Ukraine Claims Russia Bombed Shopping Mall 3 Days After Russia Warned Of Western False Flag Ops

Russia had warned last week that Ukraine was preparing a staged false flag event that would be "widely circulated through the Western media."

Image Credits: Ukrainian State Emergency Service / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed Monday that Russian airstrikes destroyed a crowded shopping mall with a casualty count that’s “impossible to imagine.” 

“The occupiers fired rockets at the mall, where there were more than a thousand civilians,” Zelensky wrote on Telegram with accompanying video of the mall ablaze in Kremenchuk. “The mall is on fire, rescuers are fighting the fire, the number of victims is impossible to imagine.”

“Russia continues to take out its powerlessness on ordinary citizens. It is useless to hope for adequacy and humanity on its part,” Zelensky added.

The strike, which Ukraine says has so far resulted in 2 dead and 20 injured, apparently took place just three days after Russia’s Ministry of Defense warned that Ukrainian forces were coordinating with Western media to stage a false flag to blame on Russia.

Ukraine will soon unleash “another cynical provocation with deaths amongst civilian population to accuse the Russian Armed Forces of launching indiscriminate attacks against civilian facilities,” the Russian MOD wrote on Telegram last Thursday.

“We warn the so-called civilised West in advance that the above mentioned and other provocations by the Ukrainian authorities about the ‘atrocities of the Russians’ are soon to be widely circulated through the Western media and in various resources of the Internet.”

The Russian MOD also highlighted its policy of avoiding civilian casualties, evidenced by their slow advancements during the initial stages of its military operation in Ukraine, as well as numerous reports of facilitating humanitarian evacuation corridors in cities like Mariupol, Kharkiv, Severodonetskaya, Kyiv, and others over the last 90 days.

“We reiterate that Russian Armed Forces provide comprehensive assistance and support to the civilian population, treat them with high humanity and do not launch any attacks at the civilian infrastructure facilities during the special military operation,” the MOD added.

As far as the question of “qui bono” is concerned regarding this reported airstrike, such an attack has no obvious measurable benefit for Russia. Ukraine, on the other hand, could stand to gain from this kind of attack by harnessing the emotions of the Western public, leading to more outside funding and logistical support.

In fact, Ukraine has demonstrated a pattern of blaming Russia for attacks on civilians, which eventually resulted in $54 billion of military assistance to the country by the U.S. alone.

For example, Ukraine accused Russia of bombing a theater in Mariupol in March, which they initially claimed killed 1,000 civilians.

Subsequent reports from eyewitnesses and survivors, however, claimed that the casualty count was highly exaggerated and that the building was actually destroyed by Ukraine’s Azov Battalion units.

Russian military spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov also said that “reliable information” from locals indicated that Azov militants blew up the building themselves to frame Russia.

Then in April, Ukraine accused Russia of indiscriminately gunning down civilians in the streets of Bucha, before letting it slip that they conducted a “clearing op” just a day before videos of the aftermath began surfacing on social media.

Additionally, a timeline provided by The New York Times revealed the Azov Battalion had entered Bucha days after the Russians left the area, prompting the city’s mayor to celebrate its “liberation.”

Likewise, Russia denied any involvement in the Bucha massacre, calling it a “staged provocation” meant to bolster Western support for Ukraine.

Ret. Col. Douglas MacGregor said the Bucha massacre had the hallmarks of a false flag operation, calling it “extremely suspicious.”

In another example, a Ukrainian official just this month admitted to lying about Russian troops committing mass rape against civilians in a bid to get more military assistance from Western countries — lies that were amplified by CNN and the Washington Post.

Other Ukrainian propaganda had similarly been debunked in real time, including its bogus reports of the “Ghost of Kiev” and the standoff at Snake Island.

In an updated statement released on Telegram Monday, Russia’s MOD claimed, without directly addressing the mall airstrike accusations, that Ukrainian forces are targeting their own civilians and civilians in the Donbas region with power and food shortages to achieve its goal of crippling Russian-occupied territory.

Is it possible Russia conducted an airstrike on a shopping mall in Ukraine? Certainly. But given Ukraine’s pattern of disseminating propaganda and false reports about Russia, it’s wise to remain skeptical, especially since Russia is banned from most social media and is thus unable to effectively transmit its side of the story to the West.

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