The Yelenovka Massacre

At 2am on the 29th of July, a HIMARS missile tore through the roof of a dormitory block at the Yelenovka detention facility twenty-five kilometres SW of Donetsk, incinerating over 50 of the POWs held there and injuring 70 more. Investigators and reporters on the scene in the morning recorded the shocking sight inside the building, along with the collection of pieces from the missile, leaving no doubt about its origins. Yelenovka is not far East of the front line, and satellite photos kindly supplied by MAXAR to NYT journalists show that the building was damaged on the West side, a fact not obvious at first as the NYT published the image upside down. 

 Despite this almost incontrovertible evidence that Kiev was responsible for the missile strike and one of the worst atrocities of recent conflicts, the sophisticated NATO propaganda machine was already fired up to frame Russia for the crime, making it a double blow against the victims - who in this case are primarily the citizens of Donbas. It is they who have suffered the brutality and violence of the Azov battalion and its associates for the last eight years, and seeing some sort of justice from the trial and prosecution of these prisoners of war is vital for their recovery - to bring some sort of "closure" as Americans like to say. 

  As it is, with the ongoing and daily atrocities inflicted by the AFU on Donetsk and other towns, including with showers of banned Petal mines, the killing of some of these prisoners was another strike from the Kiev regime and its neo-Nazi associates, something the wives and mothers of the "Heroes of Azovstal" are finding impossible to believe. They seem unaware that the "international enquiry" they demand from the UN and ICRC has already been requested by Russia, and would prove what they already refuse to believe. 
Wives and Mothers of victims of Yelenovka massacre protest in Kiev
The reference to notorious Nazi crimes - "Olenivka the new Katin" - reads the placard - is a truly bizarre juxtaposition with the black and red symbolism on display, and the attempt to portray Russia as the purveyor of Nazi terror. These women also seem unaware that they are being so cynically used as a propaganda vehicle by their own leaders and those in Washington and Whitehall. And it was not by chance that the timing of the attack on the prison coincided with a push at the UNSC and the US congress to declare Russia a sponsor of terrorism, based on its alleged crimes in Ukraine. President 'Elensky was also quick to declare the lethal strike on the prison an act of terrorism, in addition to drawing libelous and ludicrous parallels with the actions of Nazi Germany.
Anti-Nazi protests from neo-Nazi “family”
Given the lack of restraint shown by these women, reminiscent of the "wives of ISIS", in accusing and demanding "justice" and punishment for those who they hold responsible without any evidence, it seems only reasonable to counter those accusations without normal restraint, by republishing the photos below.  There is a massive double standard when it comes to "graphic content", with images often so blurred out that they become meaningless, unless it is politically convenient to publish them. One need only think of the power of pictures of children killed by Israeli missile attacks in Gaza, and the Israel-supporting media's refusal to publish them, leave alone in video form. 

In fact it could be seen as an act of respect for the relatives of the victims, who must confront the terrible sight, sound and smell of their loved ones torn apart, merely to view a photograph of the mutilated body. Taking such photographs requires much greater courage, and Eva Bartlett must be admired for taking this risk and opportunity to record the images below. By way of warning and preparation, I present the most graphic images last in this series.
HIMARS missile pieces removed from building, 29th July 2022 Eva K Bartlett.
MAXAR images from 27th and 30th July, showing strike from Westerly direction
Targeted dormitory building, afternoon of 29th July, Reuters/NYT
Frames from Rudenko video taken mid-morning 29th July, looking East
But perhaps before looking at Eva Bartlett's most shocking and poignant image we need a reminder of another comparable crime, committed not by the Nazis in Auschwitz or Dachau, but by the forerunners of those leaders in Washington and London who gave their implicit consent to the attack on Yelenovka. Though there are varying accounts of the casualties from the firebombing of Dresden, carried out near the end of WW2 on February 13th 1945, there seems very little doubt that it was the most monstrous and vindictive assault on a defenceless civilian population. This Dutch site has a good account, and some striking images including those below.
Dresden after the inferno, February 1945.
Dresden street, a survivor of the firestorm.
Putting the HIMARS strike on Yelenovka in proper perspective against an atrocity involving tens of thousands of innocent civilian victims may be difficult, and further complicated by the lack of such innocence amongst the prisoners from Azovstal. Given their casual brutality towards civilians in Mariupol before their retreat into Azovstal's bunkers, including during their eight-year long reign of terror over the city, many would think this was a fitting punishment. But it is hard to ignore the humanity of these three corpses, frozen in their agony:
Yelenovka, morning of the attack, three victims. Courtesy Eva K Bartlett.
From the point of view of the perpetrators however, the crimes committed at Dresden and Yelenovka are comparable, involving a ruthless cynicism combined with a psychopathic ease of lying, even to your own. Of course it is the job of intelligence agencies and those who engage in military action for the state, to deceive the enemy if necessary to achieve the approved objectives. Under some circumstances it might also be considered "moral" to deceive one's own population "for its own good" - in the knowledge that revealing the truth might make an action unacceptable. The public in its ignorance cannot always be expected to understand the way things work, nor agree to actions of dubious morality. 

 But in a so-called democratic state this situation is unacceptable, and so neither acknowledged nor explained and justified. The leaders and media of such states never cease to tell us how such deception and immoral actions are the feature of the totalitarian states which we must fight against, and in this current war they endlessly repeat lies about Russian actions and intentions, both exaggerating and downplaying the "Russian threat" as appropriate. This serial mendacity also applies to almost everything they say about themselves, constructing a picture of the State of Ukraine quite divorced from reality. The problem is that most of its citizens, and most of the populations supporting them, believe what they are being told. 

The "justification" for the strike on Yelenovka may then be seen as aiming to prevent those lied-to millions from learning what the men from Azovstal were telling their captors. While many have already admitted to crimes committed against civilians during and before the Russian SMO, the revelations of orders coming from Kiev from some commanders may well have been the trigger for the attack. In addition to this, and not necessarily in contradiction to it, there were reports that a strike on the detention facility was one of several actions suggested by MI6 as part of the hybrid war on Russia. 

While the authenticity of this report cannot be easily verified, the other options suggested by MI6 look all too plausible, as Kiev's demonic push to create a nuclear catastrophe at the Ernogodar nuclear power plant echoes one of those proposals. That will be the subject of the next article...

  DM 14th August 2022