Ukraine news/Archive/2016-06

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June, 2016

UN OCHA Humanitarian Bulletin -Ukraine, June 2016.

June has been characterised by intense fighting in the conflict area in eastern Ukraine, resulting in the highest number of civilian casualties in a month since August 2015. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 69 conflict-related civilian casualties in June (12 fatalities and 57 injuries). The majority of the casualties (four fatalities and 37 injuries) were caused by shelling from various artillery systems, including calibres prohibited by the Minsk Agreement. Moreover, 19 casualties (five killed and 14 injured) were caused by mines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices. Six civilians were injured by small arms including sniper fire across the ‘contact line’. Two boys were killed by electrocution from a power line downed by shelling. Since the beginning of the conflict, 21,880 people were wounded and 9,470 killed, up to 2,000 of the fatalities were civilians.
The situation is prone to further deterioration since the parties strive to gain territory in the buffer zone and, in several locations, have been moving their positions closer to one another in the past two weeks.

29.6 An attempt on life of DPR commander "Machete" near Debaltsevo. He and his wife were in a car which came under fire from a sniper rifle and a machine gun. Both managed to drop on the floor and survive.

28.6 UAF attempted to break through DPR defenses near Debaltsevo and were able to advance 4 kilometers, using banned artillery and armored vehicles (map).

UAF is said to suffer losses, two platoons of tanks T-64BV, and a large number of infantry, repelled to second line of DPR defense- Rusvesna
Cassad update, with maps and social media
It is said that LPR repelled UAF attack at Logvinovo.

DPR warns that situation becomes critical. DPR was shelled 830 times in the past day all over the contact line, including over 100 times by 152 and 122 mm artillery prohibited (by exclusion zones) according to Minsk 2 agreements

DPR asks Normandy 4 (and USA) to find firmer way for their recommendations, and introduce sanctions and punishment for not fulfilling those -DAN news . (That's quite reasonable, as security obligations are not fulfilled, but there is a danger if that is implemented not in good faith--and that's not impossible. May get some false flaggers and media warriors busy, in an unhealthy way. -Yet may be still better than guns, though.)

DPR will review its response procedures so that violations are not unpunished -Rusvesna

27.6 According to Ukrainian sources, Right Sector fighters attacked DPR positions in Shirokino, under Mariupol; 3 were killed and 6-8 captured according to report. Photo shows people with bags over head. (Also here)

Those were 2 DPR deminers killed, 8 taken prisoners by Ukraine. They were doing demining work in Shirokino in coordination with the OSCE mission (DAN news), (TASS).

UAF shells residential area in Kuibyshevskii district of Donetsk. Houses were damaged; there were children playing outside at the time.

Merkel at a press conference with Groisman tells that at present elections in Donbas are not possible -report, video

26.6 Parubii tells Nuland that Ukraine is not ready to implement constitutional amendments before a full ceasefire lasting some 30-60 days. Nuland was in Moscow to meet Surkov prior to that. Also Poroshenko was at the East Front prior to that, to bring soldiers some cherrys and to report in media on being fired at by the enemy.

25.6 Finally after almost 1.5 years of Minsk 2 violations, DPR will "insist on sanctions mechanism" for violations of " regime of quiet" in Donbas. According to Pushilin, all violations are logged and discussed by security subgroup, but without sanctions mechanism it is difficult to do anything about it in practice.

24.6 Explosion at a hospital in central Donetsk was an assassination attempt on Motorola, who has an eye wound. No injuries or casualties reported.

"It was not possible for perpetrators not to see that there were patients, doctors, customers, children at the hospital at that time. Therefore, it is nothing but a terrorist act" according to Motorola, who was accompanied by pregnant wife at the hospital. According to investigators, double explosion was planned, but did not happen as the device was not installed correctly.

22.6 On the 75th anniversary of the start of the Great Patriotic War, Zakharchenko holds question and answer session online with residents of Kiev.

20.6 'Situation aggravates in the south', DoNi press (English).

DPR names UAF officer who is said to be responsible for shelling residential areas of Novomarevka, Sahanka and Kominternovo Novoazovskiy district in the south of DPR on June 20, 2016; 11 houses were damaged as a result. Also noted is exchange of fire between UAF and 'Azov' nationalist battalion on June 21; 5 people were killed (DAN news).

19.6 Quoting Ukrainian sources, three UAF soldiers were killed, one by shelling and two in landmine explosion. One soldier was wounded.

