Among Russia’s war arsenal in Ukraine are a series of mobile crematoriums that are designed to disintegrate the bodies of dead soldiers and civilians and hide the true scale of war, it was claimed on Thursday as Putin advanced with his assault on Ukraine.
The crematoriums have been deployed along with tanks and war jets for years, and a video of them was posted online in 2013. That footage resurfaced on Thursday with a grim new poignance now that all-out war has been declared. The exterior of the trucks looks like regular vehicles, but they contain hidden incinerators.
Western defense experts say they may be used to incinerate the bodies of soldiers in an effort of hiding the true death toll of the war.
‘If I was a soldier and knew that my generals had so little faith in me that they followed me around the battlefield with a mobile crematorium, or I was the mother or father of a son, potentially deployed into a combat zone, and my government thought that the way to cover up losses was a mobile crematorium, I’d be deeply, deeply worried,’ British Defence Minister Ben Wallace told The Daily Telegraph on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia has claimed many of Putin’s young soldiers now fighting in Ukraine were tricked into enlisting and told they were heading to the border for practice drills before being sent into bloody conflict.
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This image taken from a 2013 video of the ‘mobile crematoriums’ shows how the incinerator hidden within the truck opens up to dispose of soldiers’ bodies. These crematoriums are among the vehicles that are thought to be following Russian troops around in an effort to hide the true scale of war
Young Russian soldiers who were captured by Ukrainian forces on Thursday after war broke out with dawn airstrikes
The committee is non-governmental and was formed in 1989. On Thursday, they released a statement saying many of the young men who enlisted in the army were tricked into doing so, then beaten if they tried to back out.
Russian President Vladimir Putin unapologetically launched war on Thursday and warned the West not to interfere
‘We’ve had a flurry of calls from scared mothers all over Russia. They are crying, they don’t know if their children are alive or healthy,’ Andrei Kurochkin, the deputy chairman of the group, told Russian site Takie Del.
‘If there is a war, then professionals should deal with it, not untrained green guys,’ he said, adding it was a ‘complete catastrophe’ to have soldiers fighting a war ‘under duress.’
The young men were told they were going to the border for drills, then had their contracts changed to signal that they were there for conflict.
‘They are switching entire regiments to contract [soldiers,] although the guys did not submit any formal requests for this, and took no such initiative.
- Global markets tanked with Russia’s ruble sliding to its lowest value ever
- The price of oil shot up to over $100 per barrel
- EU will freeze Russian assets, halt access to financial market and target ‘Kremlin interests’
- G7 called Putin a ‘threat to global order’ vowing ‘severe and coordinated economic and financial sanctions’
- Joe Biden announced new sanctions targeting Russian banks, exports and military
- Russia’s largest bank Sberbank will be severed from the US financial system, and full sanctions are imposed on four other financial institutions
- Boris Johnson called the invasion a ‘catastrophe for our continent’ and branded Putin a ‘dictator’
- China repeated calls for talks but refusing to criticize Russia’s attack
- Moldova declared a state of emergency
- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said invasion is ‘heavy blow’ to regional peace
- NATO ambassadors scheduled an emergency meeting on Thursday
- UN Security Council will discuss a resolution condemning the invasion
- Ukraine demanded the world banish Russia from SWIFT banking system
‘There are instances of physical violence, and beatings of those who refuse to become contract soldiers. And after that it’s completely unknown [what happens to them], because they take away their phones.
The group is now preparing to file a formal complaint with the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office.
Photos of some of the soldiers emerged on Thursday as they were captured by Ukrainian forces. Many were extremely young-looking men.
Terrifying videos from Ukraine show tanks rolling through Chernobyl while shelling rings out in Sumy, near the border with Russia.
Ukrainians spent the night sheltering in subway stations, unable to get out on packed roads and trains, while hiding from airstrikes.
It remains unclear if more are on their way. Ukraine has vowed to fight back with all its might.
