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Homage to defiant Donetsk: Kiev's war on the city that halted NATO expansion
Donetsk is the world's largest, prolonged crime scene. Over the past 9 years Kiev has tried to bomb the city into submission. Yet Donetsk resists, a testament to the indomitable human spirit.
Prosecutors for Nuremberg 2.0 will have an easy job when top NATO and Kiev officials are finally brought to justice. Of their many war crimes across the Donbass region since 2014, it will be sufficient to point to the city of Donetsk, nine years besieged and terrorized by Kiev with NATO assistance.
Western liberal regimes have left much devastation across the Middle East since 2001, killing at least a million people and turning 38 million more into refugees. But no city in modern history has faced such state-sponsored terrorism as Donetsk, which was Ukraine’s fifth largest city with a metropolitan area of 2 million inhabitants. Once the crown jewel of heavily industrialized eastern Ukraine, today only about 750,000 remain in Donetsk. They refuse to flee despite merciless NATO/ Ukrainian bombing.
These are tough people. Donetsk is the heart of Donbass, which is one of Europe’s most extensive conglomerations of mining and steel industries. People who descend hundreds of meters underground in narrow shafts don’t cower and bow to western invaders. About 95% of locals are reported to be staunch supporters of Russia.
This is why the liberal regimes want them subjugated. The West has an intense hatred of Donbass — its stubborn resistance halted NATO’s plans to seize all of Ukraine in the wake of the 2014 violent Maidan insurrection.
Today, Kiev glorifies Nazi collaborators such as Stepan Bandera, who slaughtered tens of thousands of Jews and Poles during World War II. In the service of NATO, Kiev vows “to keep killing Russians anywhere on the face of this world until the complete victory of Ukraine”. NATO’s goal is to destroy Russia and control Eurasia. But one city is a bone stuck in its throat — Donetsk, the key to Donbass.
The two constituent regions of the Donbass — the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) — officially became part of the Russian Federation after referendums were held at the end of September 2022.
While they claim to believe in “democracy”, Kiev and NATO refuse to recognize the referendums and insist that those two regions must be ethnically cleansed of anyone who supports Russia, which means about 95% of the population. Kiev’s forces occupy about 40% of the DPR, but Moscow has pledged to drive them out.
Let’s address accusations of “Russian war crimes” and the so-called “Russian invasion”. The truth is very simple — Who started this war? This war didn’t begin on Feb 24, 2022. Rather, it began in late May 2014 when Kiev’s forces began slaughtering ethnic Russians in Donbass as they protested the illegitimate Kiev regime. The people of Donbass wanted protection from nationalist death squads and to have their own republic in accordance with international law (the right to self-determination).
All blame and responsibility for this war is on the U.S. and the far-right Ukrainian nationalists that it fostered, financed and armed. Had Washington truly wanted peace and justice, then the White House would have pushed for a geopolitically neutral Ukraine with a federal system that respects the rights of ethnic minorities.
With Washington’s blessing, Kiev chose war and ethnic cleansing, and so, since 2014 nearly 5.5 million ethnic Russians have fled eastern Ukraine to seek safety in Russia, making the country by far the largest destination for Ukrainian refugees. Many are from the city of Donetsk and surrounding towns and villages.
Moscow had always hoped for a peaceful solution to the Donbass conflict. But the West wanted war, using the Minsk accords to buy time to arm Ukraine and turn it into a highly militarized pitbull. Vladimir Putin’s big mistake was trusting the West and believing a peace deal was possible.
Since spring 2014, the front line has run along Donetsk’s western edge. NATO weapons are used to pound the city daily. Last week, a civilian research center was bombed. The U.S. gives target data to Kiev’s forces in order to unleash maximum terror. Recently, young women on a stroll were blasted to pieces; and a bus was bombed, burning everyone alive. This is deliberate state-sponsored terrorism.
These war crimes have been meticulously documented by independent journalists such as Russell Bentley, Alina Lipp, and John Miller. For more detailed information about Kiev’s ethnic cleansing of the Donbass, this documentary film by British John Miller is important; as is German journalist Alina Lipp’s film.
Not a single journalist from corporate western media bothers to visit Donetsk. They prefer to reprint Kiev’s press releases, or take press tours in Kiev-controlled territory where they’re chaperoned and carefully watched. In the rare case when major western media mention Donetsk, they falsely claim that Russia is bombing the city.
This outrageous lie — that Russia bombs its own people — has long been a tactic of Ukrainian nationalists. And western media eagerly embrace it. We’ve seen this lie used often in regards to Energodar, the town on the Dnieper River that’s under Russian control and home to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
Living among the people of Donetsk is one Texan — Russell Bentley. In fact, his nickname is “Texas”. Russell epitomizes all that’s good about Texas. Big heart. Big voice. Courage. Shoots straight. Doesn’t mince words. But he has another side — Sage. Words of wisdom and deep insights flow readily from his mind.
Russell is a huge headache for the White House and all of NATO. He is one of their worst nightmares — he’s someone on the ground who knows the truth and isn’t afraid to speak. U.S. social media wage war against Russell, suppressing and censoring his efforts to tell the truth about Donbass. Still, he gets the word out via his channel on Telegram and his page on the social media platform VKontakte.
I had no direct contact with Russell until about two weeks ago, but I’ve followed his testimonies on and off for years. He’s played a huge role in helping me to understand the conflict and to dispel the western media’s deceptive narrative that I used to trust.
So how did this Texan, a U.S. Army veteran without any Russian roots and who previously was a tree removal expert in Austin, end up fighting in Donbass?
