• Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, February 24.

    Since then, the bombardments have continued unceasingly and several cities, such as Kharkiv or Kiev, have been particularly targeted by Vladimir Putin's army.

  • Several publications, including a video viewed tens of thousands of times over the past few days, claim that Ukraine is behind the bombings in the separatist regions in the east of the country, targeting the Russian-speaking Ukrainian population.

    This is also the position of the Kremlin.

  • Nothing allows today to be so affirmative, explains a researcher interviewed by

    20 Minutes


“The truth that Macron and the media do not tell!

An old lady from Donetsk [separatist region in eastern Ukraine] saw her neighbour's house hit by a shell today!

And explains that Ukraine has been bombing its own people for eight years!!

This is why Russia decided to intervene.

This meaningful publication, accompanied by a video, has been shared several thousand times on social networks since its publication on March 3.

In the video, a Frenchwoman who wears a helmet marked "press" translates the words of an old lady.

“She sends the message to Macron not to support the Ukrainians, because for eight years this is what we have been experiencing.

The man present on the video, presumably the son of the old lady, assures – still according to the translation – that “in this conflict, it is the two parties who are guilty”.

“There […], it's Ukrainian strikes.

Does a government have the right to bomb its own population?

asks the journalist for the camera.

Ukrainian strikes targeting civilians in separatist regions are precisely the accusations the Kremlin is making to justify its offensive.

On Monday, the Russian army and separatist forces announced that 16 people had been killed by a Ukrainian missile in the city of Donetsk, accusing Kiev of a "war crime".

Elements that could not be cross-checked from a reliable source.

In the comments of the video, in any case, many Internet users identify the French media, accusing them of lying about the nature of the war raging in eastern Europe. 

20 Minutes

explains why this video must be nuanced.



20 Minutes

was able to verify, the translation of the woman wearing the helmet is faithful.

The old lady declares, in Russian: “Tell your Macron that he supports them, the enemies.

What are they doing to us, these Ukrainians?

“Charges to be taken with great caution.

The sequence was shot “in the eastern part of Ukraine, where there are a lot of Russian or pro-Russian people.

It is in this region that Putin can find a lot of support "for his offensive, deciphers for

20 Minutes

 Philippe Moreau-Defarges, researcher at Ifri (French Institute of International Relations) and author of the book 

A World History of Peace

( Odile Jacob).

Like everywhere else in the country, many civilians have fled the combat zones since February 24.

“Some stayed behind to defend Ukraine, others joined pro-Russian militias,” says the researcher.

According to him, and contrary to what the journalist asserts, “there is no Ukrainian will to bombard its people”.

On the other hand, the bombardments being intensive and coming from both sides, it is impossible to formally rule out the fact that the fact that “Ukrainian strikes could have hit Ukrainians and that those of the Russians hit Russians.

In this context, it is indeed difficult to attribute the strikes, a process that requires lengthy investigations.

At this stage, international observers have not reported any Ukrainian strikes targeting separatists in the Donbass.

And the researcher concludes: “Social networks peddle

fake news.


The author of the video already known for her pro-Russian positioning

The journalist behind this video, Anne-Laure Bonnel, has been covering the conflict between Russia and Ukraine for several years.

She usually goes to the part of Ukrainian territory where the population is mainly pro-Russian.

This has several times led her to relay elements of Russian propaganda, which supports local separatists.

A bias that has also regularly been criticized.

Benoît Vitkine, correspondent for the newspaper

Le Monde

in Moscow, explains on Twitter: “I remember her 2017 film, undoubtedly sincere but dramatically naive: she was carried around in the separatist territories by… officials from these same territories.

They are the ones we heard in the film asking the witnesses questions, not the journalist.

And Benoît Vitkine adds that the elements reported in this film were subsequently denied: they were "fables concocted by Russian TV".

“I'm not taking sides, but let's still ask about international law, does a government have the right to bomb its own population?

“, pretends to wonder Anne-Laure Bonnel.

More recently, the journalist made a noteworthy passage on CNews, to make similar remarks, accusing Kiev of bombarding its citizens.

Accusations emanating from Vladimir Putin and his allies but not from the international community or the UN.

Anne-Laure Bonnel also benefits from the support of Moscow.

When one of his tweets was recently deleted, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov came to his defense.

“She, who went to the Donbass, published her observations […] and called on Westerners to look the truth in the face.

She did not have the right to make this publication but her comment is available on the Internet, so I invite you to read the facts.


high tech

War in Ukraine: Google launches a smartphone alert in the event of bombings


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