When you use a weapon or apply a tactic in war, you do it for one reason only: it brings you advantages in winning or, if you are in a bad way, in containing the enemy better. This is the approach with which in our heads we have tried to rationalize the siege of Mariupol by the Russian forces: in three months the Kremlin's artillery and missile systems have practically razed or made all residential buildings unusable. , administrative and industrial in an area of 166 square kilometers, that is to say a little more than Bologna. In doing so they killed at least 22.000 people and deported nearly 50.000 people, many of whom have been lost.
Today, of the 430.000 inhabitants present on February 23, approximately 100.000 people remain, without running water, medical assistance and the most basic services. But anyhow, the horror can still be rationalized: it does not transform a barbaric war and the consequent ethnic cleansing into something acceptable, but it makes us think that they did it to conquer a piece of territory. The emptiness frightens us: we must fill it with reason.
The same is true of the battle for the conquest of Luhansk Oblast, which is still ongoing: cities such as Rubizhne, Stara Krasnianska and Severodonetsk have been razed to the ground. The martyred area does not reach the surface of Lodi, which is the fifth smallest province in Italy, but has affected more than half a million residents, with a number of civilian deaths lower than Mariupol just because the population had time to to escape.
Here, our "mental scheme" goes into a bit of crisis because the annihilation of all the buildings and roads in areas like Rubizhne did not correspond to any military activity on site: in practice, the town - just over 50.000 inhabitants a year ago, more or less than Siena - today it no longer exists, including cemeteries, but it was of no benefit to those who wanted to devastate it. They did it because they wanted to do it… Precisely for this reason, we are more happy to talk about Severodonetsk, the site of real clashes, than Rubizhe, so irrational and illogical as to frighten us.
Then, you realize that every day the artillery but above all the Russian missile systems hit everything, without apparent logic, but above all without - passing the term - not even the doubt that it could be a "dual" use building , as could be the case with a factory or a warehouse. Yes, because it is obvious that in war - even if the Russians do not like to use this term ... - it is normal to hit a former school full of soldiers as a barracks or a farm crammed with ammunition instead of fodder. The Ukrainians themselves are doing it these days, "practicing" to use the new Western weapons capable of striking from a distance. But it is not clear why a cattle farm was intensively targeted, despite being only a fence with animals and hay: in Italy we made fun of the soldiers who in Friuli during a notorious exercise "attacked" a chicken coop .
But here it doesn't even make the chickens laugh ... Or maybe yes, if we think that at the beginning of June, perhaps targeting the first bathers, a half-million dollar missile hit and annihilated at the first shot ... a public toilet on the beach in Odessa. But if here we have been a bit 'on the joke, we do not feel like laughing at the missiles launched at apartment buildings or shopping centers crowded with people in recent days.
Satellite maps clearly show that the condominium hit in Kiev over the weekend was in a forest of other buildings, in a densely populated area, while the mall - transformed into a sea of fire on Sunday - was a colossal shopping mall isolated from everything else. . In short, whoever hit them wanted to hit them and knew they were full of civilians.
Are they war crimes? The probability that they are is very high, but the point is another: what advantage did they bring from a military point of view? Paradoxically, even ethnic cleansing and annihilation of cities can be "rationalized", which are execrable and punishable actions, but for an officer hardened by the violence of urban war they are consequential to the search for success. But the civilian missiles, no. They do not bring any benefit: on the contrary, they steal weapons that could have been used otherwise.
Now, the fact is that either the officers and their staff plan badly or these actions have a principal who stands very high up and is powerful enough to hold himself unpunished and be able to force his subordinates to perform abominable actions. You know who I'm talking about ...
So how do you evaluate these actions? They are crimes, but not only. Are they acts of terrorism? Yes I am. But the use of terror for political-military purposes does not contain them, because the population does not react by asking their leaders to capitulate before the Russians, on the contrary they are asking for revenge.
What is it all about, in conclusion? We're Italian. We know well that there is an organization that practices the use of violence for punitive and reaction purposes, even without obtaining a benefit: it is enough to hit the victim, it is not even necessary to seek an advantage. The important thing is to show that you can strike when you want, where you want and with the means you want. And don't hesitate to do so. This organization is criminal and it is called mafia. Here, to us this intimidating and violent behavior, manifested in hitting civilians with missiles in a vast and deliberate way, following successful military actions of the Ukrainians in southern Donbass with new weapons, seems damn similar to the attacks on Georgofili, al Laterano and the other nefarious actions of the Sicilian Octopus.
In short, it is the attempt of the Russian regime to confirm its domination with the only instrument in its possession: violence. And in doing so you don't need a reason: that's stuff for your military, of whom the Kremlin cares less than foreign civilians.