The Battle of Ilovaisk: Details of a Massacre Inside Rebel-Held Eastern Ukraine

In the chaos of war, details get lost. Atrocities are inevitably committed by all sides in a full-scale conflict, and the fighting in eastern Ukraine has reached that level at times. Here is an impressive account chronicling the spiral of war from the time armed pro-Russian separatists seized control of administrative and local government buildings in April of this year. The piece is long but comprehensive, and worth reading for a decent grasp of how the war in Ukraine escalated.

Here is an excerpt from the 3 November article by Lucian Kim in Newsweek:

Ukraine’s lopsided war with Russia began in April, when armed men started seizing administrative buildings in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The provisional government in Kiev—swept into office in February after protesters toppled the kleptocratic regime of pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych—was still reeling from the loss of Crimea, which Russian troops grabbed in the post-revolutionary power vacuum.

Fearful of the country’s further dismemberment, the Kiev authorities responded with a clumsy “anti-terrorist operation,” only to discover that their security services were demoralized and riddled with Russian informants, while the Ukrainian army was under-equipped and woefully unprepared to counter armed and vicious pro-Russian separatists.

Poroshenko’s election as president in May signaled that Ukraine was finally getting its act together. His confidence gave fresh impetus to the fight against the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics,” whose ideology is a mishmash of Communist-era slogans, czarist imperialism and Russian Orthodox Church iconography.

The full article is available here:


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