At 10:13 am today (Thursday), Ukraine began shelling central Donetsk. There were five powerful blasts in the space of ten minutes. The last explosion blew out my hotel’s ground-floor glass, including a sitting room – where journalists often congregate before and after going out to do field reporting – and the lobby. About one minute earlier, I had passed through the latter. A cameraman’s assistant who was there at the time of that fifth explosion suffered a concussion from the force of the blast.
A woman walking outside the building was killed, as were at least four others, including a child. Donetsk Telegram channels are filled with videos locals have taken, of the dead, the injured and the damage, and of grief-stricken people. One such hard-to-watch Telegram post (warning: graphic footage) features a man in shock at the gruesome sight of the bodies of his murdered wife and grandchild on a street two blocks from the hotel.
The total number of injured is still not known, as I write. First estimates placed the number at at least ten, among them two ambulance workers: a paramedic and a doctor.
Reading the news, you have the luxury of graphic image warnings and the choice not to look at the pictures and videos of the carnage that occurred today, as well as over the past eight years of Ukraine’s war on Donbass. The people here on the ground don’t get a warning, or a choice as to whether they will see the mutilated remains of a loved-one or stranger. As uncomfortable as it is to see such footage, it does need to be shown if the world is to know the truth of what’s going on in Donbass, to give voice to the locals, killed and terrorized by Ukrainian forces as Western corporate media looks elsewhere or covers up these crimes.