Ukraine Blames Russia After Airstrike Kills Civilians in Rebel Territory

As War Escalates, Ukraine Keen to Pin Casualties on Russia

An airstrike tore through the rebel-held Ukrainian city of Snizhne today, hammering an apartment block and killing 11 civilians. The attack appeared to be part of the ongoing Ukrainian military offensive against rebel territory.

Yet after the reports of civilian casualties emerged, Ukraine immediately changed its story and began claiming that Russia, who is backing the rebels, for some reason launched an airstrike against their own allies.

It’s part of a growing war of words between Ukraine and its much larger neighbor, and after months of fearing a Russian invasion, Ukraine is now trying to portray virtually everything that happens in the east as direct Russian military intervention.

Russia, by contrast, remains angry about a cross-border shelling by the Ukrainian military, which killed a civilian over the weekend. The assumption is it was a misfire from Ukraine’s artillery, though the Ukrainian military, unwilling to admit anything happens on accident, claims the whole incident never happened at all.

The US remains on board for whatever position Ukraine takes, and is said to be preparing a new round of sanctions against Russia to punish them for “threatening moves” against Ukraine.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.