Donbass blog, June 17: DPR’s Counter-Battery Fire - Kiev Gives Up On Radicals - Poroshenko Calls To Guerrilla War
In recent days, in Donbass, along the entire front line, the heavy fighting is going on, the intensity of which, according to most observers, is gradually approaching that of 2014-2015. The situation is particular hard in the area of Donetsk, its satellite town of Makeevka, Dokuchaevsk in the south, Gorlovka in the north, and Yasinovataya situated between Donetsk and Gorlovka.
The Ukrainian side is openly using artillery of calibers prohibited by the Minsk Agreements. Among hundreds of bombardments of the DPR territory by Kiev, which are daily reported by the DPR Defense Ministry, dozens are carried out with 122 and 152mm cannons. In addition, the Ukrainian army continues to traditionally use infantry fighting vehicles, mortars, grenade launchers and small arms.
Two days ago, soldiers of the DPR army DNI, located near the Donetsk airport, reported the arrival of a few rockets from positions of the Ukrainian army. The few residents remaining in suburbs adjacent to the airport said that, on that night, their houses had been shaking.
After the severe attack at Donetsk and Makeevka a few days ago, which resulted in 20 civilians wounded, every bombardment by Kiev is answered by the DPR army with counter-battery fire on the positions of the Ukrainian military. Two days ago, according to the DPR soldiers, they were able to hit a Ukrainian ammunition depot in the west of Donetsk, which caused a massive detonation.
On the same day, Kiev appealed to the OSCE with a statement on the Minsk Agreements violation by the DPR. The press centre of the ATO headquarters accused the Republican army of 58 bombardments of their positions, including 3 shots from a 122mm motorised artillery system and one shot from a tank. In their statement there was no information about either civilian casualties and destruction of civilian objects or losses of the Ukrainian military.
At the same time, only over the past few days, the leaders of the Right Sector and Ukrainian volunteers reported the heavy, up to 70 men, casualties among nationalist radicals. In response to their statements, the speaker of the ATO said that the Defense Ministry of Ukraine considered the losses of the Right Sector non-combat, and would investigate the unauthorised presence of people not belonging to the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the forefront.
Two days ago, the head of the Kiev trade union of health care workers said that, for five months of 2016 alone, medical institutions of the capital of Ukraine had received about 3,500 wounded from the ATO area.
The destruction of Ukrainian ammunition in the area of Donetsk allowed residents of the DPR capital to spend the last two days in a relative quiet. However, in the south and north of the Republic, Kiev continued massive attacks.
On the same day when Kiev complained to the OSCE about 58 bombardments of their positions by the DPR, the Ukrainian army shelled Dokuchaevsk in the south of the DPR with 152mm cannons. According to the DPR Defense Ministry, 11 artillery projectiles were launched at the city, resulting in 3 houses destroyed. A nearby village was hit that night by the Ukrainian military with 35 152mm artillery projectiles.
In the north of the Republic, Gorlovka was again under the fire of Ukrainian artillery, and this time not only its northern suburbs were hit. Residents reported that shells coming from the Ukrainian positions landed even in the city centre. According to the city authorities, as a result of the bombardment, 15 houses were fully or partially damaged.
Recently, the Ukrainian military also began shelling the peaceful population of Donbass even in Kiev-controlled areas. In particular, according to the DPR Defense Ministry, yesterday a Ukrainian unit opened fire, with small arms, on civilians who were waiting for crossing between the Ukrainian checkpoint and the Ukrainian customs. According to witnesses, two civilians were wounded, and the rest fled deep into the territory controlled by Ukraine.
The same night, the Ukrainian artillery shelled the residential areas of a locality in the west of Donetsk, trying, apparently, to put the blame for the bombardment on the DPR or provoke the Army of the Republic to open return fire.
From Gorlovka also came another disturbing piece of news. According to the DPR intelligence, the Ukrainian military moved 1 kilometre deeper into the "grey" zone. Previously, the distance between checkpoints of Kiev and the DNI was 3 kilometres, and even then, according to the DPR soldiers on positions, in this sector there was not a single day without bombardments and clashes.
At the same time, Kiev does not only continue to seize sections of the "grey" zone, but also openly carries out regrouping in order to surround Dokuchaevsk and cut off Donetsk from the southern territories of the Republic, which would enable it to get as quickly as possible to the border with Russia.
After massive bombardments of the DPR by the Ukrainian army at the end of last week, during the negotiations in Minsk another “silence regime” was declared and a commission to investigate them was created. The representative of Kiev in the humanitarian subgroup of the Contact Group said that the negotiations were very difficult, but indispensable in order to give Ukraine a break and an opportunity to strengthen its army during this break.
The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine said that the country was running out of ammunition that it had "inherited" from the Soviet Union. Since the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine was artificially, according to him, blocked, he gave the order to organise, as soon as possible, the production of its own ammunition in the country. This program is expected to involve about 800 Ukrainian enterprises.
The President of Ukraine Poroshenko announced to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine the need to prepare the infrastructure and appropriate material and technical base in order to be able, if necessary, to promptly expand the guerrilla movement in the country.