they leave a trail in the sky,” he said of one jet attack. “We had to stand near the basement because they launched guided bombs. There’s no particular time of day or place for the strikes.” Haydar gestured towards the recent sound of outgoing artillery fire and said: “That’s not necessarily Ukrainian. It could be from the Russian-held town of] Nesterianka. The frontline is 3 kilometers away, and then it’s them.”
The team’s chief, Andrew Grygorenko, said he was trapped at the start of the war in Russian-occupied Polohy, where he lived and worked as a rescuer. The Russians forced him and his men to continue their work. Grygorenko says his men one-by-one managed to escape. He evaded their tight scrutiny of his whereabouts when a local occupation official failed to turn up to work one day, and he drove a minibus of civilians out.
The regular effective targeting of Russian positions by Ukrainian firepower sparked a manhunt in the town for an informant. “They were searching for spotters, and those disloyal to the new power”, he said. “There are many missing people and many dead. We don’t know even the full picture. After liberation of our town, we will find many more there.”
Palle Mathiasen reports just now on LinkedIn:
“In todays missile attack on Odesa Ukraine, Russia attacked and destroyed a 1000 square meter warehouse with humanitarian aid, belonging to the Ukranian Red Cross.”
The DT said that putlerstan is now prioritizing the murder of civilians and civil installations :
“A Russian missile has destroyed a Red Cross warehouse containing thousands of tonnes of food in a “massive” wave of attacks across the country.
Officials in the city of Odesa published footage of the 1,000-square metre building engulfed in fire after it was struck by a Kh-22 missile fired from the Black Sea.
Piles of smouldering food can be seen in videos shared on social media with firefighters struggling to douse the embers of the blaze.
One image showed the blackened remains of the warehouse building strewn across a nearby park.
“Humanitarian aid for the Odesa region, which was in a warehouse, was completely destroyed by fire,” the local branch of the Red Cross wrote on Twitter.
The aid group said none of its staff were killed or injured in the strike, but the remains of a lone victim, described as a “civilian security guard” by Ukraine’s ministry of defence, were seen being removed from the wreckage in a bodybag by rescue workers.
“Hundreds of tonnes of humanitarian aid for Odesa residents were destroyed,” the ministry added in a statement. “Russia’s priority target is civil objects.”
Nazi skank Zakharova is yet again spewing out grotesque hatred; enough to deserve stringing up:
“Meanwhile, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Monday that Ukraine would no longer join in Moscow’s celebrations of the victory over Nazism on May 9, but instead join with Europe in ceremonies held on May 8.
“We are returning to our state an honest history without ideological influences. It is on May 8 that most nations of the world remember the greatness of the victory over the Nazis,” the Ukrainian president said in a video address from a hilltop overlooking Kyiv.
On May 9, Ukraine will celebrate Europe Day, he added, meant to promote peace and unity.
Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, branded Mr Zelensky a traitor for moving Victory Day celebrations.
“What is worse than an enemy? A traitor. That is Zelensky, the embodiment of Judas in the 21st century… An accomplice of the fascists 80 years later,” she said.
Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, will travel to Kyiv on Tuesday to mark Europe Day with Mr Zelensky, who is hoping to secure EU membership for his country in the coming years.”
“Ukrainian officials have said the evacuations are being used to provide cover for the departure of Russian troops…”
In other words, the civilians will be used as human shields.
That about sums up what’s happening in Ukraine. The fascist criminals are in a rage for many reasons; Ukraine’s strive for freedom, democracy, to be with the EU, NATO, to be a better country than mafia land. They are also in a rage because they will not win this war, and they know it, more and more every day.
“On Sunday morning, a CNN crew witnessed a jet flying overhead that dropped two missiles – one a $500,000 Kh31-P according to Ukrainian officials – which slammed into the town, 700 yards away. The missile appeared to have missed any potential target, causing a 10-foot-deep crater in an empty patch of land in the city center.”
While the AFU, with Western weapons, can achieve pinpoint accurate strikes … on military targets, that is.
And that one slime from the Duma said Vladolf is targeting Ukrainian civilians because Zelensky will not present himself to be assassinated. Of course its BS because the Moscow Monkeys kill for fun. Kirill told them it will help them go to Heaven but the truth is it will just ensure they get a ticket to the eternal Kobzon concert in hell.
And, Kirill will lead them into hell.