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Bestial or precise? Russian retaliatory strikes and their victims

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

The Western media is abuzz with reports about how bestial the Russian attacks on Ukraine are and that Russia is targeting civilian targets. Is this objectively accurate?

The propaganda machinery of the Western media is running at full speed. Der Spiegel reports on Russian retaliatory strikes against Ukraine for the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge under headlines such as "Air strikes against Ukraine - Russia's "strategic" targets: Museums, Playgrounds, People" and claims that Russia is specifically attacking civilian targets. This is not only nonsense, it's pure war propaganda.

Let me be clear at the outset: civilian deaths cannot and must not be counted, and every dead civilian is one too many, no matter on which side of the conflict he loses his life. That's why I didn't want to write this article, but unfortunately it has to be done if you want to show how brazenly Der Spiegel and other Western media carry out war propaganda.

The Western media are overflowing with reports about the cruelty of the Russian retaliatory strikes. The articles are emotionally formulated and pictures of destruction or even corpses may not be missing in order to put the readers into the intended anti-Russian mood. This would even be more than okay, if the Western media would always get as excited about victims of acts of war as they do these days. Unfortunately, they do not, which makes their current reports war propaganda by definition.

The casualties of Russian retaliatory strikes

It is hard to find the casualty figures of the Russian attacks in the Western media reports, because instead of bare facts they rely on emotions. But if you search, you will find and so the numbers can be found in Der Spiegel. For example, they are hidden in an article titled "Berlin has delivered anti-aircraft weapon to Kiev - How Iris-T can support Ukraine's air defense" from the late evening of October 11, which is about the delivery of the German air defense system to Ukraine. There we learn:

"According to official data, six people died and more than 20 others were injured in the attacks with missiles, cruise missiles and drones."

Six dead across Ukraine is six too many, no question. But is that a lot of casualties, considering that, according to official figures, well over 40 Russian cruise missiles with warheads of 200 to 400 kilograms have reached their targets? To answer the question, comparisons help.

The victims of Ukrainian shelling

Donetsk has been shelled by the Ukrainian army for eight years, and according to the OSCE, 75 percent of civilian casualties are the fault of the Ukrainian army. Has Spiegel written emotional articles about this over the last eight years with accusations against Kiev? No.

For more than half a year, Donetsk has been shelled daily, in some cases with hundreds of artillery shells, hitting only civilian targets. For example, did Der Spiegel reproach Kiev when Ukraine shelled a Donetsk maternity clinic several times in June? No, it did not even mention it.

On September 19, Donetsk was shelled particularly heavily, and in one part of the city alone, 13 civilians were killed that day in shelling of homes and stalls. On September 22, the Ukrainian army shelled a market in Donetsk, killing six civilians. Did Spiegel report on this with headlines like "Kiev's 'strategic' targets: Markets, playgrounds, people"? No, Spiegel didn't even mention it.

Those were just examples, because I can't report on every death in Donetsk and every shelling of the city. In addition, almost every day there are dead civilians in Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye, which are also shelled by Ukrainian artillery. Do you hear about this in the Mirror? No.

Or the blowing up of the Crimean Bridge, which Spiegel was quite open about: Was it worth Spiegel's criticism of Kiev that three innocent civilians were killed in the process? No, of course not.

Once again, every dead civilian is one too many, but it is simply mendacious war propaganda when Spiegel produces a whole series of emotional articles because of six killed Ukrainian civilians, but on the other hand does not even mention hundreds of murdered civilians on the Russian side.

In addition, Ukraine is targeting civilian targets and achieving this high death toll in just one city with artillery shells that weigh "only" about 40 kilograms. This compares to Russian cruise missiles with five to ten times this explosive power, which have caused "only" six deaths in all of Ukraine. That alone is evidence that Russia is still trying to avoid civilian casualties as much as possible, because if such an explosive charge were to fly into a civilian target, there would be far more casualties from just a single hit.

Or to put it another way, six deaths in one day from Ukrainian shelling is nothing out of the ordinary in Donetsk, and we are only talking about one city. In the Donbass and the new Russian areas of Kherson and Zaporozhye combined, more civilians die every day from Ukrainian shelling than in all of Ukraine from massive Russian retaliatory strikes.

War propaganda in the Western media

But people in the West do not learn about this because the supposedly objective "quality media" simply do not report on it. Such a concealment of one thing and the media puffing up of another is, by definition, war propaganda, not reporting. And it is certainly not journalism!

Or how was it when NATO bombed Yugoslavia and, for example, deliberately destroyed a passenger train? Did Spiegel howl in horror and headline "NATO's "strategic" targets: trains, women, children"? No, of course not.

And in Iraq? What about when the U.S. destroyed Iraq in violation of international law and slaughtered half a million civilians? Did Der Spiegel run dramatic homestories then about Fatima from Baghdad losing her children to American bombs? No, of course not.

Or in Libya? In Yemen? The list of U.S. and NATO wars, with a combined total of well over a million civilians murdered, all of which Spiegel has had no words of regret - let alone horror - for is very long.

When the U.S. and NATO slaughter hundreds of thousands of people, it is not worth criticism in Der Spiegel. There was no criticism in Der Spiegel for eight years either, when Kiev slaughtered people in the Donbass. But six dead from Russian retaliatory strikes for an act of state terrorism, carried out by Kiev, that is worth a whole series of articles to Der Spiegel.

I fully sympathize with anyone who is upset about these six deaths (I repeat, every single one of these deaths is a tragedy!) if they had been upset with the same fervor about all the victims of the U.S. and NATO wars and Kiev's eight-year bombardment of the Donbass.

But that is what is missing in the Western "quality media," which is why they are once again showing what they really are: Lying propaganda instruments of the US war propaganda machinery.

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