It all began on June 2, 2014, at the start of Kiev’s efforts to cleanse Donbass of its indigenous Russian population. The Ukrainian Air Force was bombing civilians in Lugansk, and one young victim was Inna Kukuruza. A Ukrainian raid killed many that day and blew Inna’s legs off as she walked down the street. She bled for a few minutes, and her death was captured by photographers. (Google did its best to erase her existence, but some blog posts are still online).
The day after the bombing, Russell saw the image of Inna dying. “Her eyes in that photo: it was as if she was looking at me, saying ‘So, what are you going to do about this?’”
While Russell had long been a peace activist and critic of illegal U.S. invasions, going half way around the world to fight and protect the innocent is a huge step. But Russell understood that we’re at a critical juncture in history, and he couldn’t remain indifferent on the sidelines.
“I thought to myself — I want to kill some of those mother fuckers who killed Inna; I’m going to defend people like her. My grandfather was a tank commander in Patton’s Army. He’s the greatest man I ever knew. I want to fight Nazis like he did.”
Russell arrived in Donetsk on December 7, 2014. But before going to the city he first visited Mamayev Kurgan in Volgograd to pay homage to the heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad. A week later, he joined the Vostok Battalion in Donetsk.
“I didn’t have a death wish, but I didn’t expect to live through the winter. One’s life is based on what you do. You are what you do. I thought that if my fate is to die in the country of heroes fighting satanic Nazis, then so be it.”
He headed to the Donetsk Airport, site of some of the most intense fighting. “I was six months at the front with a Russian communist unit. Shooting every day and every night. Thousands of rounds.”
In 2015, at age 54, Russell struggled to keep up with the younger Donbass defenders. So, he began to document Kiev’s atrocities and became an aid worker. (He also did stints on the front in 2015 and 2017, and tells how Donbass defenders were ordered not to shoot back at the Ukrainians since Moscow naively believed in the Minsk peace process).
As an “info warrior” Russell’s talents and knowledge have been far more effective and reach a wider audience. And this is why NATO wants to shut him up. He’s on Kiev’s “Mirotvorets” hit list of enemies, which is funded in part by the U.S. government, more proof of its support for terrorism.
Those threats won’t stop him, however. He knows what he’s doing and why it’s important.
“The people of Donbass are holy and the most patriotic, generous, hard-working people I’ve ever seen. In spring 2014, 90% of the people here voted to separate from NATO’s puppet regime, and so Kiev says we’re untermenschen. Believe me, we understand what Nazism is. Just 1 km from where I’m now sitting is where the Nazis threw 75,000 people down a mine shaft during World War II.”
In May 2015, his first journalist mission was reporting on a Ukrainian attack in the city of Gorlovka, killing Anna Tuv’s husband and 11-year old daughter. Anna’s arm was blown off, but she survived. Despite the pain and shock, she managed to tie a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Then, from under the rubble she dug out her 3-year old son and 2-week infant daughter.
“Anna Tuv was my first big video; it made Russian TV and got about 200,000 views on YouTube in a couple of weeks. It was my first big fundraiser ($10,000 in 40 days). But Google erased my YT channel, as well as many other vids about Anna.”
Below, however, is a video with clips from Russell’s original interview that he did at Anna’s house on May 29, 2015; as well as after the bombing (34:22), and a visit with her in the hospital (43:05).
Ukrainian shelling every day
Donetsk faces constant Ukrainian shelling. Russell’s house is in the city’s Petrovsky District, close to the front. Since Ukrainian artillery are just a few miles away, he and his wife stay in the city center, even though it also gets pounded by Kiev’s forces. Despite the danger, Russell and the people of Donetsk go about their lives.
“You’ll see moms pushing babies down the street. People waiting for the bus and going to the store. We understand that we can be bombed and killed at any moment. But we also understand that our Victory means not being scared. Donbass is strongly Russian Orthodox Christian. The main church in Donetsk was bombed during Easter services. Everyone knew it would be targeted that night, but still people went.”
“Yes, it’s terrifying when you see a whole bus of people get burned, and people blown to pieces. Yet we go about our lives. It’s my absolute honor and privilege to be with them, and even to die with them if needed. They won’t ever surrender to Nazis,” Russell adds. “If you have faith in God then you just do your job, and you know there’ll be Judgement, and that there’s another life after this one. You can’t be afraid, because you know you’re on the Good Guys side, and that’s the power we have.”
As far as the Ukrainian offensive to further destroy and occupy Donbass, Crimea and the other new Russian territories, Russell says the situation for Donetsk is “very very dangerous”. He even suspects that NATO’s Ukrainian army will make a direct assault.
“All they have to do is go 15 km to reach the center of Donetsk and they’ll have hundreds of thousands of people as hostages and human shields. Then Russia won’t be able to use its main advantages — aviation and artillery. That’s my biggest fear. I believe that will be the real NATO attack plan. Why go across open and exposed fields for tens of miles in the Zaporozhye Region?”
I feel that I could talk forever with Russell. No other American has his deep insights, knowledge and wisdom about the Donbass conflict. In a truly just and fair world, Congress would call on Russell to testify. He’d instantly become a media sensation and national hero. The war in Ukraine would end and justice would prevail.
We don’t live in such a world, however, which is why the White House fears him and Kiev puts him on a hit list. They want to shut him up. But Russell won’t remain quiet in the face of relentless evil that emanates from the West. (To contact him directly: email@example.com)
“Donbass is the heart of Russia. Donetsk is not the heart of Ukraine. If Kiev and NATO succeed in exterminating the people of Donbass, then they’ll do it to you, in the U.S. and in Europe, and throughout Russia,” says Russell. “As goes Donbass, so goes the world.”
Russell’s final words are a terse warning to the White House and all who plot and scheme to destroy defiant Donetsk and the courageous people of the entire Donbass region — “God will judge you, and you will get everything you deserve.”