Sunshine and breezy this early-evening Saturday here in California’s Central Valley — weekend’s fine but shit doesn’t stop/close down on Friday.
A terrible case in point comes naturally as Ukrainians clear the flailing Russian army from towns around Kyiv and other parts of the country, and along with the devastated infrastructure, the horror of senseless death. Russian troops apparently pulled some serious war-crime shit in killing non-military, unarmed people.
Via the Guardian‘s live blog late this afternoon:
Ukrainian troops retook the entire Kyiv region, and were met with shocking devastation upon their return into the area: bodies in the streets, evidence of execution-style killings of civilians, mass graves and slain children.
Among the dead were reportedly Olha Sukhenko, the head of the village Motyzhin, and her entire family, all of whom were taken by Russian troops on 25 March.
Shitload of scenes per Twitter and they have to just let the bodies layin the street for a few days until the area can be cleared, and workable — the Russians left mines and explosions in houses, in the middle of bridges, anywhere death can trap people.
War is a messy undertaking and if done correctly and properly a shitload of innocent people are killed, sometimes more than enough. In the care of Ukraine, you have an asshole strongman without a care who without proper reason or rhyme just shellshocked not only the Ukrainians but his own troops, the dead bodies of a goodly chunk of them left behind.
One scene of the incomprehensible destruction:
Borodyanka near Kyiv after Russia came and went#StopRussia pic.twitter.com/hkeruJGdWp
— Stratcom Centre UA (@StratcomCentre) April 2, 2022
Huge bombed-out sections of obvious civilian areas, though, seemingly empty — and some places not so empty:
This 'Road of Death' is located at 50.541821, 30.230077 in Bucha. There are other videos and photos from this location, and of the bodies. pic.twitter.com/q7ikXY3fdA
— Veli-Pekka Kivimäki (@vpkivimaki) April 2, 2022
In context to that horrible sight — from NDTV this morning:
“In Bucha, we have already buried 280 people in mass graves,” mayor Anatoly Fedoruk told AFP by phone. He said the heavily destroyed town’s streets are littered with corpses.
AFP saw at least 20 bodies — men in civilian clothes — lying in a single street in Bucha on Saturday.
“All these people were shot, killed, in the back of the head,” Fedoruk said.
He said the victims were men and women, and that he had seen a 14-year-old boy among the dead.
Many of the bodies had white bandages on them “to show that they were unarmed,” he said.
The town still had cars in the streets with “entire families killed: children, women, grandmothers, men,” he added.
The corpses were still in the streets because sappers have not worked there yet, Fedoruk said.
In a military context, of which I didn’t know — per Wikipedia: A sapper, also called pioneer or combat engineer, is a combatant or soldier who performs a variety of military engineering duties, such as breaching fortifications, demolitions, bridge-building, laying or clearing minefields, preparing field defenses, and road and airfield construction and repair.
Why it’s going to take those ‘sappers’ awhile in Bucha — from France24, also this afternoon:
All 20 are in civilian clothing, and all have their different poses in death. Some lie with sightless eyes staring at Ukraine’s overcast sky, some lie face down on the tarmac.
Three of them are tangled up in bicycles after taking their final ride, while others, with waxy skin, have fallen next to bullet-ridden and crushed cars.
One has his hands tied behind his back with a white cloth, and his Ukrainian passport left open beside his corpse, said AFP journalists who accessed the town.
Another lies next to a yellow hoarding spraypainted with happy and sad emojis and the words “Live Fast”.
Gaping holes from shell explosions can be seen in building after building, while crushed cars litter the streets, said the AFP team who reached Bucha after it had been closed off from the world for nearly a month.
Supermarkets, cafes and houses are burned or destroyed, a church roof damaged.
Only a McDonalds has seemingly escaped untouched.
Bodies lie randomly around the town: outside a railway station, by the side of a road.
But the violence that came to this one street appears to be more systematic.
The victims, all of whom appeared to be men, are scattered over several hundred metres of debris-strewn tarmac.
Sixteen of the 20 corpses were lying either on the pavement or by the verge. Three were sprawled in the middle of the road, and another lay on his side in the courtyard of a destroyed house
Some lie in groups, like the two men lying face up in a puddle next to each other, one in a green parka and the other in a black jacket.
Others died alone. The cyclist with orange gloves and a black balaclava lying on his side with his bike on top of him, as if he has fallen and cannot get back up.
Shit upon shit.
Anyway and a meanwhile — this, too, from that same zone of war and death:
Kharkiv’s zoo is being evacuated and this footage of tapirs in transit might be the best video I’ve seen in weeks. pic.twitter.com/PlhyPlGvE5
— Kevin Rothrock (@KevinRothrock) April 2, 2022
So cute and wonderful it’s hard to believe all the death.
And here comes all that freaking fire and rain again:
Despite the thunder, here we are once again…
(Illustration out front: Salvador Dali’s ‘Hell Canto 2: Giants,’ found here)