Ukraine War Day #326: Soledar Aftermath

Dear Readers:

Today I have two short pieces, both with a similar theme: The effect on civilians, and how they survived these weeks of ferocious fighting, resulting in the Russian victory in Soledar. In reading both pieces, one must keep in mind just how much the Ukrainian Nationalists loathe the people who live in the Donbass. At times it is a visceral hatred, they barely even regard those people as human beings. Western propaganda portrays the noble Ukrainian soldier as a “Defender of the Motherland”, fighting against foreign invaders and occupiers. And yet, when stationed on Donbass soil, eyewitness after eyewitness shows the Ukrainian soldier to possess the mentality of an Occupier himself, not a Defender.

Pushilin Meets His New Constituents

Now that Soledar has been ripped from the hands of the Ukrainian army (with horrendously huge losses on the Ukrainian side – some estimates go as high as 14,000 killed just in this one operation), we come to remember that actual people used to live there. KP reporters Nikita Makarenkov and Pavel Khanarin introduce us to some of the survivors. And we can tell these are real people, not fashion models, because they are not pretty at all, they are care-worn and rather ordinary looking.

Soledar survivors

Yesterday (January 14) DPR Chief Denis Pushilin [Russian press has taken to calling him vrio Glavy which means “Acting Head”, there is obviously some political implication there] visited a group of his new constituents from Soledar and the Artyomovsk area. Not long ago, these were Ukrainian citizens, now they are (or will soon be) Russian citizens. They were evacuated during the fighting and reside temporarily in the Donetsk town of Shakhtersk, in shelters that were set up for them. Like the good politician that he is, Pushilin came bearing gifts, including Christmas toys for the children.

Pushilin: “I am very glad that you are all alive, that’s the main thing! Let me tell you the news from Soledar, and I am sorry to inform you, but this has been the constant pattern that we keep seeing over and over again: Mariupol, Volnovakha, other populated areas. The Ukrainian militants destroy people and infrastructure, and they do this particularly hard when they are retreating. It is a shame that it has to be this way but we residents of the Donbass, we understand very well that we will restore and rebuild everything. All the more so, because we are now part of Russia!”

A female resident: “Convey our greetings to the lads. We are very grateful to them. They saved our lives.”

A young girl: “I had to hide out in the cellar for 8 months. Both of my legs had been injured and I couldn’t move around very well. Thank goodness I had my Aunt Nina with me. On January 11 the [Russian] soldiers led us out of our hiding place and into a different hiding place. From there, they gradually evacuated us, one by one. They took the elderly first, the injured, the children. Please thank them for saving our lives.”

Another female resident: “My daughter and her children were evacuated earlier, to Berdyansk. I am planning to join her there. After that, we will just have to start our lives all over again.” [weeps]

Pushilin: “If you can hold a hammer, we need your labor.”

With emotions and tears flowing, this turned into a group psychotherapy session. While the children played with their gifts, the adults opened up about everything they saw and endured: The Ukrainian soldiers were completely undisciplined, they would randomly shoot at peaceful civilians, and destroy infrastructure.

A resident of the Artyomovsk district: “As they were retreating, the Ukrainians set up their guns one last time, just to shoot wildly at the town of Otradovka; and then they packed up and left.”

A woman: “They would go down into the cellars and shoot people. Or just toss a grenade into the cellar. If the grenade missed, they would go down and kill the people.”

After meeting with these civilians, Pushilin spoke to the press. He said that Soledar would shortly be included in the DPR administrative zone of responsibility. Any residents possessing a Soledar registration card, would be eligible for all the social services provided to DPR citizens. “These people have nothing left, except for their lives. But the most important thing, is that they were saved. Our main task right now is to assist them with everything they need, especially helping them put their official documentation together. People asked a lot of questions about getting work. I explained to them that our Republic has a great need for people who work in the construction field. We especially need healthy males who are willing to take on temporary work in the construction brigades that we are forming.”

How The Ukrainians Erased Opytnoe Off The Map

The stories and eyewitness accounts are all the same, and all show the same pattern. Of retreating Ukrainians, like a dying Samson, trying to take everything down with them, as they leave. They also recount the wasteful squandering of ammunition by the Ukrainian army, who apparently forget that everything they have and use, every bullet, is a gift from some other nation; so you would think they would learn to conserve, but no…

Reporters interviewed a local resident of the town of Opytnoe, his name is Alexander Shcherbin. Opytnoe is a key town in the Artyomovsk chain, which recently fell to the Russian army. Shcherbin survived the fighting and was recently evacuated to the city of Shakhtersk (same place where Pushilin met with the people in above story).

