Two reports from CNN on July 29, 2014 described the use of surface-to-surface ballistic missiles by the Ukraine government against east Ukraine resistance forces. Versions of the ballistic missile, the SS21 Scarab Tochka, have a range between 70, 120, and 185 kilometers with accuracy of 160, 95, and 70 meters respectively. The SS21 has a warhead that can carry fragmentation, chemical, and nuclear weapons.
This represents a significant escalation of weaponry by the Kiev government in its attack against both resistance forces and its own people in the area of two major cities, Donetsk and Lugansk (total population around 1.5 million people). If the SS21's are used against these two cities, injuries and deaths among civilians and damage to the city will increase alarmingly.
CNN reporter Barbara Starr dug up the story and U.S. officials confirmed it.
"U.S. intelligence saw through its satellite systems Ukrainian forces launching short range surface to surface ballistic missiles from Ukraine government positions into the separatist held areas. This happened over the last 48 hours. This is a game changer on the battlefield.
"The question is, why aren't we hearing very much about it?
"This time it's the so-called good guys escalating for force on the battlefield""
Barbara Starr, CNN
July 29, 2014, 11:11 AM ET
Why aren't we hearing very much about it?
Barbara Starr's question at 11:11 AM on the July 29 is still pertinent. As of 02:02 AM ET on July 30, there are only three news services covering the story, all of which refer to CNN's video broadcasts: RT, RIANOVOSTI, and Common Dreams. That's it. The RT story showed a Tweet from ABC Moscow correspondent Kirit Radia conforming the story. It appears that the ABC News website is not paying any attention.
The Obama administration is not commenting either. Secretary of State John Kerry held a joint press conference with Ukraine's Foreign Minister in Washington on the 29th. He laid out the normal U.S. support for the Kiev government but failed to mention the ballistic missile attacks and significant escalation of weaponry. Kerry did have time for this news:
"We are also asking Congress for approval to provide financial support and mentoring to small businesses throughout Ukraine. Through mechanisms like the public-private partnerships and export promotion initiatives, we are hoping to inject additional resources into Ukraine's economy so that together, all Ukrainians can rebuild their lives along with their cities." John Kerry, Washington ,DC, July 29, 2014
Elsewhere on Tuesday, the Obama-Kerry team charged Russia with violating the 1987 arms control treaty that "bans American and Russian ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles capable of flying 300 to 3,400 miles." The administration also announced yet more sanctions against Russia for escalating violence in Ukraine.
Here's why we're not hearing very much about it
CNN correspondent Starr's scoop was first announced at 10:05 AM ET. The correspondent was concise.
"The question [is] will we see the satellite imagery of the Ukrainians firing against the separatists. That may be a very tricky political question for the U.S. intelligence community today. If they have the imagery then they're sort of in the position of showing the damage of the Ukraine government, which the U.S. supports, is causing. "
Will we only see that satellite imagery from one side in this conflict and not from the other side?" Counter # 6:10