By Roger Annis, July 28, 2014
July 28, 2014–Susan Ormiston of CBC News reports from Donetsk today there has been “constant and heavy shelling” by the Ukraine army during the past two days on the towns and villages in Donetsk region surrounding the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
The site was turned over to international investigators four days ago by Donetsk self-defense fighters, but the investigators have not been able to access it due to military operations of the Ukraine army. The site is either abandoned or has been taken over by the Ukraine army. Self-defense fighters say the army controls the area surrounding the site. There are no observers present.
Today, Ormiston reports, a convoy of OSCE monitors attempted for the second day in a row to reach the MH 17 crash site. Once again, they were blocked. She says today’s convoy passed easily through the checkpoints of self-defense fighters, located about 50 km outside the city. But then it was prevented by the military operations of Ukraine armed forces from reaching the site.
Associated Press reporters say the town of Shakhtarsk is under heavy bombardment. Other towns in the immediate vicinity of the crash are also under attack.
Ormiston says self-defense fighters have created a defensive perimeter well outside Donetsk, which contradicts entirely a print report by Mark MacKinnon in the Globe and Mail two days ago saying they were retreating into the city center for a ‘last ditch’ fight (see MacKinnon’s ‘Final days could be approaching for Russian separatists (sic) in eastern Ukraine‘ ,July 26 G&M).
The Ukraine government is not commenting. Its online propaganda service is silent on recent events.
Officials in Luhansk say that overnight shelling of the city killed five people and injured 15.
The CBC News report on these latest events is a mix of fact, innuendo and some propaganda claims by the Ukraine government. Canada’s ministry of foreign affairs has loaded up the comments section of the article with Twitter messages. An online report in today’s Moscow Times, a mainstream, English-language daily print newspaper, also features a bewildering grab-bag of fact and fiction.
Instead of printing speculation and innuendo, this July 27 report in the Washington Post does a good service by reporting how people in the Kyiv regime’s war zone are reacting to events. And here is a New York Times report on July 28 which details the failed efforts of international investigators to reach the MH17 crash site and the Ukraine army offensive.
A Russia Today news report summarizes Ukraine army shellings across southeast Ukraine on July 27. The numbers of reported dead and injured civilians is shocking. Unguided rockets fell on neighbourhoods, a supermarket, bus shelter and a childcare center.
Shells struck a Ukraine Orthodox Church compound in Horlovka, north of Donetsk, where some of the heaviest shelling has taken place. These are video scenes from the shelling of HOrlovka on July 27: here and (warning: disturbing images) here.
For background to events since the crash of MH17, read my July 27 article, ‘Slander abounds in depictions of autonomy fighters in eastern Ukraine, while MH 17 investigation stalls and Kyiv’s war rages’.