Opytnoe resident and eyewitness Alexander Shcherbin

Shcherbin told reporters how the Ukrainian soldiers set up a machine gun on a jeep and just kept shooting wildly at the town, at anything and everything. “The whole town was simply levelled to the ground. It would be a miracle if even one house remained. There was one incident: They were driving around in their armored vehicle, a woman asked them to leave, they retreated around 15 meters, then turned the turret around and shot directly into her house. This was a normal thing for them to do.”

Shcherbin remembered also that the Ukrainian troops would shell the town from some location in a different town, around one kilometer away. Which also happened to be occupied by Ukrainians troops. Almost as if they were shooting at each other. They would always aim for the apartment complexes. “It was almost like they were playing a game among themselves. Maybe it was fun for them, I don’t know. Or maybe they just had a lust to destroy everything.”

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32 Responses to Ukraine War Day #326: Soledar Aftermath

  1. Beluga says:

    Makes you wonder why the Rusians don’t just level Ukraine, because those people seem unreformably bad. Scumbags of the first order.

    Then there’s that 9 storey apartment building that collapsed in Dnipro. The first reports yesterday said the missile didn’t even show up on radar so it must have been a ballistic one. Right. Unlike all the other cruise missiles and decoys launched that day, the Russians decided to take out a random apartment building in Dnipro. with a grnuine iskander or something. What’s the likelihood?

    My explanation is much simpler. A natural gas explosion. We’ve had several in Canada recently, including one north of Montreal that killed three. No wait, it was a Russian missile there too, yes indeed. Just got a little off its flight profile.


    • jrkrideau says:

      … y, including one north of Montreal. …No wait, it was a Russian missile
      Nonsense. It was Danielle Smith firing the first shot at the PM.


      • Beluga says:

        Hi jrk, yup. Funny we can’t talk about this SMO kind of stuff on Progressive Bloggers these days. That lot have gone to sleep clutching copies of the NYT for comfort. Putin is a thug, Chrystia is an angelette shovelling weapons to the freedom-loving Ukies and hoping that her apartment on the Maidan where her mother lives isn’t hit by a Russian rocket or a dud Ukie SAM falling back to Earth, Zelensky and Biden are heroes, but at least everyone with a brain can agree Danielle is a walking talking lunatic. There’s hope for a united Canada after all!


    • yalensis says:

      Was just reading in the Russian press about that apartment building in Dnipro (aka Dnepropetrovsk, which is the Russian name for the city).

      A scandal broke out yesterday in the Ukrainian blogosphere, because Alexei Arestovich admitted that the apartment building was knocked down by Ukrainian rockets. It wasn’t really the Ukrainians’ fault (in a way): their anti-air alarms went off, and the rockets flew up to intercept a Russian missile headed for some infrastructure thing; but the Ukrainian rocket missed and exploded on the way down, taking out the block of flats.

      Shit happens, you know. But the Ukrainian blogosphere went wild because you’re not supposed to tell the truth about this sort of thing, you’re supposed to just always blame the Russians.

      Apparently Arestovich made this statement on his nightly show with Feigin (I didn’t watch that particular episode, just read about it in the Russian press).

      In recent days, ever since Soledar was taken, I noticed that Alexei started telling the truth more, which is unusual for him. Maybe he sees the writing on the wall.
      But the pro-Ukrainian crowd has turned on him, they used to love him, now they accuse him of being a Kremlin agent. In the piece I linked, even Maria Zakharova had to stick up for him, assuring the Ukrainians that Alexei is not a Kremlin stooge: “He is the face of the criminal Kiev regime. Zelensky is the nose, and Arestovich is the face.”

      Some commenters took that “nose” thing as an anti-Semitic slap against Zel (’cause, see, Jews are supposed to have big noses!), but others say she was just hinting at his cocaine habit!


      • Daniel Rich says:

        @ yalensis,

        Some commenters took that “nose” thing as an anti-Semitic slap against Zel (’cause, see, Jews are supposed to have big noses!”

        Well, first you’d have to be a true semite, not a kazahr. And I’m so sick and tired of the AS trope to be confronted with time and time again when talking about jews or Occupied Palestine. That and the holocasut [sorry, I’m a Holywood exec]. Heads, lampshades & soap…



    • peter moritz says:

      Maybe you should make an effort to keep up with the news, sparky.
      But perhaps it is just too cold in Canuckistan for the interweb to work?


      • yalensis says:

        Aha, I see that the Arestovich story has reached the Olympian heights of RT!
        It’s weird, but in the past week Arestovich has been telling almost as many truths as lies; as a result of which, his nose seems to be growing shorter, or at least holding even!


      • Beluga says:

        No need to be snarky there, pal. Are you always correct?

        yalensis’ post is three hours behind mine and yours is four hours. Nothing I saw said a damn thing about errant Ukie rockets when I posted. So, ain’t your hindsight wonderful?

