MERCILESS Vladimir Putin is using barbaric Hitler-style starvation tactics to “terrorise, subjugate and kill” Ukrainians, experts warned.
Armed sieges, bread queue massacres, and pillaging of farming machinery are all part of “Putin’s calculated plan” to starve Ukraine into submission.
In March last year, chilling footage emerged of bodies strewn across a street outside a bakery in the northern city of Chernihiv after coming under fire from Russian forces.
As the Ukrainians waited for a loaf of bread, they came under fire from either a 122mm Grad multiple rocket launcher or a Howitzer, according to an investigation by international law firm Global Rights Compliance.
At least 20 people died in the massacre.
Barrister Catriona Murdoch, the head of Global Rights Compliance’s Starvation Mobile Justice Team, said the killings were the “tip of the iceberg in Putin’s calculated plan to terrorise, subjugate and kill Ukrainian people”.
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Putin’s soldiers have slaughtered Ukrainian farmers and looted their barns and stores, while decimating farmland and planting landmines in rich soil where much-needed crops should grow.
Food storage sites have been bombed and thousands of tonnes of grain has been stolen – in what have been branded “Hitlerian tactics”.
Long-suffering locals in some besieged areas of Ukraine have even been forced to drink water from the rivers after missiles destroyed power stations.
And desperate families were also cut off in the Kherson region after Putin allegedly blew up the Nova Khakovka dam – leaving entire areas completely underwater.
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Corpses contaminated the water, leaving it unsafe to drink, while tonnes of machine oil poured into the river – sparking a long-term major disaster affecting drinking water and food supplies.
It comes ninety years after Joseph Stalin’s Soviet regime inflicted a devastating famine on Ukraine – killing four million people in what became known as the Holodomor.
Putin has praised Stalin’s leadership, credited him for transforming Russia, and repeatedly bemoaned the demise of the Soviet Union.
Under Hitler’s watch, the Nazis also used famine as a weapon of war, drawing up a chilling “Hunger Plan” to starve some 20 million people.
“The evidence is pointing towards a deliberate plan carefully designed to undermine and attack the very foundation and societal fabric of Ukrainians, subjecting them to inhumane living conditions,” Murdoch said.
“It is imperative that these crimes are fully investigated so that we can create a bedrock of truth and a historical record which can be used both to counter Russia’s lies and to find justice for Ukraine’s victims and the survivors of these crimes.”
The EU’s agriculture commissioner, Janusz Wojciechowski, previously said the Russians “want to create hunger and use this… as a method of aggression”.
“It is similar method that was used in 1930s by Soviet regime against Ukrainian people,” he said.
Experts have now warned Putin’s war has “moved to the next stage” – where the tyrant will increasingly target civilian infrastructure as he becomes more desperate.
The evidence is pointing towards a deliberate plan carefully designed to undermine and attack the very foundation and societal fabric of Ukrainians
Four children were among 11 people killed in a horror Russian strike on a packed pizza restaurant in the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk in June – leaving more than 50 injured.
Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Andriy Kostin, said Russian forces were “deliberately targeting civilians” and “crowded areas”.
Ashok Swain, professor of peace and security at Uppsala University, told The Sun Online: “Putin has been regularly targeting civilian infrastructures, particularly water and power infrastructures in his war in Ukraine.
“This is against any international law and norms.
“The primary reason is to make the life so difficult for Ukrainians that they will lose the resolve to fight.
“It is an Hitlerian tactic – but it actually started with Stalin in 1932-1933, when he inflicted a devastating famine on Ukraine, and killed nearly four million Ukrainians in order to starve them into submission.”
He added: “The war has moved to the next stage, where there will be open attack against civilian infrastructures.
“Putin is getting desperate to win the war or to save face and that is not happening. So he is adopting this strategy.”
In June, some 4.8 billion gallons of water surged along the Dnipro river after the dam blast, bursting the banks, flooding villages, and leaving parts of Kherson city underwater.
Areas were left without power and completely cut off from any food or water, trapping residents in their homes.
Irrigation canals for fields upon fields of planted grains, fruits and vegetables are also drying up – severely impacting food supplies.
Anurag Mishra, a researcher at the International Team for the Study of Security Verona, said these types of tactics are all part of Putin’s plot to “bring Ukraine into submission”.
“That the Russians are using starvation tactics is hardly a secret,” he told The Sun Online.
“Putin has not been afraid of using force against non-combatants, neither of attacking key civilian infrastructure, depriving millions of Ukrainians of heat during winter or shooting at civilians so they cannot leave villages and towns underwater after the collapse of the dam.
“These are all different steps towards a singular goal: bringing Ukraine into submission to salvage the balance of power in the Russian sphere of influence.”
Misha said it’s likely Russia will impose more armed blockades on food and continue with its destruction of agricultural equipment.
The primary reason is to make the life so difficult for Ukrainians that they will lose the resolve to fight
And as Ukraine’s long-awaited counteroffensive gets underway, Putin could blast civilian infrastructure along the frontlines in Bakhmut and Donetsk to pile on the pressure.
Maria Makurat, international relations expert at ITSS, said: “It could very well be that in locations such as Bakhmut and Donetsk, Russia might continue targeting civilian infrastructure in an attempt to influence the planned counteroffensive and to put more pressure on civilians and the defence system as fighting continues.”
Five years ago, the UN passed a resolution condemning the use of starvation as a tactic of war – acknowledging a threat to the lives of tens of millions of people.
Each time Putin’s forces are pushed back, more evidence emerges of the horror they have inflicted on the Ukrainian population.
Last month we revealed how Ukrainians are being housed in “Nazi-style” camps where they are allegedly forced to work or fight on the frontline.
The haunting report from Ukrainian military investigations site Molfar showed the shocking conditions of the detention camps that share shocking parallels to Jewish ghettos of the Second World War.
A detention camp in Mariupol is said to have housed a large number of men for two weeks giving them just one meal a day while they were forced to sleep on floors and corridors.
Even more shocking are the reports of TB outbreaks among the detained, a flu-like bacterial infection that can kill if left untreated.
It’s alleged that the sick have been denied medical care and have been left to die after being trapped inside.
Another chilling Sun exclusive revealed chilling leaked spy documents, that showed Putin’s plans for a “total cleansing” of Ukraine in his bid to win the war.
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The orders from within Russia’s FSB intelligence service came “from the very top” and spoke of “door-to-door terror” where “people will be detained in their homes at night during curfew and transferred to Russian territories – concentration camps and worse”.