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Eva Bartlett
Eva Bartlett
Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years). The writer is a recipient of the 2017 International Journalism Award for International Reporting, granted by the Mexican Journalists’ Press Club (founded in 1951), was the first recipient of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism, and was short-listed in 2017 for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.

Here’s what I found at the reported ‘mass grave’ near Mariupol

A first-hand look at the location where Kiev claims trenches hold thousands of bodies.

Mariupol mass grave news
© Eva Bartlett.

According to recent Western media, Russian forces have buried up to 9,000 Mariupol civilians in “mass graves” in a town just west of the Ukrainian city. These reports use satellite imagery as supposed evidence and repeat the claims of officials loyal to Kiev that “the bodies may have been buried in layers” and “the Russians dug trenches and filled them with corpses every day throughout April.”

I went to the site in question and found no mass graves.

On April 23, I joined RT journalist Roman Kosarev on a visit to the location, in the town of Mangush. What I saw were new, orderly grave plots including some still empty ones – an extension of a cemetery that already exists at the spot. No mass pit. Many of the graves have placards with the names and dates of birth of the deceased when available, and the remaining plots were numbered according to burial.

Since the media is essentially copy-pasting from the same source – the former mayor of Mariupol, Vadym Boichenko (who seems to be far from the city now) – I’ll cite from the Washington Post’s article.

Boichenko, the article notes, “called the site the ‘new Babyn Yar,’ referring to one the largest mass graves in Europe located in the outskirts of Kyiv, where 33,000 Jews where killed by Nazis in 1941 during World War II.”

This is ironic on several levels. A mayor who is whitewashing the neo-Nazis who have run amuck in his city – notably those from the Azov Battalion, who have used civilians as human shields, occupied and militarized civilian infrastructure, point-blank executed civilians – is comparing an alleged (non-existent) mass grave to a Nazi massacre of WW2.

Meanwhile, the Kiev regime has re-written history, making WW2 Nazis and their collaborators heroes of the nation. The most notorious example being the World War Two figure Stepan Bandera.

Boichenko’s other alarming claim was that the alleged “mass grave” was “the biggest war crime of the 21st century.” We are only 22 years into it, but we’ve already seen the US-led invasion and destruction of Iraq, the levelling of Syria’s Raqqa, Saudi Arabia’s ongoing war in Yemen – all of which are much stronger contenders than the nowhere-to-be-found “mass graves” of Mangush.

In reality, the site has around 400 individual plots, including nearly 100 empty ones. The 9,000 bodies and “biggest war crime of the 21st century” were unverified claims made by a mayor who fled his city, promoted by media which down the page admitted they could not independently verify the claims – but by then, the damage had been done.

Gravediggers disprove mass grave claims

While walking around the site, two men responsible for burials arrived, and when presented with the former mayor’s accusations of mass graves they vehemently rejected the claims.

“This is not a mass grave and no one is throwing bodies into a pit,” one told me.

According to them, they bury each person in a coffin and separate grave, details are logged in the morgue, and when any documents regarding name and age are given, the plot is marked with a placard containing those details. Otherwise a number is used.

Interestingly, they also noted that a section of the new graves included buried Ukrainian soldiers. “They’re human, too” one of the men said.

For those in doubt as to the location, see Roman’s report: his drone footage shows that it’s precisely the same location as shown in the satellite images used by Western media.

Meanwhile, as Roman noted while walking, mass graves is something Ukraine has previously been accused of. He cited DPR leader Denis Pushilin as having stated that at least 300 such sites have been discovered since 2014.

He also spoke of what he witnessed. “In 2014 or 2015, mass graves were discovered as Azov or Aidar fighters retreated from the Donetsk region. I even saw a woman, she was dug up, she had her arms tied behind her back, she was in the late stages of pregnancy and she had a hole in her head, so that means she was executed.”

American journalist George Eliason, who has lived in Lugansk for many years, has written about these alleged atrocities. In a documentary on the issue, he said: “I’m here for five minutes and then I’m told the first five people they found, it was five decapitated heads. They were all civilians. Who does this to people?”

This story of a mass grave in Mangush is another fake from the Western corporate media, which previously pushed incubator babies being thrown on the floor by Iraqi soldiers, pushed lies about WMDs in Iraq, and carried reports of a chemical attack in Douma that never happened, to name but a few of their litany of hoaxes.

Meanwhile, when I was in Mariupol on April 21 and 22, yes there was destruction – thanks to those Neo-Nazi & regular Ukrainian forces occupying upper floors of residential buildings and using them as military positions, thus drawing return fire on the buildings – but I also saw people in the streets, and the beginning of the cleaning up process before rebuilding can occur.

I’ll repeat what I’ve said on Western media reporting on Syria (which in my experience, from on the ground in that country, is largely dishonest): those who promote these hoaxes and war propaganda have blood on their hands.

After the countless lies emanating from Western corporate media, I would hope people would exercise critical thinking whenever a new claim is pushed, particularly when it is repeated in chorus by the usual suspects.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of DTNZ.

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Source:RT News

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  1. MSM is still lying to us. NZ mainstream media simply posts the spin created by PR companies for the US/UK/EU mainstream media for our consumption. No verification of the claim at all. NZ media does not allow readers to comment. So they are able to keep many readers believe the lies.

    No reporting of what is happening in Donbass; how the russian army is also managing all the humanatarin supplies etc are not reported. NZ media is now creating all the fear to NZ public spreading sinaphobia too.

  2. Deep state agents are now doing hitjobs on YouTube journalists if YouTube cannot find a resaon to cancel them. Jimmy Dore show on the a shit company called “Newsguard” is here.


    Newsguard was doing hitjobs for Big Pharama in the past.

    We have to be careful in NZ too. It is only a matter of time hit piece journalists like Keith join or start a government funded agency to kill real journalism.

    • American Woke lefts are plotting to kill free speech using national security framework and created a new board. Tucker Carlson show is here:


      Agent Jabcinda will follow with the same trick soon when her poll ratings fall further. You will be called spreading misinformation/disinformation if you disagree with Government and MSM narrative. This is an educated guess based on what happened in NZ in the last 2 years or so.

    • Not many because the media and state laws mesmerised the public. US is now legislating the same using Biden’s New “Ministry of Truth” . ORWELLIAN STATE WARNING! expose of Steven Crowder is here.


      Our puppet Jabcinda and the mass media liars will do the same here if Biden’s Ministry of Truth succeeds. Jabcinda has already stated that absolute truth is only available at here ministry websites. She also wanted you to trust only the MSM news and not the social media.

      It is only a matter of time, police will knock at your door if you say anything against the her political narrative. Chrissy Luxon, hiding under her skirt, will whole heartedly support her with any law that controls free speech. Both labour and national are the same when it comes to controlling free speech.

  3. Absolutely none of this justifies Russia invading the borders of a sovereign nation. It’s easy to say nazis are hiding in apartments drawing return fire but those so called nazis are on their own territory and the Russians aren’t. Why does the author miss this distinction? Russia has no right to be in Ukraine, period. For them to “return fire” is the crime, as they shouldn’t be there to begin with! How absurd the logic of this article!


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