06 April 2022

The atrocities

We've all seen the horrific images from Bucha, showing the corpses of murdered civilians littering the streets (many with hands tied behind their backs), and the reports of a mass grave which may contain as many as three hundred more bodies.  We've seen the reports of rape on a huge scale by Russian troops in the occupied areas of Ukraine.  And there's evidence that even at the very beginning, when the Russians expected a fast and near-bloodless victory, they were planning mass killings in Ukraine.  Surrender was never an option.

Bucha is a residential suburb of Kyiv.  It was probably a lot like where you live.  A few weeks ago those people whose bodies now lie in the streets were probably focusing on their kids' school grades and making their car payments and whether to ask the boss for a raise and suchlike.

In response to Russia's absurd claims that the Ukrainians staged the whole scene, scattering the corpses after liberating Bucha, satellite imagery shows that the bodies have been lying exactly where they are since March 19, and in some cases since March 11.  That is, not only did the Russians murder these people, they left the bodies lying where they fell for two to three weeks, until they were driven from Bucha -- as, presumably, a grisly warning to other locals to submit to Russian rule without complaint.

It's unlikely that Bucha is an exceptional case.  It would be a hell of a coincidence if there were only one place in Ukraine where the Russians had committed such atrocities and that one place just happened to be the first area the Ukrainians liberated from them.  More likely there are scenes like this in many occupied towns that haven't been revealed yet because the Russians are still in control there.  Indeed, a few similar images have come in from other liberated areas.  All this combines with what we've already seen -- the attacks on hospitals, the bombing of a theater clearly marked as sheltering children, the indiscriminate artillery and missile attacks on cities -- to complete the picture of the kind of war Putin is waging.

We cannot impose a no-fly zone or otherwise risk direct NATO-Russia combat, but we need to pull out all the stops in giving the Ukrainians all the weapons they need to drive the Russians out, and in ratcheting up sanctions to the utter ruin of the Russian economy.  This war is no longer only about democracy or national sovereignty, important though those things still are.  It's about basic humanity in the face of barbarism worthy of a Hitler or a Stalin.


Blogger NickM said...

The Czechs are sending Ukraine tanks and IFVs. NATO should allow Poland to transfer MiG-29s. Britain ought to supply Sky Sabre missiles to Ukraine rather than have them mooching in Poland. I'm a poker player and I can smell a bust flush and Putin is just that. Time to raise the stakes because whilst we do risk the nukes the alternative is a generation-long war between civilization and barbarity. Russia and Putin not only need to be beaten but know they have been in an unspinable way. I'd like to see this ending decisively.

I was 16 when the Berlin Wall came down. But the empire never ended*. I'm filled with almost inchoate fury that this is happening again.

*bonus points if you get that ref without using Google, my horse-lovers ;-)

06 April, 2022 05:49  
Blogger yellowdoggranny said...

they need all the help they can get..

06 April, 2022 07:14  
Blogger Jimmy T said...

I found an english version of a Ukrainian newspaper that I often visit. They're still in business, and totally worth the time. Found out what's happening from the Ukrainian point of view...


06 April, 2022 10:41  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

NickM: I think more weapons will be supplied now that these things have come to light. We can't take any risks about nuclear weapons, though.

Granny: Hopefully we'll supply it.

Jimmy T: True -- again, I've recommended that site several times in these posts since the start of the war.

06 April, 2022 11:25  
Blogger Comrade Misfit said...

I agree. Everything but chemical, nuclear and biological weapons. Nothing else should be off the table.

06 April, 2022 13:07  
Blogger Mike said...

"but we need to pull out all the stops in giving the Ukrainians all the weapons they need to drive the Russians out"
Including offensive weapons, not just defensive.

06 April, 2022 13:36  
Blogger Martha said...

I agree. Ukrainians need all the help they can get. This is a horrific situation!

07 April, 2022 04:49  
Blogger jenny_o said...

Unfortunately, the horrors being uncovered were predictable, predicted, and I think they could have been prevented. If I were Zelenskyy I don't think I could be as restrained in my pleading and condemnation re lack of help. Let's hope more help is given, and soon, although I am not optimistic.

07 April, 2022 16:22  
Blogger Bohemian said...

The atrocities reveal what the Nation of Russia is Okay with... you don't end up with an entire Military complying with committing atrocities unless they are okay with what they are doing. It makes me wonder what the Families of these Soldiers did in the Raising of them to where they are not an anomaly within the Russian Forces, but the Norm? We know Putin is an Evil Psychopath, but these atrocities are clearly showing he's not the only problem. And if they would do this with one Nation, they would do it with ANY others, so the World needs to take Note and do whatever it takes to end this, and quickly.

07 April, 2022 20:30  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Comrade: I wish everyone would get with the program. Germany is dithering again about sending tanks.

Mike: I would say whatever they need. To push an occupying army back likely will take weapons we deem offensive.

Martha: It seems to just get worse. I can't imagine what the point of all these cold-blooded murders is. Do they want to be hated for a generation?

Jenny_o: The West has been providing a great deal of help. Some of the things Zelensky is asking for are not deliverable. We can't impose a no-fly zone, for example, and he knows that. The help we've supplied has made a lot of difference.

Bohemian: Russia has been under various kinds of dictatorship for practically its entire history. Soviet and Putin-era schools taught and still teach a blindly nationalist, paranoid view of history and of the world situation, and state-controlled media reinforce that. It's hardly surprising that a lot of people in Russia are convinced the whole world is their enemy and out to get them. That's the general view ambient in their environment.

There have been reports of some Russian units surrendering rather than fight the Ukrainians. Unfortunately, with others, the mental conditioning is evidently more successful. As for the civilian population at home, many of them believe what their state-controlled media are telling them -- that the atrocities either are faked or are being committed by the Ukrainians and blamed on Russia. Breaking free from long-established conditioning isn't easy.

07 April, 2022 21:16  

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