18.6 According to DPR tactical command chief Denis Sinenkov, UAF was ordered to fire on Right Sector positions from the flanks along separation line, than blame DPR. According to him, 18 RS fighters were killed in the past week. One such incident occurred under Avdeevka on 12-13 June; 4 RS fighters were killed, 12 wounded. He also mentions discrepancy between official ATO losses announcements and numbers provided by 'ATO Nurses/Kharkiv', indicating that RS losses are not officially acknowledged. (Does not look easy to get losses info from that ATO nurses cite....).

Official ATO cites? One such apparently closed down. Maybe here, and spokesman Vladislav Seleznev page.

17.6 DPR was shelled over 500 times in the past day. One DPR soldier was killed, one civilian was wounded. Six houses in Donetsk were damaged, two of them burned down. (DAN news).

In the past week , 3 DPR soldiers were killed, 6 civilians were wounded. DPR was helled over 3500 times; artillery, mortars, small firearms were used. Houses were damaged in Gorlovka, Dokuchaevsk, Donetsk. (DAN news)

16.6 DPR soldier was killed by sniper fire in 'grey zone' in Zaitsevo, north of Gorlovka. During evacuation attempt, another body was found. Continued sniper fire prevented recovery; bodies were evacuated after negotiations by Russian representatives of JCCC center with Ukrainian counterparts; 'calm period' was introduced and bodies evacuated. (DAN news).

15.6 DPR accused UAF commander in ordering shelling of residential areas of Krasnogorovka (Ukrainian-held) and Staromikhailovka (western Donetsk) using 152 mm howitzers, than firing on Right Sector imitating DPR response; 4 RS fighters were wounded.

14.6 Ukrainian citizens Soloshenko and Afanasiev, who spent almost two years in prison in Russia, were released and boarded a plane flying from Moscow to Kiev. Soloshenko was accused of attempting to buy spare parts for S-300 antiaircraft missile system; Afansiev campaigned in support of Ukraine in Crimea, was accused of planned vandalism. Ukrainian sources suggest that they can be exchanged for 'two Russian citizens' imprisoned after May 2, 2014 events in Odessa (names were not provided; see also: Evgenii Mefedov in 27.5.2016 news item).

'Odessa journalists', Ukrainian citizens Yelena Glishinskaya (imprisoned in Odessa for 'separatism and treason') and Vitalii Didenko (editor in chief of 'Infotsentr' sentenced for 3 years in prison ) were delivered to Moscow in an apparent exchange deal. Said to be among organizers of 'People's Rada of Besarabia'​.

12.6 Video, Kiev region of Donetsk under fire.

After some time, for an unknown reason there were explosions and strong fire started in the Ukrainian-held village of Vodianoe.

Video by 'DoKTor GoR' from Gorlovka. He starts comments saying that small firearms are heard and mortars fire now expected. Muted sounds of shelling are heard, e.g. around 1:06, and stating around 1:47; loud heavy weapon explosion right before 2:00 timestamp. He comments that 'they are now not ashamed (to shell) when there is still daylight'

It is said, quoting Ukrainian sources, that over 50 UAF and Right Sector fighters were wounded or killed by return fire on Avdeevka and Marinka

11.6 It is reported that Ukraine used heavy 152 mm artillery to shell Makeevka, Yasinovataya; 20 shells said to be fired. A civilian was wounded in Makeevka.

Yasinovataya checkpoint and industrial zone were shelled from 122 mm artillery, 15 shells were fired.

Nine UAF soldiers were killed, 19 wounded in failed Ukrainian attacks under Gorlovka and Avdeevka -DAN news. DPR shelled over 650 times in the past day.

10.6 One civilian, 4 soldiers were killed in DPR in the past week, 21 were wounded.

9.6 In Lvov, protests aimed at city administration and Sadovyi; some clashes, interior troops deployed. Apparently triggered by death of firefighters extinguishing fires at a local landfill

1.6 Zakharchenko initiates public petition to UN, on Ukraine not fulfilling Minsk agreements, even the first items concerning security report and official announcement (Russ.)

Lavrov stated that recognition of DPR and LPR by Russia will be 'counterproductive'

You can slam the door, you can follow the example of those who, because of their inability to use diplomatic, political instruments, begin to immediately threaten that we recognize, sanction, and so on. I am convinced that it would be counter-productive, it at least gives occasion to the West to depart from the present, even a very gentle , pressure on Kiev.
Comments draw sharp criticism from 'patriotic opposition' in Russia.