Skip to content

The logic behind the terror: Why does Ukraine keep attacking civilian areas in Donetsk? | 4 Feb, 2023 13:13 By Vladislav Ugolny, a Russian journalist based in Donetsk

Rockets have hit peaceful neighborhoods once again. Why does Kiev continue its policy, if not purely out of hate?

FILE PHOTO: Partially destroyed and damaged buildings are viewed after shelling in Bakhmut, Donetsk. ©  Metin Aktas / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

At least ten rockets hit central areas of Donetsk on Saturday morning, damaging three residential buildings, a local Russian official has reported in his Telegram channel.

One of the projectiles fired by Ukrainian forces hit an apartment building in the Kievsky district. While rescuers continue to search for survivors under the rubble, preliminary information suggests that there were three people in one of the apartments.

There was no information on casualties at the time of writing, but the absence of victims would be unusual; indeed, Ukrainian shelling of the capital of the Donetsk People’s Republic intensified weeks before the Russian attack in February 2022, and has taken a heavy toll ever since.

The suffering of Donbass residents  

According to the human rights commissioner of the DPR, Daria Morozova, at least 1,091 civilians were killed and another 3,533 were recorded as injured last year as a result of combat operations. The figures do not include places such as Mariupol, where the full scale of the tragedy has yet to be assessed. 

The 4,624 people mentioned above were victims of regular artillery strikes on urban areas of Donetsk and Gorlovka.

When Donetsk residents are asked why the Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to attack civilians, people usually have no explanation other than the desire of the Ukrainian government and military to destroy Donbass and its people. This is supported by a massive campaign to dehumanize local residents and a number of hateful statements by Ukrainian politicians. “We will kill them with nuclear weapons,” warned former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, while ex-president Pyotr Poroshenko has vowed: “Our children will go to school, while their children will go sit in basements. That’s how we will win this war.”

Ukrainian forces continue to bomb Donbass despite the shortage of shells experienced by both sides of the conflict. However, while Russia can solve this issue by activating its military-industrial complex, Ukraine is entirely dependent on foreign supplies. 

It should make a lot more sense for Ukraine to use scarce ammunition on military targets rather than on peaceful residential areas. Even if a lot of the time, Kiev’s forces misfire. A typical example is a Ukrainian shell landing in the frozen Kalmius River that divides Donetsk.

How Ukraine explains the attacks

Whenever Ukrainian artillery hits a civilian object – for example, a flower market – or kills civilians, officials in Kiev deny it. Unofficial voices resort to false claims that no such thing ever happened. Over the past eight years, the latter have come up with several memes allegedly proving that the Ukrainian Army wasn’t involved – with explanations such as “the air conditioner exploded.” Even if Ukrainian forces manage to hit a military facility, such as a warehouse, they usually deny involvement, claiming that “someone smoked in the wrong place” and that the explosion wasn’t related to the conflict. Thus, an information environment is created that denies the fact that Kiev attacks cities.

Read More

2 thoughts on “The logic behind the terror: Why does Ukraine keep attacking civilian areas in Donetsk?”

  1. Pingback: The logic behind the terror: Why does Ukraine keep attacking civilian areas in Donetsk? – debtstop

  2. Bogdan Boutkevitch: Ok, you ask me “How can this be happening?” Well, it happens because Donbass, in general, is not simply a region in a very depressed condition, it has got a whole number of problems, the biggest of which is that it is severely overpopulated with people nobody has any use for. Trust me I know perfectly well what I am saying.
    If we take, for example, just the Donetsk oblast, there are approximately 4 million inhabitants, at least 1.5 million of which are superfluous. That’s what I mean: we don’t need to [try to] “understand” Donbass, we need to understand Ukrainian national interests.
    Donbass must be exploited as a resource, which it is. I don’t claim to have a quick solution recipe, but the most important thing that must be done – no matter how cruel it may sound – is that there is a certain category of people that must be exterminated.”
    Transcript: “It’s perfectly simple. You need to kill 1.5 million people in Donbass”
    Translated from Ukrainian by Valentina Lisitsa

Leave a Comment