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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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International

Ukraine says Russia bombed Bakhmut with white phosphorus

May 08, 2023

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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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MediaMiss™This story is a Media Miss by the left as only 20% of the coverage is from left leaning media.

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Left 20%

Center 33%

Right 47%

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If Russia can’t take Bakhmut from Ukraine, it may be content with just burning the whole city to the ground. In drone video released by Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense, images show what appeared to be white phosphorus raining down on the city’s buildings.

White phosphorus ignites on contact with air. It burns at about 1500 degrees, and is a waxy, sticky substance so it’s extremely hard to remove. When used as an incendiary ammunition, phosphorus sparks fast-moving fires that aren’t easily extinguished.

Phosphorus isn’t banned but using it near civilian populations is considered a war crime. The BBC geo-located the footage to an area just west of Bakhmut’s center, although there aren’t any civilians left in the city at this point.

The Kremlin doesn’t publicly admit to using phosphorous bombs, but this is the second time Ukraine accused Russia of using the weapons since the war began. The first incident was during the siege of Mariupol.

Of course, hiding the truth isn’t a new tactic for Russia; nor is the tactic limited to the battlefield. The Wall Street Journal reported newly released satellite data shows Russia is also most likely lying about the strength of its economy.

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Sentinel-5P satellite uses state of the art technology to monitor pollution in the atmosphere. The Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument, called Tropomi, detects gases like nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, methane and other pollutants indicative of industrial operations like steel production.

According to the ESA, the post-pandemic traffic levels in St. Petersburg and Moscow are causing pollution to increase there, but in other industrialized regions, pollution levels are down significantly. The drop in pollution is seen as a direct indicator Russian factories aren’t churning out as much as they once did.

Overall industrial pollution is down more than 6% over the last year. At sites associated with Russia’s automotive industry, pollution was down 16% during that same time period.

In contrast to the new data, Moscow claimed industrial production is actually up a little more than 1% over the last year.

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IF RUSSIA CAN’T TAKE BAKHMUT FROM UKRAINE, IT MAY BE CONTENT WITH JUST BURNING THE WHOLE CITY TO THE GROUND. THIS IS DRONE VIDEO RELEASED BY UKRAINE’S MINISTRY OF DEFENSE AND APPEARS TO SHOW WHITE PHOSPHORUS RAINING DOWN ON BUILDINGS.

WHITE PHOSPHORUS IGNITES ON CONTACT WITH AIR. IT BURNS AT ABOUT 1500 DEGREES, AND IS A WAXY, STICKY SUBSTANCE SO IT’S EXTREMELY HARD TO REMOVE. WHEN USED AS AN INCENDIARY AMMUNITION, PHOSPHORUS SPARKS FAST-MOVING FIRES THAT AREN’T EASILY EXTINGUISHED.

PHOSPHORUS ISN’T BANNED, BUT USING IT NEAR CIVILIAN POPULATIONS IS CONSIDERED A WAR CRIME. THE BBC GEO-LOCATED THE FOOTAGE TO AN AREA JUST WEST OF BAKHMUT’S CENTER, ALTHOUGH THERE AREN’T ANY CIVILIANS LEFT IN THE CITY AT THIS POINT.

THE KREMLIN DOESN’T PUBLICLY ADMIT TO USING PHOSPHOROUS BOMBS, BUT THIS IS THE SECOND TIME UKRAINE ACCUSED RUSSIA OF USING THE WEAPONS SINCE THE WAR BEGAN. THE FIRST INCIDENT WAS DURING THE SIEGE OF MARIUPOL.

OF COURSE, HIDING THE TRUTH ISN’T A NEW TACTIC FOR RUSSIA; NOR IS THE TACTIC LIMITED TO THE BATTLEFIELD. NEWLY RELEASED SATELLITE DATA SHOWS RUSSIA IS ALSO MOST LIKELY LYING ABOUT THE STRENGTH OF ITS ECONOMY.

THE EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY’S SENTINEL 5P SATELLITE USES STATE OF THE ART TECHNOLOGY TO MONITOR POLLUTION IN THE ATMOSPHERE. POLLUTION LIKE THAT WHICH TYPICALLY COMES FROM INDUSTRIAL SITES AND FACTORIES.

ACCORDING TO THE ESA, THE POST-PANDEMIC TRAFFIC LEVELS IN ST. PETERSBURG AND MOSCOW ARE CAUSING POLLUTION TO INCREASE THERE, BUT IN OTHER INDUSTRIALIZED REGIONS, POLLUTION LEVELS ARE DOWN SIGNIFICANTLY. THE DROP IN POLLUTION IS SEEN AS A DIRECT INDICATOR RUSSIAN FACTORIES AREN’T CHURNING OUT AS MUCH AS THEY ONCE DID.

OVERALL INDUSTRIAL POLLUTION IS DOWN MORE THAN 6% OVER THE LAST YEAR. AT SITES ASSOCIATED WITH RUSSIA’S AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, POLLUTION WAS DOWN 16% DURING THAT SAME TIME PERIOD.

IN CONTRAST TO THE NEW DATA, MOSCOW CLAIMS INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION IS ACTUALLY UP A LITTLE MORE THAN 1% OVER THE LAST YEAR.

WE HAVE MORE UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACT REPORTING ABOUT THE WAR IN UKRAINE AND THE ENVIRONMENT AT STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS DOT COM.