by Vladislav Sankin
After a long bureaucratic back and forth, the German Panzerhaubitzen 2000 finally arrived in the theater of operations in Ukraine – on the eve of June 22nd – that is, on a day known to Russians as the date of the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union in 1941 , Belarus and Ukraine is understandably symbolic. Despite this, the German officials were delighted with the successful delivery of weapons that day and were already chatting about the next weapons systems that the Ukrainian side had “ordered” from the Germans.
The Chairwoman of the Defense Committee in the German Bundestag, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP), spoke at the ARD-Daily topics about the delivery list of German weapons for Ukraine, so it was about the next weapons. But she found it necessary to once again emphasize the importance of howitzers for the Ukrainians fighting the Russians in front of the millions of TV viewers in the evening:
“Seven (howitzers) are from German stock, five from the Netherlands – they come from the stock of the Bundeswehr. And that’s right, because this war that’s going on in Ukraine, this Russian attack on Ukraine, on this country, where more Civilians died than soldiers…needs Europe’s help and needs our help…So it’s good that we decided to supply these howitzers.”
So, according to Strack-Zimmermann, the fact that more civilians died in the Ukraine than soldiers is one of the most important reasons for the handover of heavy weapons and the associated training for 60 artillerymen, at least in this chain of arguments. However, this assertion contradicts all the statistics known so far.
How many victims has this war actually cost in its phase since the start of the Russian special military operation on February 24th? For understandable reasons, there are different figures on both sides, but therefore no reliable and independently verified figures. And so it is surprising for this reason alone that a security politician from a third country wants to commit herself in this way long before the end of the war. So far there have only been reports from various conflict parties and expert estimates. And according to them, the FDP politician, who is omnipresent in the media in Germany, is demonstrably wrong with her statement.
Civilian casualties according to the UN
As a rule, politicians refer to information that has been provided independently and officially, for example by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). At least this office provided comparatively reliable figures for the intra-Ukrainian (civil) war in Donbass from 2014 to 2022. And on June 9, the bureau reported a total of 9,585 civilian casualties in the country since February 24, 2022: 4,339 dead and 5,246 injured, among those killed 1,646 men, 1,098 women, 102 girls and 105 boys, as well as 67 children and 1,321 adults whose sex is still unknown. With many people still missing, there is a high likelihood that these numbers will need to be revised upwards.
According to the UN, more than half of these casualties concern the Donetsk and Lugansk regions: 2,527 dead and 2,990 injured, with a total of 4,698 victims, including 2,370 dead and 2,328 injured, recorded in the areas currently controlled by the Ukrainian government and “on the armed groups linked to Russia controlled area” killed 157 and wounded 662.
Information on Ukrainian soldiers
There are – understandably – a lot of conflicting reports about this number. This also applies to the information provided by the Russian side. In an armed conflict, unfortunately, it is part of the nature of things that all sides sometimes deliberately spread disinformation, especially in this sensitive area. In any case, your own information forms the starting point and at least one of the bases for further assessments and more precise counts. On June 10, the leadership in Kyiv – for the first time in three and a half months – gave a figure for its own losses: according to Alexei Arestovich, adviser to the Ukrainian President Zelenskiy, it was allegedly 10,000 Soldiers who died in the fighting.
Since then, Kiev officials say Ukraine is losing around 100-200 or more soldiers every day. Russia reports several hundred “Ukrainian nationalists” killed every day. However, since the dead are often not recovered by their combat comrades, many corpses of combatants remain on the battlefield. The People’s Republics of Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) reported many times that the Ukrainian side had indicated no interest in the salvage and handing over of their dead. If soldiers are considered missing, no pension should be paid to surviving dependents for the loss of their relatives, is one possible, at least plausible, explanation. According to DPR Deputy Minister of Information Daniil Besonov, Ukrainians already have 30,000 Soldiers irretrievably lost: “Our fighters keep their own statistics on this.”
Taking into account possible understatement or overstatement by the other side and new figures daily, one could assume that Ukraine is currently estimated to be at least 20,000 killed fighters.
Since the German federal government has so far only been interested in the current death or survival of Ukrainian soldiers in the entire Donbass conflict, which according to the UN has already cost the lives of more than 13,000 people since 2014 (compare Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in “Anne Will” and Angela Merkel during her visit to Moscow and Kyiv in August 2021), the losses suffered by the Russian side and also by the Donbass militias are likely to be fairly irrelevant to the arguments of defense politician Strack-Zimmermann. However, it should be noted that the respective numbers in both cases are in the lower to middle four-digit range according to previous calculations.
