Donbass blog, June 3: Ukrainian Army Repelled in West - DPR Town Surrounded in South - Donbass Appeals to World Community
Over the past three days fierce clashes were taking place along the entire contact line. According to the DPR Defense Ministry, in some sectors of the front the Ukrainian army attacked almost on a regular basis, trying to break the defense of the DPR army. In bombardments Kiev applied mainly mortars, which were joined at night by infantry fighting vehicles, tanks and anti-aircraft systems.
The most intense fightings happened, as before, in the northern outskirts of Gorlovka, the largest city in the north of the DPR, in the area of the Yasinovatsky checkpoint, located between Gorlovka and Donetsk, in the northern and western outskirts of Donetsk, and in Dokuchaevsk, in the south of the Republic.
A particularly tense situation prevails in the area of Dokuchaevsk which, according to the DPR soldiers, is almost surrounded by the Ukrainian army. For six weeks, 8,000 residents have remained without water supply. A pumping station in the city was damaged by a bombardment by Kiev, and the local authorities reported that the endless attacks of the Ukrainian military did not allow restoring it.
In the area of the Yasinovatsky checkpoint, over the past few days, the Ukrainian troops, according to soldiers on the DPR position, made several attempts to break the defense of the Republican army. After each attack, they received a rebuff and were forced to return to their original positions, incurring heavy losses.
In the Avdeevka direction, to the north-west of Donetsk, after a period of low-intensity clashes, the intense fighting renewed as well. For several days residents of the northern outskirts of Donetsk heard explosions, especially intense at night. However, in this direction, according to men in the DPR positions, the Kiev troops suffered significant losses and were forced to give up their positions. Ukrainian volunteers confirmed this information, reporting on social networks that the Ukrainian army had retreated one kilometre.
Attacks and counter-attacks along the entire front line caused losses on both sides. The DPR Defense Ministry reported that one DPR soldier was killed in recent days and another three wounded. In addition, according to the local authorities, a bombardment of the outskirts of Donetsk resulted in one civilian killed and another wounded. Only in the past night, in Donetsk four private houses were damaged by shelling from the Ukrainian side. Three other houses were partially destroyed in the northern outskirts of Gorlovka in the previous night.
Representatives of the OSCE mission also came under fire from the Ukrainian side, for the second time this week, in the south of the Republic. The observers had to stay down for 40 minutes, with one of the DPR soldiers wounded while covering their retreat to a safe place.
As a result, the deputy head of the OSCE mission in Ukraine, Alexander Hug said that the situation on the frontline had become evidently tense. According to him, the parties to the armed conflict are too close to each other, which creates tension and makes the situation unpredictable. The reason for the sides of the conflict getting too close, namely, the seizure of entire sections of the "grey" zone by the Ukrainian army, remained outside the OSCE official's report.
The press centre of the ATO headquarters announced daily losses of the Ukrainian military as from three to five men killed and between four and eight wounded. At the same time, according to sources of the DPR intelligence on the ground, only in the area of Avdeevka, a unit of the Ukrainian army lost overnight 14 men killed. This unit attempted to retreat during clashes with the DPR army and allegedly came under fire by one of nationalist battalions, most of which, either by order of the Ukrainian command or on their own initiative, have recently taken on functions of defensive squads.
In the area of Gorlovka the DPR soldiers liquidated a Ukrainian sniper, which was later confirmed by the Ukrainian media. The number of snipers all along the contact line, however, is constantly growing. The DPR intelligence reported clusters of Ukrainian snipers near Avdeevka and Donetsk, as well as the arrival in the area of Donetsk of up to 100 foreign mercenaries. There the Ukrainian side is also carrying out the clearance of approaches to the front line, presumably to facilitate the penetration of their subversive groups into the DPR territory.
Kiev has also significantly stepped up the use of drones, especially over Donets. A "hunt" for them is clearly audible even in the central district of the DPR capital every night. In the areas of Avdeevka and Gorlovka the DPR soldiers on positions also report that almost every attack begins immediately after the passage of a Ukrainian drone over the contact line.
At the same time, the Ukrainian side does not "hunt" only the DPR drones, but also those of the OSCE. Yesterday Saydik Martin, the representative of the mission in the Minsk negotiations, demanded the punishment of those who had opened fire on the OSCE observers in the south of the DPR and downed a drone of the mission.
It looks like Kiev is doing its best to hide from the international observers things on its side of the contact line, in the first place, the continued amassing of heavy weapons on front. Just yesterday the DPR intelligence found another cluster of Ukrainian tanks, motorised artillery systems and armoured personnel carriers near Donetsk. Sources of the DPR intelligence on the ground reported that another column was moving toward the DPR capital, consisting of tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, armoured personnel carriers, multi-purpose armoured transporters, anti-aircraft systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, howitzers, anti-tank cannons and heavy mortars.
During another round of the Minsk negotiations, held in the past two days, the OSCE representative Martin Saydik also informed of the lack of any positive changes. The Kiev officials had refused to discuss the amnesty bill and a road map of the political settlement, claiming a lack of authority.
In view of the open sabotage of the Minsk Agreements by Kiev, the leaders of the Republics of Donbass have initiated collecting signatures for a petition calling on the international organisations to stop the genocide of the people of Donbas by the Ukrainian authorities.