Britain’s Vice News Reports Ukraine’s Firebombing of Southeast

Eric Zuesse

Vice News uploaded to youtube on November 12th this video of the firebombing of the southeastern Ukrainian village of Iliovaisk

and they also identified what the incendiary weapon used was.

Headlining, “’A Rain of Fire’: Ukrainian Forces Used Little-Known Soviet-Era Incendiary Weapons to Attack Iloviask,” their Harriet Salem reported, on November 13th, that Iliovaisk – a once “sleepy town in eastern Ukraine” – was hit on the night of August 14th by rockets fired from a hill 11 miles away, each of which warheads delivered hundreds of 4,000-degree-Fahrenheit thermite pellets that are illegal to use, except when deployed precisely against military targets, not against civilians, and not imprecisely, such as here (via an “unguided rocket delivered by an outdated 9K51 MLRS system”). Ukraine’s Government wanted to mass-murder the residents there, that’s all.

The Vice news report didn’t focus on the victims, but on the excuses for this. Salem mentioned instances when the Soviet Union had done this, and when the U.S. had used white phosphorous, and had also firebombed Dresden when Hitler ruled Germany and was attacking throughout Europe. A third of the Vice report was devoted to that; most of the rest was devoted to describing the weapon. As for the victims, they’re just victims. They’re dead. That’s all. War is war, and that sort of thing – no news there. It’s those people’s tough luck. After all, they had voted for Viktor Yanukovych. And, since Obama had installed a ‘democracy’ when he overthrew that democratically elected Ukrainian President, Obama needed to get rid of such voters, in order to be able to make his new Ukrainian regime last. That’s nothing Vice News would be interested in. It’s not even British.

Coloring the ‘news’ is easier than covering the news, and this is how the ‘news’ is colored.

However, for any ‘news’ medium to analogize firebombings against nazi countries that are invaders and threats to other nations, with firebombings of civilian populations who are purely in a defensive mode and haven’t invaded any nation, is, essentially, to lie. So, that ‘news’ report is colored lie, because there is no way in which the victims here have anything whatsoever to do with being nazis or even fascists. One can debate the firebombing of Dresden, but only deceivers will analogize this to that. Do the victims of these Ukrainian firebombings deserve this, in any way at all? Of course not. Justice and fairness are alien to the concerns of journalists now.

The standards of current journalism are beneath contempt. The profession has rotted so much that it’s virtually a branch of PR. It’s designed now to deceive the public. It does what it’s designed to do: propaganda.

And that’s the real news about the fake news. It’s really big news, especially because the purveyors of fake news can’t report it. They’re not allowed to, even if they want to. It’s like a sewer that pours not into a processing plant that cleanses out all lies, but directly into the public’s minds, polluting politics with those lies, producing ‘democracy,’ instead of democracy. So, how does such a sewer smell? It smells like “On the one hand, on the other hand: ‘fair and balanced.’” It smells ‘objective.’ There’s the viewpoint of the nazis, and then there’s the viewpoint of their victims. At Vice ‘News,’ however, no victims were even consulted.

Instead, there is in that ‘news’ report a link to another ‘news’ story, about cluster bombs having been used during the prior month, and victims are shown there, but no blood, it’s highly sanitized. That report said:

“Conclusive attribution of responsibility for the specific attacks on populated areas, which amount to a violation of the laws of war and potentially open responsible parties up to prosecution for war crimes, is far from clear cut in a conflict where a dynamic frontline, multiple sites of fighting, and a range of armed groups operating under a loose line of command has made troop and weapon movements exceptionally hard to track on both sides.”

No evidence exists that the defenders have been using any cluster-bombs, nor even had access to them. However, there’s plenty of proof that the Ukrainian Government has been routinely using cluster bombs, incendiary weapons, and other illegal armaments, against residential neighborhoods throughout the conflict-zone. Killing and maiming the people there is what the U.S. and other Western nations are financing the Ukrainian Government to do. That’s the very purpose of Western assistance since the coup. And Western ‘news’ media won’t even call the coup a “coup.” When we destroyed Ukraine’s corrupt democracy, we called it the introduction of democracy. It’s Big Brother, but not in 1984. And it’s far bloodier. It’s nazism. And it’s covered-up in the West, rather than covered in the West. Because the West is financing it. And associated oligarchs are also financing the West’s ‘news’ media. This is a cozy club that’s entirely on the delivery-end, not on the receiving-end, of the hell. So, the public in the West don’t get to know much, if anything, about the receiving-end of the West’s nazi operation. This is the new Western ‘democracy,’ replacing the former real thing. It’s not what one thinks of when the phrase “the West” is used. But it will come to be, because this is the new “the West,” and it seems to be the way the West will stay: oligarchic. Fascistic. Even racist-fascistic – nazi – which is the worst form of oligarchy. Isn’t that big news? But it can’t be reported in the West.

Even reporting it in Russia, as frankly as is being done here, isn’t easy. This news report and commentary was submitted for publication to virtually the entire English-language press. Less than 1% accepted it. One, which is located in Russia, rejected it and explained their reason (which none other did): “VICE News despite its many flaws and biases is not the worst outlet covering Ukraine out there. Indeed they may actually be among the better ones, simply because nearly everyone else seems to be so horribly and atrociously bad these days. Also we have been advised by some of our other contributors and co-workers that we sometimes come off as a little too invested or even high-pitched at first sight, so at the moment we are really looking to present a slightly less seemingly-ideological front and looking for something perhaps a little bit more dispassionate if that is the right word.” It’s not the only “word” for that. The phrase used at Fox ‘News’ Channel in the United States, is “fair and balanced.” That’s Western ‘journalism,’ but should it pertain even outside the West? If Western ‘news’ standards are going to prevail even in places such as Russia, then what hope, really, will there be for authentic democracy to emerge? Setting the bar that low is threatening the survival of democracy everywhere. I’ll never accept that.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.