By George Eliason, an American journalist living in Ukraine.
On January 13th in Volnovaha, Donetsk 11 people were killed in what looked like a spectacular rocket attack. Video footage from the scene showed how deadly a Grad rocket (Hail) attack can be. The spread of the rocket attack left small craters on both sides of a highway running through Vonovaha. The camera then turned and showed a medium sized yellow bus that looked like it was hit in the attack.
The governments of Ukraine and the United States immediately called for an investigation while at the same time concluding that the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics were behind the attacks.
“Attacks on the airport of Donetsk and the shelling of the bus, which killed 10 people and injured 13 more, constitute gross violations of the Minsk agreements”, said Marie Harf, the U.S. State Department’s Spokesperson. (The individual who occupied that same post as Harf, when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, was Victoria Nuland, who on February 4th of 2014 selected “Yats” Yatsenyuk to lead the post-22 February 2014 coup Ukrainian Government. Harf’s post could be a similar stepping-stone for Harf.)
The OSCE investigated and concluded that the GRAD (HAIL) rocket attack came from north north-east of the city. According to the OSCE both sides are still accusing each other. In the meantime, Ukraine has cleaned up the attack scene, and most of the evidence is now moved. Social propagandists are weighing in wherever they will be heard, to sway opinion.
What’s at Stake
If the propaganda is starting to sound like the Boeing MH-17 attack all over again, it’s because the stakes are that high. If Poroshenko’s government did this, the entire government is discredited. The Ukrainian army attacked its own people on video. Marie Harf placed the moral, political, and diplomatic weight of Barrack Obama’s presidency behind Kiev’s version of events.
The MH-17 Bus: Kiev’s New Opportunity to Justify a Massive Attack
What would have happened if the pilot of Malaysian flight MH-17 had miraculously survived and said exactly what he saw that day? Would anything Russia, Ukraine, or the USA have to say counter that? If he said he saw fighter jets would it matter? If he said it was a BUK missile could anyone argue?
This time the pilot survived. Sergei Cherenko was the bus driver when that bus was attacked in Volnovaha. He not only survived, he tried to help his passengers. Yesterday, he gave an interview with Korrespondent.net and told exactly what happened, and the direction he saw the rockets come from. Mr. Cherenko who has worked for 21 years as a bus driver is still working the same route today with no time off in between.
He was driving to Donetsk when they stopped at the checkpoint. On his left was Volonavaha. He stated clearly that if a Grad had landed near the bus, no one would have survived. He saw the Grad rockets coming from his left which was north toward the city. According to his testimony, which is in line with other survivors, the Grad attack came from Ukrainian controlled territory.
This time the pilot survived. Will anyone believe him?
Will the Ukrainian government admit its guilt in this apparent attack? Can the US government muster any moral outrage at the thought that Kiev is spending all the good will America may have left in the world for a long time?
Kiev is using the incident as a pretext to level the city of Gorlovka. The Ukrainian military have dropped 250 lb bombs on the city. Shelling, rocket, and missile strikes are leveling portions of it. Across Donbass this is going on. In the small town of Slavanosbersk over 140 homes have been destroyed and the town has no military targets.
Across Donetsk artillery and missile strikes have not ceased and are at levels higher than the last time the war was hot. The attacks on civilian populations is now non-stop in the front-line cities.