Among Russia’s military arsenal in Ukraine are a number of mobile crematoriums designed to decompose the bodies of dead soldiers and civilians and cover up the true extent of the war, it was announced on Thursday as Putin moved forward in his assault on Ukraine.
The crematoria have been deployed alongside tanks and warplanes for years, and a video of them was posted online in 2013. The footage resurfaced Thursday with new grim poignancy now that total war has been declared. From the outside, the trucks look like ordinary cars, but they have hidden incinerators.
Western defense experts say they could be used to burn the bodies of soldiers to hide the true death toll in the war.
“If I was a soldier and knew that my generals had so little faith in me that they followed me across the battlefield with a mobile crematorium, or I was the mother or father of a son potentially deployed to a war zone, and my government thought, that the way to make up for losses is a mobile crematorium, I would be very, very concerned,” British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told The Daily Telegraph on Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers said many of Putin’s young soldiers now fighting in Ukraine were tricked into recruiting and told they were heading to the border for training exercises before they were sent into bloody combat.
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This image, taken from a 2013 “mobile crematoria” video, shows an incinerator hidden inside a truck being opened to dispose of soldiers’ bodies. These crematoria are among the vehicles believed to be pursuing Russian troops in an attempt to hide the true extent of the war.
Young Russian soldiers captured by Ukrainian forces on the Thursday after the outbreak of the war carried out airstrikes at dawn.
The committee is non-governmental and was formed in 1989. On Thursday, they released a statement saying that many young men who enlisted in the military were tricked into doing so and then beaten if they tried to back out.
Russian President Vladimir Putin unapologetically launched the war on Thursday and warned the West not to interfere.
“We received a flurry of calls from frightened mothers from all over Russia. They are crying, they don’t know if their children are alive or well,” Andrey Kurochkin, deputy chairman of the group, told the Russian website Takie Dela.
“If there is a war, then it should be done by professionals, not by untrained green guys,” he said, adding that it is “a total disaster” when soldiers wage war “under duress.”
The youths were told they were going to the border for training and then had their contracts changed to show they were there for the conflict.
“They’re transferring whole regiments to the contract [soldiers,] although the guys did not submit formal requests for this and did not show such an initiative.
- World markets collapsed as the Russian ruble fell to its lowest value ever
- The price of oil jumped above $100 a barrel
- The EU will freeze Russian assets, stop access to the financial market and aim at the “interests of the Kremlin”
- The G7 called Putin a “threat to the world order” and promised “tough and coordinated economic and financial sanctions.”
- Joe Biden announces new sanctions against Russian banks, exports and military
- Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, will be separated from the US financial system, and full sanctions will be imposed on four other financial institutions
- Boris Johnson called the invasion a “catastrophe for our continent” and Putin a “dictator.”
- China repeatedly called for talks but refused to criticize Russia’s attack
- Moldova declared a state of emergency
- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the invasion a “hard blow” to peace in the region.
- NATO ambassadors scheduled emergency meeting on Thursday
- UN Security Council to discuss resolution condemning invasion
- Ukraine demanded from the world to exclude Russia from the SWIFT banking system
“There are cases of physical violence and beatings of those who refuse to become contract soldiers. And after that completely unknown [what happens to them]because their phones are taken away.
The group is now preparing to file a formal complaint with the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office.
On Thursday, photos emerged of some of the soldiers captured by Ukrainian forces. Many of them were very young looking men.
Horrifying videos from Ukraine show tanks driving through Chernobyl, and gunfire is heard in Sumy, near the Russian border.
Ukrainians spent the night hiding in metro stations, unable to get out onto clogged roads and trains, while hiding from airstrikes.
It remains unclear if there are more on the way. Ukraine promised to fight back with all its might.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy has warned that troops are already closing in on the center of Ukrainian power after taking control of the strategic Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Thursday and will take it over within 96 hours, placing a “new iron curtain” over Europe.
Officials have said that Vladimir Putin plans to encircle Ukrainian forces in Kiev and force them to either surrender or be destroyed, with Ukraine’s leadership to fall in a week.
A former high-ranking US intelligence officer told Newsweek: “After the air and artillery runs out and a real ground war begins, I think that Kiev will fall in just a few days.
“The military can hold out a little longer, but it won’t be for long.”
A source close to the Ukrainian government said they had agreed that Kiev would be surrounded within 96 hours, but believed the government would remain strong and not collapse.
Seeking to avert the city’s inevitable takeover, Emmanuel Macron spoke tonight with Vladimir Putin, who gave the French leader a “comprehensive” explanation of his justification for the war.
The Kremlin said the call was initiated by Macron, and he and Putin agreed to keep in touch.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has promised to give weapons to any civilian who wants to.
President Joe Biden on Thursday condemned Vladimir Putin for his invasion of Ukraine and announced a series of new sanctions on Russian financial institutions that he said would have a “major” impact on the economy.
A Russian T-72 tank is pictured sitting in front of the main reactor at Chernobyl after Putin’s forces captured it in a “fierce” battle, with the state of the nuclear storage facilities “unknown”.
Russian armored vehicles are parked on the roads near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant due to fears that damage to the facility could cause a radiation leak that will cover Europe with radioactive fallout.
The attack hit Ukraine on all fronts with bombs and rockets dropped on targets across the country in the early hours, followed by troop strikes from Crimea, Donbass, Belgorod and Belarus, and helicopter landings in Kiev and power stations on the Dnieper. Chernobyl nuclear power plant also fell to Russian troops
Russian Mi-8 attack helicopters attack the Gostomel air base on the outskirts of Kiev after Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale attack on the country.
The State Department urges citizens to stand up for themselves. “The US government will not be able to evacuate US citizens from Ukraine,” the website says today.
President Biden addressed the nation on Thursday afternoon. He promised tough sanctions against Russia, but said nothing about any evacuation plans. Earlier this month, he said Americans in Ukraine should leave the country.
“Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences,” Biden said in a White House speech in response to the fact that Putin’s invasion has killed at least 57 Ukrainians so far.
The president insisted he was not underestimating the Russian leader, admitting in an awkward moment that “no one expected” that earlier sanctions against Russian financial institutions and Putin’s inner circle would “prevent anything.”
He said Putin had further ambitions and wanted to “rebuild the Soviet Union,” but insisted he would not send US troops to Ukraine and had no plans to speak to the Russian leader by phone.
Biden’s speech, which was twice delayed Thursday afternoon, came as the Kremlin seized control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after a “fierce” battle. Ukraine said the status of the nuclear storage facilities was “unknown”, raising concerns about a radiation leak that could cause radioactive fallout in Europe.
The video shows Russian tanks and armored vehicles standing in front of a destroyed reactor 60 miles north of Kiev, which has been surrounded by Putin’s forces and could collapse in 96 hours.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also issued a grim warning Thursday night: “All evidence suggests that Russia intends to surround and threaten Kiev, and we believe Moscow has plans for widespread human rights violations—and potentially worse—against the Ukrainian people.” . .’
“Now the whole world sees clearly what Putin and his Kremlin allies are really up to.
“There was never any real security concern on their part. It was always about naked aggression,” the President said during a speech at the White House. “America stands up to bullies,” he added. “That’s who we are.”