Attack on 51st Brigade roadblock in Voknovakha, May 22, 2014

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Unknown gunmen attacked a camp of the 51st Mechanized Brigade in Volnovakha in Donetsk Oblast / People's Republic and killed some 20 Ukrainian reserve soldiers. Initial sources claimed the attackers were from the People's Militias but now Russian sources are spinning the story: the attackers were "punishers" paid by Kolomoyskyi.[1]

The unit consisted of recruits to a volunteer brigade formed two months ago and connected to the 51st Mechanized Brigade stationed at Volodymyr-Volynskyi in Volyn Oblast, on the border with Poland. The camp was located on the grounds of the Forrest Park eco hotel between Volodymyrivka and Volnovakha near the H-20 road connecting Donetsk to Mariupol.

Reports on the number of dead vary from 15 to 30. Russkaya Vesna cites local doctors and says 30 "visitors" were killed and another 35 people were hospitalized.

Junta coordinator Dmitry Tymchuk says on his Facebook page that 8 were killed and 18 wounded.

(Dmitry Tymchuk flew Ukrainian Mi-24 attack helicopters in Congo for the UN.)

The NazGuard had 3 BMP tanks. at least 3 of them were destroyed in the attack.

Police later arrived at the scene but they did not interfere.

Helicopter attack

The attack started around 4:30 am. A helicopter attack by two Mi-24 attack helicopters and one Mi-8 followed some 3 hours later.[2]


Privat Bank vans

The 30 attackers arrived in 2 Jeeps and lightly armored "collector vans" with markings of Privat Bank. One of the green vans was seen on a video taken from a passing truck. It was apparently later destroyed and set on fire by the helicopter attack.

The vans were possible confiscated from oligarch and Pravy Sector financier Ihor Kolomoyskyi fleet in Gorlovka in April 28th.

Privat Bank claims the vans were taken over by the people's militias but there is evidence the opposite.

This story from May 15th tells of Kolomoisky's "Dnepr" Battalion driving around Kranoarmeysk in Privat Bank vans.

This source claims that the burnt-out van on the scene had Kranoarmeysk license plates

Donbass People's Militia?

These sources say the attackers were from the Donbass People's Militia or other groups alligned with the People's Republic of Donetsk.

Dnepr Battalion?

L!FE News has a different spin to the story: The attackers were not militiamen but "punishers" working for Kolomoyskyi. Allegedly the base was attacked because the solders had refused to "crush the resistance" and to fire on civilians.

According to LIFE News the attack ended with a massacre of ten solders who where put on their knees and executed "Aleppo style."[3]


This version of events was basically collaborated in a video statement by a spokesperson for the Donetsk People's Republic, according to a tweet publishing a translated transcript as follows[4]:


Gorlivka claim

This video show a column of the Gorlivka militia arriving in Donetsk:

Police escort, green Privat Bank cash transport, black 1990s Mercedes S-series sedan (possible armored), 3 Kamaz trucks, one pickup.


Aftermath: 51st Brigade removed?