Ukraine War: Vladimir Putin's terror tactics show world why he must be defeated, whatever the cost – Scotsman comment

“When I visited the town the whole of it was a horrible sight, flaming from end to end. The reflection of the flames could be seen in the clouds of smoke above the mountains from ten miles away. Throughout the night, houses were falling until the streets became long heaps of red impenetrable debris,” wrote the journalist George Steer about the bombing of Guernica by Nazi Germany and fascist Italy during the Spanish Civil War.

In the early hours of yesterday morning, Russian missiles hit this residential building in the Ukrainian town of Sergiyvka , near Odesa, killing at least 20 people (Picture: Oleksandr Gimanov/AFP via Getty Images)
In the early hours of yesterday morning, Russian missiles hit this residential building in the Ukrainian town of Sergiyvka , near Odesa, killing at least 20 people (Picture: Oleksandr Gimanov/AFP via Getty Images)

The wanton destruction of a civilian town, with no real military value, shocked the world and, just days later, Pablo Picasso began his most famous painting, Guernica. A tapestry of this powerful, shocking work hangs outside the United Nations Security Council Chamber, a reminder to world leaders of the horror of war.

In the early hours of yesterday, dozens of people would have been sleeping in a block of flats in the Ukrainian town of Serhiivka, near Odesa. Far from the frontline, they may have thought they were safe from Putin’s war machine. But, after three Russian missiles hit home, at least 21 people were dead.

“A terrorist country is killing our people. In response to defeats on the battlefield, they fight civilians," said Andriy Yermak, an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Throughout the Ukraine War, Russia has routinely shelled residential areas, levelling vast areas. But, when asked about Serhiivka, the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov did what Kremlin spokespeople do: he lied. His claim they are only attacking military targets is so blatantly false it hardly bears repeating.

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Russian forces have been able to advance in the east of Ukraine because they drop so many bombs it makes urban areas uninhabitable, for soldiers and civilians alike. Their shelling of other parts of the country appears to have little purpose other than to try to weaken morale.

So it would appear that Putin, a mass-murdering terrorist who has usurped the power of a nation, does not understand the concept of “Blitz Spirit”.

An aerial view shows houses destroyed by Russia attacks in the town of Pryvillya in Ukraine's Donbas region on June 14 (Picture: Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images)

With each life taken, he is stiffening Ukrainian resolve to fight him. And he is showing the international community just how important it is to defeat him, whatever the cost.

The bombing of Guernica in 1937 shocked the world, but it did far too little. We must not make the same mistake again.

The vast majority of buildings in Mariupol, pictured on May 18, were damaged by Russian missiles and shells (Picture: Andrey Borodulin/AFP via Getty Images)
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