Strack-Zimmermann deliberately makes false statements
Since Ms. Strack-Zimmermann, as an FDP politician from a NATO country, “befitting her status” could not use any other data than the above-cited information from government circles in Kyiv and the UN, it can be considered proven that she deliberately lied about current affairs. This is also proven by the numbers in German Wikipediawhere these two sources are listed next to each other in a table:
However, one would also have ARD-Top moderator Ingo Zamperoni as a questioner in the interview can expect that he would follow up and try to clarify the implausible statements of his interlocutor by asking. But he didn’t do that either. Because the reported numbers fit very comfortably into the alleged image drawn by their own propaganda of a Russian aggressor who is waging a merciless war not against the Ukrainian military with its NATO equipment, but against the civilian population. Whatever the reasons for the spread of fake news, both the journalists and the politicians interviewed are always equally responsible for the most truthful representation possible.
discrepancies in the information
Unfortunately, this is still not the end of the matter. Ms. Strack-Zimmermann, like the entire German political mainstream, is of course firmly of the opinion that all civilian casualties of the conflict are only at the expense of Russia. If Russia is the aggressor, how could it be any other way, one hypocritically asks there. Ukraine’s responsibility for the civilian casualties in Donbass and the rest of Ukraine is not even considered as a contingency. This at least contradicts the official statement by the UN, which states that the vast majority of civilian casualties are artillery deaths.
“Most civilian casualties were caused by the use of long-range explosive weapons, including heavy artillery and multiple-rocket fire, missile and airstrikes.”
With that in mind, it’s hard to attribute all the dead to just one side – just not for the Western media. The completely uncritical, one-sided, partisan stance they maintain is an invitation to all sorts of further manipulations for the Ukrainian rulers, which they immediately implement in their arsenal of agitation in the issue of arms deliveries and other preferences. Any new such demand for more weapons from the West is immediately garnished with the alleged uncovering of an alleged further “massacre” or a new, even more horrendous number of civilian casualties by the Russians, who, according to Zelensky, are “reducing our cities to rubble”. .
So it’s entirely possible that Ms. Strick-Zimmermann honestly believed that the Russians had already killed far more civilians than Ukrainian soldiers. Because even these completely out of thin air statements from local area managers for the Kiev authorities, who fantasize about fantastic numbers of victims from afar, find their way into Wikipedia. And since this web “encyclopedia” is administered and corrected appropriately from the West, as is well known, it is naturally beyond any doubt according to Western understanding.
there Wikipedia reports that 60 civilians died in a Russian airstrike on a school in Belogorovka in the Lugansk region. However, this number of victims was only assumed by a governor of the Kiev regime, who was not there at all – Western “experts” and the media, however, made it a fact. And the Kiev authorities, of course, did not provide any confirmation of such an alleged massacre. The same applies to the estimates for Severodonetsk and Mariupol, where 1,500 and 22,000 civilians were killed, respectively.
The brazen thing about this and similar statements is that the actually numerous civilian victims, which of course there are in these cities, are largely due to the Ukrainian military, which killed people there in various ways: by failing to provide assistance, refused Evacuation, destruction of the infrastructure, targeted shooting by snipers and tank fire, by indiscriminate artillery shelling of the deserted districts and setting up firing positions in residential areas or even residential buildings.
These facts result from descriptions of hundreds of inhabitants, which together provide a coherent picture. Now that these cities have been liberated, they are being meticulously collected by authorities, activists and journalists, documented and – as far as can be determined – assigned to the respective perpetrators. And the hitherto only suspected number of victims are actually frightening – because they are no longer fantasized, but result from real counts. In Mariupol alone, at least 5,000 people could have died during the fighting, said the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Puschilin in May. But it will still take a while before the authorities can report reliable figures after all the missing person searches, reburials and other measures.
But none of this information, which contradicts the descriptions from official Kyiv, will probably be found in the German media in the future either. Because the Western consumers of the Kiev propaganda are also the ones who, as it were, commission such reports. They in turn need this propaganda to swear their own population to the terrible external enemy and to justify their own open participation in this war – also in favor of the profits of their own armaments industry, as Mrs. Strack-Zimmermann even casually admitted in the daily topic discussion – with arms deliveries .
more on the subject – Russian ambassador to UN: “Western artillery kills innocent people” in Donetsk