        And no, it’s not cold here at all. We’re in the exact middle of a five day rain-a-thon. Not a single pond or lake is frozen. What, you didn’t look up my location before throwing darts? Tut, tut. You should have made the effort.


        • peter moritz says:

          “No need to be snarky there, pal. Are you always correct?”

          IOf course. What a question.
          But I like the rhyme: being snarky to a sparky.

          “yalensis’ post is three hours behind mine and yours is four hours” I posted at 17. 27 our time, ‘ hours behind you. I had seen the news at 7.30 hour time, so ten hours before.

          My post was not about being correct, it was an invitation to get “with it” and “keep up”.

          “What, you didn’t look up my location before throwing darts? ”

          You are right, I didn’t and that is why I wrote about “Canuckistan”, which to my recollection, the last time I visited, was a rather large country with several time and climate zones. I still remember vaguely, while living there for 35 years, we had often temps somewhere north of -“30C while Vancouver was basking in a mild +8C.


          • Beluga says:

            Gosh, I will have to gallop to keep up with you! You’re a star!

            This morning my Canadian media is still blaming a Russian missile for the apartment collapse, and another one for a great big hole in the ground nearby. I don’t read Ukie blogs after trying once and finding utter racist horse manure, so I missed the Arestovitch confession. He seems to have since changed his mind anyway after Ze had a chat with him.

            I’m on the East coast of Canada. I think. Didn’t check this morning though, so I may be out-of-date.


            • peter moritz says:

              “Gosh, I will have to gallop to keep up with you!”
              Always glad to be of help to keep you i shape. No need to thank me.
              “I’m on the East coast of Canada”
              That explains a lot…


              • Beluga says:

                Gosh! I’m all agog at the pearls of wisdom you can proffer me as “help”. At my old age, I’m sure I’ll be able to incorporate them and dramatically better my life. Germans are always so helpful.

                I shall do my very best to continue to give you opportunities to show how much better you are than I am.

                As it turns out, it seems that the wayward rocket may well have been a Russian KH22 which has a 1000 kg warhead. Initial TV reports I saw the night before this post went up had a Ukie saying they saw no radar image before the explosion, plus showing a clip of a giant hole in the ground nearby that supposedly happened at roughly the same time. So S300s were likely never deployed in the first place if they had no target to lock onto. Who knows? It’s all now lost in the fog of war.

                Of course, due to your up-to-date finger on the pulse, you may know the real facts. Come on, out with them and don’t be shy, champ! I’m all ears.


    • MrDomingo says:

      Damage to building is extensive and possibly greater than what an errant S300 AA missile would achieve. It is claimed that this was a KH22 missile. That is a very large missile designed to destroy aircraft carriers and is supersonic, here likely used to attack a specific high value target, which an apartment building is not. It could be that it was damaged by S300 and it fell on the building or that it just malfunctioned. Note that this missile type has been superseded by a KH32 version so maybe Russia is trying to use-up old stocks of KH22. If not regularly refurbished, one can imagine some going astray, something that frequently happens to S300 missiles as they are long past their warranty period.


      • MrDomingo says:

        I meant to say “something that frequently happens to UKRAINIAN S300 missiles “


      • yalensis says:

        On his youtube show last night, Alexander Mercouris was speculating that the Russians are rehearsing these KH22’s maybe in preparation to destroy the bridges over the Dniepr. As you say, the KH22’s are huge monstrous things designed to destroy an aircraft carrier, so they may be the only thing in the world (short of a nuke) that could also bring down a big Soviet-era bridge. But the Russians wouldn’t practice them on a regular building, they would practice against a bigger object, maybe a power plant.


  2. Nanker says:

    One has now to wonder if Ukrainians aren’t some degraded/degenerate variation of the Poles…


  3. moscowexile says:

    Hey, Yalensis! Off topic, I know, but have you seen this?

    Yukie Miss Universe contender.

    Outfit inspired by this, no doubt:

    She was dressed up as Koshchei in Owl guise with sword, as in the Soviet cartoon movie clip below:

    “Koshchei the Deathless “, appearing as an owl was trying to bump off the hero Ivan in the cartoon. He failed.

    The morons who thought up the Miss Ukraine costume were clearly inspired by the “Deathless One”, Koshchei, in his guise as an owl, namely Koshchei the epitome of evil in Russian folklore, to represent the truly noble, democratic, valorous Ukraine, victim of Russian aggression.

    The moronic Yukietards seem to have forgotten who the bad guy was in the Koshchei folktales.

