On June 2, a missile screamed through downtown Lugansk, in eastern Ukraine, leaving a trail of craters in a city park before slamming into a regional administration building. At least eight people were killed in the blast, as it struck in a busy pedestrian area. Blood and body parts were strewn throughout the blast zone.
Eyewitnesses said the missile was fired from one of the military jet fighters that had been circling the area. Security camera footage from nearby seemed to confirm this. The jets had been sent in from Kiev to put down an autonomy movement in eastern Ukraine that followed a US-backed coup in Kiev in February.
An Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) monitoring team on the ground in Lugansk concurred with other eyewitnesses:
"On 2 June, shortly after 15:00 hrs, rockets hit the occupied regional administration building. Based on the SMM’s limited observation these strikes were the result of non-guided rockets shot from an aircraft. "
The US-backed government in Kiev, however, denied firing on civilians and blamed the blast on the anti-Kiev self-defense forces. The self-defense units, Kiev claimed, had blown up the administration building themselves with a heat-seeking missile that went awry.
The US mainstream media dutifully reported the Kiev government line as fact. The anti-Kiev forces had blown up their own headquarters, they wrote. Just as several weeks ago they wrote that the anti-Kiev forces in Odessa had set themselves on fire.
Dozens of videos on social media clearly showed Kiev-sent aircraft firing into cities and civilian centers in eastern Ukraine. The US mainstream media ignored this evidence and continued to repeat the Kiev line that the pro-autonomy forces had again massacred themselves.
The US government has said little about the attack. In a June 3 media briefing, a State Department spokesperson claimed to know nothing about the OSCE confirmation of an air strike on downtown Lugansk. Claiming that there were "conflicting reports," the spokesperson said the US "welcome[s] the restraint the Government of Ukraine has shown..."
Finally, alone among US mainstream media sources, CNN reported on June 3, that based on its sources on the ground in Lugansk it determined that the administration building was indeed hit by a missile fired from the air:
The tops of trees were splintered, and a series of small craters -- about a dozen -- had been blasted in a straight line, starting in the park and reaching the walls of the building, blowing out many of its windows and spraying the area with jagged shrapnel. That's what appears to have killed most of the victims and injured 20 more.
The craters in the park across the street from the building were likely caused by a Sukoi Su-25 fighter strafing the area with 30-millimeter ordnance, the CNN report continued.
It is clear that the Kiev government lied about the attack on Lugansk and that those lies were accepted as fact by the US government and the vast majority of the US mainstream media.
There has been no US government condemnation of the use of the Ukrainian military against Ukraine's own population in crowded civilian city centers. In fact the US State Department has actually encouraged the post-coup government in Ukraine to use force against civilians. State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said of the violence that the authorities in Kiev "have every right" to maintain "order and stability in their own country."
What would the US response have been had then-president Yanukovich used fighter jets to attack Maidan protesters in February? At the time, the US threatened the Yanukovich government for simply attempting to remove protesters from public buildings. But now it says nothing as the post-coup government actually calls in air strikes against civilians!
The administrative building in Lugansk is not the only target of the Kiev military in eastern Ukraine. Kiev forces have bombed hospitals, kindergartens, residential areas, and so on. Still not a word from President Obama or Secretary of State Kerry.
It seems that the US government actually approves of this use of force against civilian populations in eastern Ukraine. Two days after the air attack on downtown Lugansk, the Obama administration announced a significant US military support package for Ukraine. The aid will include, "A new tranche of $5 million for the provision of body armor, night vision goggles, and additional communications equipment."
Americans should understand that they are being forced by their government to finance the military slaughter of civilians in Ukraine. Horrific videos (extreme warning!) make the slaughter very clear and undeniable -- even to a State Department spokesperson were he or she to bother to look.