US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke to his Russian opposite number, Sergei Shoigu. Shoigu ranted to Hagel about the fascist Ukrainians, saying that “the use of combat aviation and heavy artillery, including multiple-launch rocket systems and missiles against civilians and civilian infrastructure in the region was unacceptable.”
Talk about chutzpah. This coming from a man responsible for arming rebels in Ukraine that do everything-everything (except the use of combat aviation)-that he condemns. They do all that, and more: e.g., shooting down jetliners with nearly 300 innocent people aboard.
Good rule of thumb: whatever Russians rant about, is what the Russians are doing.
If Hagel had been anyone but the ignorant dolt* that he is, he would have schooled Shoigu on some history. Recent history. Russian history. Putin’s history.
In a word: Grozny.
Russian forces obliterated Grozny not once, but twice. The first time in 1994-1995, the second in 2000.
In the Yeltsin-era assault, Russian infantry and armor proved so incompetent in its initial assault on the city that the Russians were forced to resort to indiscriminate firepower: they leveled the place with artillery and bombing. The results are shown in this picture. As is always the case, the number of civilian casualties is in dispute, but accepted figures run in the tens of thousands.
Putin leveled Grozny again as part of his campaign to establish himself as a popular Russian leader. The Russian military avoided the mistakes of the first Grozny campaign and waited to deploy the armor and infantry until after they had unleashed an intense aerial and artillery bombardment. Most of the civilians had fled, but 40-50 thousand still remained. The Chechen rebels had dug in deeply, and the Russians had to root them out from their cellars and trenches. They had used thermobaric weapons sparingly in 94-95, but they used them indiscriminately in 99-00. The Buratino system rained fire down on the Chechen fighters-and the many civilians that were intermixed with them. And by “rain fire” I mean that literally, not figuratively. That’s what thermobaric weapons do.
Thermobaric weapons-fuel-air explosives-are truly grim weapons. This provides considerable detail on the weapons, and how the Russians-how Putin-deployed them in Grozny.
But the Chechens should feel lucky. The Russians decided not to employ chemical weapons.
I could also go into Russian use of artillery and air power during the Russo-Georgian War. And Russian support for Assad’s indiscriminate use of firepower-and chemical weapons-in Syria.
Hagel should have shoved all this back in Shoigu’s face, and told him to STFU. It is beyond chutzpah for Putin and his creatures to lecture Ukraine, and the world, about the use of artillery and airpower on civilians.
Putin wrote the book on this, when he first took power. He secured this power in Russia by obliterating Grozny. Russians loved him for it.
Don’t believe a word of it, and don’t dare let him or his minions lecture anyone on the use of firepower on civilians.
*And likely drunk. His face has alkie written all over it.