donetsk airport
Donetsk Airport.
NPR: "Fixing up the school is part of an ongoing battle for the hearts and minds of a people whose ethnic ties are with Russia but whose military and leaders identify with the West"

Ukraine loses the hearts and minds with every cannon, mortar, and artillery burst.

After another night saw hundreds of Ukrainian army bombings against the People's Republic of Donetsk, we go to Dokuchaevsk, south of Donetsk, to see the damage from the recent shelling of the city.

As we seek our way to the first house, we encounter two OSCE vehicles. Naively we first think they are going to the same place and we decided to follow them. But unfortunately we discover they are actually going to Dokouchaevsk hospital, so we continue on by ourselves.

We arrive first Shorsa street where a house was hit two days ago. The house belongs to an old lady living alone, who shows us the damage. Fortunately for her, the home was hit by small arms, possibly a BMP (the lady suspects 30 mm calibre). But it was enough to break through the roof of her house, the ceiling, and put a hole in a wall. We ask the lady if the OSCE observers came to see the damage, and the answer was no.

While we go outside to see the damage from the outside, two artillery blasts were heard, followed by an exchange of fire with light weapons. It's daytime, early afternoon. Today the Ukrainian army decided not to wait until nightfall to commit their misdeeds, right under the nose and beard of OSCE observers who are in the neighborhood. We will see in their report tomorrow if they publish information about the this, or if they will be as if they had heard nothing.

We then leave for a second address, another house hit last night by a mortar which went through the roof. When we arrive, the house offers a nightmarish vision. All that remains of the roof are a few beams. Everything else was burst apart. Inside is even worse, the plaster of the ceilings fell in, and one room has only the sky above the walls.

One of the occupants of the house was there that night, when at 2:20 a.m, a shell, probably 120 mm, came through the roof in the room next to the room where he slept. The man was unharmed. A true miracle.

Again we ask if the OSCE came to see the damage, and the answer is no.

Not showing up at the bombed sites to find the facts seems to have become the OSCE norm, and then I wonder on what basis there is for their famous daily reports if they don't come to observe anything.

In both houses visited, it is obvious the direction the firing came from: the Ukrainian positions that are opposite. But without direct observation of the OSCE will be impossible to prove these crimes before the international community. It is therefore time the OSCE decided to do their job, before being discredited.