Ukraine news/Archive/2016-03

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March, 2016

31.3 UAF shelled Spartak, a northern Donetsk suburb, from heavy 152 mm artillery. Veseloe, Zhabichevo, and Volvo center were shelled from 82 mm mortars. Donetsk-Gorlovka motorway and Yasinovataya checkpoint were shelled from 120 mm mortars.

Shelling continues; settlements of Zaitsevo and Golmovskii were shelled by UAF 'Grad' MLRS. OSCE was notified.

By official DPR data, four DPR soldiers were killed in the past week, 5 soldiers and 13 civilians were wounded. (However, Strelkov suggested higher losses, see talk page).

Cassad report, with maps, photos, videos, and comments from NAF and UAF sides (losses on UAF isde, in particular).

Opolchenie member 'Zodiak' believes that Ukraine used 'Pion' heavy artillery, reports strong explosions. Zhuchkovskii, now with opolchenie, also reports (but not first-hand) that 'Pion' (2С7) used, as well as other artillery and MLRS. Panicky reports from civilians that they are being killed, while the media looks elsewhere.

30.3 DPR MOD: Ukraine shelled DPR over 500 times in the last day. Two DPR soldiers [1] were killed by sniper fire near Donetsk.

26.3 DPR counter-attacks in Avdeevka industrial area. This appears to be in the neutral area (although the map we got, below, is not detailed enough; here is where it is ). This area was earlier captured by Ukraine, and used to shell the road (Gorlovka-Donetsk) and Yasinovataia. Ukraine proudly reported capture in the media earlier in March (example, +another. Videos made for dramatic effect also appeared).

Eduard Basurin: UAF intentionally shelled residential area of Makeevka. According to Eduard Basurin, Ukrainian command works according to plan developed by an adviser of the Ukrainian president on military matters Vladimir Gorbulin. "He (Gorbulin) openly said about the disturbing shelling along the line of contact, taking over neutral zones, complete blockade followed by a solution of the conflict by force", - said the representative of the Ministry of Defense.

Earlier today, Eduard Basurin said that UAF have been preparing for an attack in three directions of the front (Mariupol, Donetsk, Gorlovka) as evidenced by the increase in the concentration of troops near the line of contact, delivery of fuel and ammunition. Attack may start when roads improve.

25.3 Ten DPR servicemen were killed in the past week -DAN news

Ukrainian Attorney defending captured Russians Erofeev and Alexandrov was killed in Ukraine (he disappeared, and now his body was found).

From Kerry-Lavrov press conference: "In addition to the Normandy format, there is a two-way channel, which operates since the summer of last year by agreement between the presidents of Russia and the United States. We appreciate the interest of the United States to help resolve the situation." - Lavrov said. "Especially because the ultimate goals of the implementation of" Minsk-2 "for all external players are the same," - he added. Moscow hopes that "as in the case of Syria, the pressure on all parties will be applied also in the Ukrainian crisis."

24.3 According to media reports, current Rada speaker Groysman is nominated by Poroshenko block to be the next prime minister, while 'People Front" party of Yatseniuk is given opportunity to name next Rada speaker, and chooses (get ready for this) ...Andrey Parubiy . The same one who was leading Maidan 'self defense' and made some well-discussed trips to Odessa...

Makeevka (map) (website) was heavily shelled overnight by UAF-report and photos. 4 wounded, 2 houses destroyed, 16 damaged. Electricity supply interrupted. Makevka borders Donetsk city and is near Yasinovataia where there's lots of fighting recently. One DPR soldier was killed

23.3 "Kievan Rus'" battalion commander Evgenii Lavrov is quoted to say, from his interview to Gromadske TV, that 12 soldiers from the republic of Georgia and 3 Americans are serving under contract in his battalion, which participates in ATO in the East. This is direct violation of Minsk agreements, item 10:

Withdrawal of all foreign armed formations, military equipment, as well as mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine under monitoring of the OSCE. Disarmament of all illegal groups

21.3 Guilty verdict for Nadezhda Savchenko delivered in Donetsk district court of Rostov region, Russia. TASS, BBC.

Sentenced to 22 years in prison

20.3 It is said that Kiev ordered 5000 engines for flame-throws for infantry, said to start preparations for city fighting

19.3 UAF used flame-thrower in an attack under Yasinovataia. One NAF soldier was killed. The attack was repelled. Report.

