Pictures of Russian sappers clearing Aleppo of mines horrify the Daily Mail
Something horrible is happening in Aleppo. Check out this introduction to a Daily Mail photo essay:
These harrowing pictures, released by the Russian Ministry of Defence, show the utter devastation left behind by troops in Aleppo.
The haunting images show tanks driving through streets littered with rubble and lined with crumbling buildings, and Russian soldiers making their mark by daubing graffiti on walls in besieged the [sic] Syrian city.
Some pictures show desperate Syrian women and barefoot children receiving handouts of food from Russian troops, while others show dogs picking through the wreckage of buildings.
Dozens of images show rows of weaponry lined up on the ground, or huge explosions shaking the earth of the dusty city.
Together the images offer paint [sic] a stark picture of what is left of the ancient metropolis - one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
Harrowing pictures, utter devastation, haunting images, Russian tanks driving through streets littered with rubble, Russian soldiers making their mark on the ruble with mysterios cyrilic graffiti. Desperate Syrian women and barefoot children, among dogs picking through the wreckage of buildings. Rows of weaponry mysteriously lined on the ground and huge explosions shaking the earth!
Oh my, this is horrible! What disaster has befallen this long-suffering city now?!
It turns out Aleppo has been invaded by an army of Russian sappers combing the city for mines. The hearts & minds operation (PR stunt, psy ops, whatever...) has Russian military engineers sharing their canteen food with civilians, leading specially trained dogs looking for explosives, handling and collecting dangerous unexploded ordnance and disposing of it in controled exposions. In areas which they have cleared they leave a graffiti saying "MIN NET" or "clear of mines".
Most of the press has for some reason declined to pay this any mind at all, but the Daily Mail has decided to republish a Russian Defense Ministry photo essay depicting these Aleppo horrors -- equipped with its own caption comments that point out just how haunting all of this is.
In the 37 captions Daily Mail has found enough space to point out that Aleppo "has suffered heavy bombardment from Putin's forces", has been "partially reduced to rubble by Putin's troops" and that heavy civilian losses resulted from Russian troops battling Islamic State insurgents [according to the Daily Mail] in the city. It did not find the space to point out the Russian photos are depicting a mine-clearing operation.
Let's see some of the best ones:
Photo shows unexploded bombs collected by Russians to be destroyed. The Daily Mail caption reads:
Missiles daubed with Arabic writing are lined up on the ground by Russian troops, who have been backing Syrian government forces in their brutal assaults on rebel-held areas of Aleppo
Russians are not collecting unexploded ordnance to be disposed of. They are merely "lining up" missiles daubed with Arabic writing on the ground for some unexplained reason. Also something about "brutal assault".
Photo shows a Russian sapper unloading a mine clearing vehicle. The Daily Mail caption:
A soldier stands behind an Uran-6 remote operated mine vehicle, which separates him from the shell of what was once a building
The Russian soldier is not preparing to clear mines. He is merely "standing behind" a "mine vehicle"(??).
A bomb detection dog rests on the knee of a sapper. Daily Mail:
A bomb detection dog rests its head on a soldier's knee in Aleppo, where Russian troops have been heavily involved in fighting
No indication whatsoever that the soldier with a bomb detection dog might be involved in mine clearing. Instead something about "Russian troops" and "heavily involved in fighting".
The Daily Mail:
A member of Russian military preparing for a mine to be blown up, behind the thorny Syrian ground
The Russian soldier is not handling a leftover mine here. He is merely "preparing" for a mine to be blown up by some unspecified force.
A mine clearing vehicle detonates a mine combing a mine field. The Daily Mail:
Clouds of smoke and clumps of earth fly into the air as Uran-6 drives over a buried landmine
No indication the mine clearing vehicle deliberately detonated a mine as part of a mine clearing effort. A Uran-6 simply happens to "drive over" a buried land mine.
We see a sapper with remote controls to a mine clearing vehicle. The Daily Mail:
A Russian soldier studies his equipment as an Uran-6 remote operated mine vehicle drives past him
No acknowledgment the soldier is clearing mines at all. The soldier is merely "studying his equipment" as a mine clearing vehicle just happens to drive by.
A Russian soldier holds an explosive as he sits besides beside empty grenades and weaponheads
The Russian soldiers is not defusing bombs. He merely happens to be holding an explosive next to defused grenades.
Empty explosives lie on the ground, lined up by Russian soldiers who shared this picture from the frontline
Russian soldiers are again lining up unexploded ordnance on the ground for some mysterious and unexplained reason. Also "Russian soldiers" and "frontline".
The Daily Mail:
This picture, shared by the Russian Ministry of Defence, shows a huge explosion among the rubble
The Russians have not set off unexploded ordnance they had previously collected and lined up. They merely shared a picture of a huge explosion.
Russian soldiers pick through the rubble on this Aleppo street, which has been severely damaged in the bombardment, while the remains of a burnt-out car stand in the background
Picking through the rubble for what?
A soldier holds a dog on a lead as they scan the ground next to crumbling buildings in the war-torn cityč
They are scanning the ground for what?
Russian soldiers pick their way through a barren field in Aleppo, which has borne the brunt of fighting in Syria
Picking their way through a barren field why? Or are they combing the barren field for mines?
A soldier leads a military dog through the broken bricks, old tyres and rusted metal that litter the ground
Leading a military dog through rusted metal that litters the ground or leading a bomb detection dog on the look out for explosives?
Soldiers use a dog to help them pick through broken buildings in the heart of the ancient city
Sappers with a military dog picking through ruble why?
A heavily armed Russian soldier works on the ground in the deserted streets of the Syrian city
The "heavily armed Russian soldier" who is "working on the ground" is clearly a sapper preparing to pull out a mortar mine or a bomblet from the ground.
Russian troops handle heavy weaponry in front of a near-collapsed building on the streets of central Aleppo
Russians are not collecting unexploded ordnance. They are "handling heavy weaponry".
A soldier scans the ground, searching for buried landmines hidden beneath the sparse grass and broken stones
In the 37-photo essay this is the one and only time that Daily Mail recognizes that the Russian on the photo is actually engaged in a mine clearing operation. Bravo??
This is the best one of all. The caption now reads "A soldier writes 'no mines' in Russian on a wall in Aleppo with the area having been secured", however, originally when the article was published it read:
"A soldier daubs graffiti written in Russian on a wall in Aleppo, underneath previous graffiti written in Arabic."
The soldier isn't marking a building which has been cleared of mines. Instead the Russians are leaving their mark by overwriting previous Arabic graffiti with mysterious Russian letters.