    And she, who was dressed up like the Koshchei-Owl with sword, like a true Banderite that she very likely is, was making a political statement, veiled though it might have been to very many not knowledgeable about Russian folklore (really East Slavic folklore, as the Yukies have the same Koshchei folk tales, albeit they claim that they are ethnically different to the “Moskals”); furthermore, a political statement made at an international event.

    Yukietards just can’t help doing that, it seems. They’ve done it twice at that abomination known as the European Song Contest, even though to do so is strictly forbidden. Be that as it may, a Crimea Tatar won said competition for Banderastan, singing a dirge called “1944”, if I rightly recall, about the deportation of Crimea tatars to Kazakhstan. That very many Crimea Tatars donned Nazi uniforms during the German occupation of the Crimea during the Great Patriotic War and proceeded to murder the Russian inhabitants of the peninsula was of no consequence, it seems.

    Over and out from Москва!


    • yalensis says:

      Thanks, Exile, that’s hilarious! I had seen the pic of the girl in the costume, but had not connected it to Koshchei. I thought she was riffing on the Polish winged hussar thing. The caption said she was supposed to represent an “avenging angel”. But I like Koshchei the Owl better.
      I had also read, in the Russian press, that during the final photoshoot, they had lined up all the girls, and this Ukrainian moron found herself standing next to Miss Russia. Miss Russia was okay with that, but Miss Ukraine freaked out and demanded to be switched with Miss Colombia.


  4. moscowexile says:

    The Day of Ukraine Military Intelligence
    7 September 2021

    The bloody Clown of Kiev, no less, and not in faux military fatigues!

    Today, September 7, the Ukraine celebrates the Day of Ukraine Military Intelligence – a structure that plays an extremely important role in ensuring the sovereignty of the state and the protection of national interests.

    It was on this day in 1992, in accordance with the Presidential Decree “On the Department of Military Strategic Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of the Ukraine”, that the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukraine Ministry of Defence – a strategic intelligence body — was established

    This event became the starting point of the history of military intelligence of an independent Ukraine and the military independence of the Ukraine from Moscow. Previously, such structures had been controlled by the Kremlin, and this issue became particularly acute after the independence of the Ukraine. With the formation of the Armed Forces of the Ukraine, the issue of having its own intelligence became more urgent.

    In April 1994, the President renamed the Main Directorate of Military Intelligence as the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ukraine Ministry of Defence (GUR MoD of the Ukraine). In March 2001, the Supreme Rada passed a law granting the agency the status of a special body of state power.

    This day is a tribute to the role that intelligence plays in protecting the national interests of our state. It is especially noticeable during the years of the Russian-Ukrainian war, when the aggressor is waging a hybrid war, unprecedentedly ignoring any norms of international law.


  5. Cortes says:

    Is there a possibility that the building in Dnipro was being used by the Ukrainian or NATO military?


    • yalensis says:

      Not sure. Pundits on both sides are saying it was just an accident. The Russian ballistic missile was aiming for something else, but the Ukrainian anti-air tried to shoot it down and deflected it onto the building. That’s what people are saying, but who knows?


  6. The psychopathy of nazism in 1945, Götterdämmerung, is still at play here. Like Hitler ordering the destruction of Germany hehe surrender, the Ukranazis will destroy everything until the war reaches Lvov and the rest of the western core of Banderastan.


  7. You being right across things (Aussie term for “on top of”) you’ve likely seen this Tweet from AZ Geopolitics showing side-by-side photos of places in Soledar, taken in August 2022 and then in January 2023:

    The destruction is disturbing. And that’s only one town of many that’s been Godzilla-stomped by both sides.


    • Hey, that’s kewl! I was trying to HTML a sly link, it didn’t work, so I just pasted in the naked Twitter link and the image popped up in the comments thread. I didn;t know that was possible. Some sort of automatic function with WordPress?


      • yalensis says:

        I didn’t know that either, congrats for stumbling upon that. I knew it worked with jpeg files, for examples. For twitter links, maybe this is a new wordpress functionality, or maybe it was always so. I might try that sometime. Great that you found it.


    • yalensis says:

      “Godzilla-stomped”, that’s a great metaphor. I think this is what Pushilin was gently trying to convey to those folks at the shelter:
      “The bad news is that your homes are gone. The new good is that you are still alive.”
      And when that woman started crying and saying, “Now we have to start all over again…”


  8. JMF says:

    Many thanks for these articles, yalensis. Nothing gets my blood boiling more than reading about the atrocities of the Ukr-Nazis. Though it’s nice to hear the accounts of these rescues, I fervently look forward to the Nuremberg-style trials of the perpetrators, preferably with abundant hangings, when this is all over.

    God bless Russia and her new oblasts!


    • yalensis says:

      Thanks, JMF. Everybody would like to see justice, but I am skeptical there will be any tribunals at the end; at least not international ones, given the attitude of the Europeans.


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