17.3 UAF shelled DPR 280 times in one day -DAN news (similar numbers are routinely reported).

15.3 Zakharchenko: if OSCE, EU, USA will not stop Ukrainian military provocations, the situation may get out of control. According to Zakharchenko, they complained to OSCE when Ukraine started to capture settlements in the neutral zone, however OSCE response was that status of neutral zone is not defined in Minsk agreements, encouraging Ukraine to continue and leading to further provocations.

14.3 According to Novorossia war correspondent Marina Kharkova , 18 opolchenie were killed in recent clashes (Donetsk suburbs, Yasinovataia, Spartak, Zaitsevo), and 8 more died in hospitals. Photo shows Ukrainian armored vehicles and equipment, including anti-aircraft, apparently transported by train towards the separation line.

It is reported that Poroshenko choice for the new prime ministers narrowed to Jaresko or Samopomosh leader Sadovyi (or a third alternative gaining enough support from Rada). However, Sadovyi refused, saying that he cannot be responsible and undo all the ills done by others.

12.3 It is said that UAF started to evacuate civilians from Mar'inka, Donetsk suburb, in preparation for an attack. DPR is said to bringing reserves closer to separation line.

Continued clases under Yasinovataia. It is said that UAF authorized use of heavy artillery, and that it was actually used overnight (4 artillery shells fired). According to DPR, 31 UAF soldiers were killed in recent clashes under Yasinovataia, and UAF is hiding those losses (secret burials alleged).

8.3 Russian TV Zvezda, covering military affairs, published an extract from a report "War crimes of Ukrainian security officials: torture and inhuman treatment". Interviews of over 200 prisoners of war exchanged with Ukraine were used in the study. Period covered is 25 August 2014 to 20 January 2015. Several extreme example of torture are described in the extract (in Russian). Report was prepared by a non-governmental organization Foundation studies of problems of democracy (the head is Maxim Grigoriev), and the Russian Public Council for International Cooperation and Public Diplomacy, with the support of the Russian Peace Fund.

Full report (second), for the period from 25 August 2014 to 20 January 2015
First report, for the period from 25 August to 4 November 2014.

7.3 UAF captured territory in the neutral buffer zone near Yasinovataia-Gorlovka road and Yasinovataia checkpoint manned by DPR. They used this territory to shell civilian transport, forcing road closure. They launched an attack, shelled the DPR checkpoint the next day. Journalists at the checkpoint -report and videos

6.3 Russian embassy in Kiev attacked, after demonstration in support of Savchenko-report and videos. Broken glass, burned flag, effigy resembling Russian president; usual chants, 'glory to the nation-death to enemies' sort.

Earlier Savchenko announced going on 'dry' hunger strike, ie no food or water.
Response protest at Ukrainian embassy in Moscow was quickly put together by activists, some with familiar faces. About 300 people present, peaceful and separated by police cordon from the embassy.

According to Basurin, Russian general from peacekeeping JCCC (Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination ) came under Ukrainian fire near Donetsk, despite his Ukrainian counterpart being fully aware of his exact location -DAN news

4.3 Normandy four FM talks ended without an agreement on Donbass elections. German foreign minister dissatisfied with Normandy Four Paris talks, TASS (Eng.)

Little steps will not be enough for sure to calm down the situation for a long prospect and overcome the conflict," Steinmeier said. "Until stable ceasefire is reached, there is a threat of military and political escalation that could bury any attempts to implement the Minsk agreements.

3.3 Sources: The UN monitoring mission on human rights recommends that the Ukrainian authorities develop a procedure for recognition of acts of civil status (certificates of birth, death and marriage), issued to citizens on the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas. This is stated in the thirteenth report of the UN Monitoring mission on human rights in Ukraine presented in Kiev on Thursday, 3 March 2016, reports the UNIAN. The report covers the period from 16 November 2015 15 February 2016. Concerns on Ukraine not recognizing DPR/LPR passports, and thus affecting social benefits, were raised in the previous 12th report, by now easily available.

Ukrainian FM 'categorically objected' to those recommendations.

Russia recognized DPR/LPR passports, as well as vehicle registrations, according to border control service HQ of Russian FSB in Rostov region.

2.3 Trilateral contact group to discuss security issues today in Minsk, after being unable to come to an agreement on the previous day -RIA

1.3 Two DPR soldiers wounded in shelling of Donetsk by UAF (, English)

DNI news gives English version of main events, from DPR/Novorossia perspective. They seem OK, though unsure who exactly they are (Donbass International News Agency, located in Donetsk, they say; Janus Putkonen is the editor). Yet for 'official' version of important maters I'd stay with (or Rusvesna); those are in Russian only, but may be google-translated.