Donbass blog, July 22: Donetsk Shelled in Daylight - Donbass Trains agains Police Mission - Kiev Speaks about Martial Law
The week began in Donbass with a sharp aggravation of the situation on the front. On the night of July 18, the Ukrainian side opened massive fire on the territory of the DPR along the entire front line.
The inhabitants of the Republic reported permanent glow in the sky, and, from time to time, the entire horizon flashed. In Donetsk, heavy explosions were clearly audible even in the city center, and in one of the districts, during the night, the lights went out as a shell hit a sub-station.
In Gorlovka, in the north of the DPR, four powerful explosions sounded, and then, the glow of a fire was seen in several places, after which people went down to cellars.
From Yasinovataya, located between Gorlovka and Donetsk, came reports of shelling from several directions at the same time, with car alarms periodically going off in the city. At about midnight, the DPR Defense Ministry officially informed of Kiev using in this area 122mm artillery.
Powerful battles with the use of heavy artillery were also reported by residents of Dokuchaevsk, in the south of Republic.
In the morning, the DPR authorities reported that, as a result of shelling by the Ukrainian army, in Donetsk four civilians were wounded by shrapnel and five houses damaged, two of which were completely destroyed by direct hits. There was also damaged a sub-station in one of the districts of the city, leaving many houses without electricity, and the Donetsk filter plant, which resulted in several localities left without water. The Ukrainian military also struck at the beach of one of Donetsk lakes and a cattle farm, located on the outskirts of the city.
On the northern outskirts of Gorlovka, the direct hit of Ukrainian shells completely destroyed seven houses. By return fire, the DPR army suppressed the Ukrainian firing position responsible for the destruction, which resulted in four Ukrainian soldiers killed and another three wounded.
Kiev also suffered losses near Donetsk where, under cover of artillery fire, the Ukrainian military made another attempt to break through the DPR defenses, which cost them three killed and five wounded soldiers.
There was no official information about the DPR army losses.
On July 19, the bombardment of Donetsk started in the daytime, at about 6 pm, which had not occurred for about a year. Two districts of the city came under a massive fire which resulted, according to local authorities, in a significant damage to 26 houses, some of them completely destroyed by direct hits, and a gas pipeline.
At night, the DPR Defense Ministry issued an urgent statement, reporting on the use by the Ukrainian military of not less than 122mm heavy artillery and warning of a harsh response.
The same day, the US State Department spokesman, Mark Toner said that the day before, the Ukrainian side had suffered the greatest number of losses lately, such as seven killed and 14 wounded, which, according to him, was a threat to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. Mark Toner did not mention in his statement either casualties among civilians of Donbass or the continued delivery by Kiev of heavy weapons to the front line.
Meanwhile, the DPR military authorities reported in their urgent statement that, just on the even of the attack on Donetsk, the Ukrainian side had delivered to their positions over 30 artillery systems, tanks and mortars. In addition, the DPR soldiers had downed a Ukrainian drone flying over the affected districts, according to local residents, right before the bombardment.
According to the LPR intelligence, over the past days, Kiev also delivered to their segment of the front 10 motorized artillery systems «Akatsia», 11 infantry fighting vehicles and about 30 vehicles with ammunition. There was also noted a Ukrainian anti-air missile system «Osa» constantly moving along the contact line.
In their turn, the OSCE observers noted in their report the absence in the sites of Ukrainian heavy weapons withdrawal of 31 anti-tank cannons, 33 tanks and 12 heavy mortars. They also documented the presence of 10 MLRS "Uragan" on the Ukrainian side of the contact line. In addition, the commander of a Ukrainian Army brigade, in spite of the categorical refusal by Kiev to let international observers on their position, showed them 8 MLRS "Grad" located on the positions of his unit.
At the same time, on July 18, the DPR began primaries and, the next day, completed collecting signatures for a petition to international organizations about violations by Kiev of the Minsk Agreements, which had been signed by over 300 thousand inhabitants of the Republic.
On the same day, July 19, in Lugansk, took place a mass training of city residents for a peaceful counter to an international police mission. The next day, the same training was held in the DPR, while the Head of the LPR, Igor Plotnitsky announced the formation in the Republic of an aircraft unit.
Kiev realizes that he is running out of time. Purposefully shelling residential areas and the urban life support objects of the Republic lately, it seeks to "squeeze" their residents out of the localities and, in such a way, facilitate the seizure of the territory of Donbass. At the same time, the Kiev authorities also resorted to the tactics of "forestalling": before each attack, the Ukrainian media spread information about the Army of the Republics having allegedly shelled positions of the Ukrainian military.
The other day, the former head of the SBU said that the Republics have as many tanks as Germany and the UK combined.
The Interior Minister of Ukraine Avakov promised the nationalist regiment "Azov" helicopters.
This week, in Ukraine ended the large-scale exercises "Summer storm-2016", the main objective of which, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, was to develop the interaction of different types of troops in an offensive operation. The exercise involved military aviation and air defense, such as the anti-air missile system «Buk", and rehearsed an air assault, including military equipment landing.
On July 19, Turchinov, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, who had started the antiterrorist operation in Donbass in April 2014, said that, due to the aggravation of the situation in Donbass, the Ukrainian authorities might consider the imposition of martial law in the country.
The next day, the Ukrainian media reported, citing an anonymous source from the party of Ukrainian President Poroshenko, that martial law would be introduced on August 1st.