DONETSK, DONETSK PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC— It took less than one day in DPR for this author to witness Ukraine purposely shelling civilians.
This afternoon, fellow journalist Eva Bartlett and I visited the Sokol Market, in the Kirovsky District, a western residential district of Donetsk.
A couple of hours ago, I took a taxi with one other journalist (who speaks Russian) to the Sokol market, in the Kirovsky district, west of Donetsk, that was bombed around noon today by Ukrainian forces further west.
Earlier in the day, at 11:40am, among the busiest hours, Ukrainian forces, just miles away in Krasnogor, fired 10 Grad rockets at the market. Initial reported were two dead, since updated to five: a woman who worked at the market in her 50’s, and a man in his 60’s, a local teacher, who was buying supplies for his mechanics class. At least 23 more were injured, including a woman who was already a refugee from Mariupol, employed at a market grocery stand, and two teenagers. Our taxi driver, who drove us to the market, waited for us, and drove us back into town, was from the Kirovsky district; he told us that the old man who died had been his teacher in high school. One shell hit this storefront in the building supply area of the market
There is no military presence in this neighborhood whatsoever, no base, no embedded soldiers, nothing. Gennady Andreevich, an employee of the neighborhood safety commission, called it a very “sleepy” district, where there is only this market, a strip of shops, a park, and a number of Soviet-era residential buildings. The area has seen sustained, constant strikes since 2014, sometimes nearly every month. One of the residential buildings was hit as recently as two weeks ago. These sorts of markets are the central point of social gathering, commerce, and employment for the vast majority of working people in Russian culture, who cannot afford to frolic in more luxurious, capitalist-developed urban centers. The perpetrators of these atrocities understand implicitly that the eyes of bourgeois mass media are never fixed on the poor, and as such, they are regularly targeted.