Troops are already closing in on the seat of Ukrainian power after taking control of the strategic Chernobyl nuclear power plant Thursday, and will seize it within 96 hours, bringing a ‘new Iron Curtain’ down on Europe, Volodymyr Zelensky warned.
Officials said Vladimir Putin plans to encircle Ukrainian forces in Kyiv and force them to either surrender or be destroyed, and the leadership of Ukraine will then fall in a week.
A former senior U.S. intelligence officer told Newsweek: ‘After the air and artillery end and the ground war really starts, I think Kyiv falls in just a few days.
‘The military may last slightly longer but this isn’t going to last long.’
A source close to the Ukrainian government said they agreed that Kyiv will be surrounded within 96 hours but believed the government will stay strong and not collapse.
In a bid to thwart the imminent capture of the city, Emmanuel Macron spoke to Vladimir Putin tonight, who gave the French leader an ‘exhaustive’ explanation of his justification for war.
The Kremlin said the call took place at Macron’s initiative, and he and Putin agreed to stay in contact.
President Volodymyr Zelensky promised to give any civilian who wants one a weapon.
President Joe Biden on Thursday condemned Vladimir Putin for his invasion of Ukraine and announced a series of new sanctions on Russian financial institutions that he said will have a ‘severe’ effect on the economy.
A Russian T-72 tank is pictured sitting in front of the main reactor at Chernobyl after Putin’s forces seized it in a ‘fierce’ battle with the condition of nuclear storage facilities ‘unknown’
Russian armoured vehicles park on roads near the Chernobyl plant, amid fears that damage to the facility could cause a radiation leak that would blanket Europe with fallout
The attack has come to Ukraine on all fronts with bombs and missiles dropped on targets across the country in the early hours, followed by troop attacks from Crimea, the Donbass, Belgorod and Belarus as well as helicopter landings in Kyiv and at power plants on the Dnieper River. Chernobyl nuclear power plant has also fallen to Russian forces
Russian Mi-8 attack helicopters stage an assault on Gostomel air base, just on the outskirts of Kyiv, after Vladimir Putin launched an all-out attack on the country
The State Department is telling citizens to fend for themselves. ‘The US government will not be able to evacuate US citizens from Ukraine,’ an announcement on the website reads today
President Biden addressed the nation on Thursday afternoon. He promised to impose strict sanctions on Russia but said nothing of any kind of evacuation plans. Earlier this month, he said Americans in Ukraine had to get themselves out of the country
‘Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences,’ Biden said in remarks at the White House in response to Putin’s invasion has so far killed at least 57 Ukrainians.
The president insisted he didn’t underestimate the Russian leader and in a baffling moment conceded that ‘no one expected’ the earlier sanctions put on Russian financial institutions and Putin’s inner circle to ‘prevent anything from happening’.
He said Putin has further ambitions and wants to ‘re-establish the Soviet Union’, but insisted he would not be sending American troops into Ukraine and has no plans to speak to the Russian leader on the phone.
Biden’s speech, which was delayed twice on Thursday afternoon, came as The Kremlin seized control of Chernobyl nuclear power plant after a ‘fierce’ battle. Ukraine said the condition of the nuclear storage facilities are ‘unknown’, sparking fears of a radiation leak that could cause fallout in Europe.
Video revealed Russian tanks and armored vehicles standing in front of the destroyed reactor 60 miles north of the capital Kyiv, which has been surrounded by Putin’s forces and could fall in 96 hours.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken Thursday also issued a grim warning Thursday night saying: ‘All evidence suggests that Russia intends to encircle and threaten Kyiv, and we believe Moscow has developed plans to inflict widespread human rights abuses – and potentially worse – on the Ukrainian people.’
‘Now the entire world sees clearly what Putin and his Kremlin allies are really all about.
‘This was never about a genuine security concern on their part. It was always about naked aggression,’ the president said during his White House speech. ‘America stands up to bullies,’ he added. ‘This is who we are.’