Donetsk Blog, May 27: Battles Along Entire Front - Demilitarised Zone Seized - Kiev's Breakthrough Attempts

Fri, May 27, 2016
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Ukraine’s civil war is still very much ongoing.  Both sides are exchanging fire. Civilians and soldiers continue to die on both sides.

DONi was recently founded by a Finnish journalist and Russian businessman whom we know, and we have every reason to believe that their reporting can be relied on as truthful.  More information about the agency follows below this report.

Due to its slow, simmering nature, events in Novorossiya rarely make headlines, so people forget there is a real war going on.

Donetsk, Friday, May 27, 16.30 pm. Exclusive to Russia Insider

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(Attn readers: this is frequent feature - if you would like to have clarification of facts mentioned here, additional information, more explanation of why certain events are happening, please ask us in the comments section, or email the author at:   i.burya@dninews.com   This will help us provide you with information you want to have.)


Over the past three days, the situation on the frontline has deteriorated. Kiev significantly increased the intensity of attacks, the number of which, according to the DPR Defence Ministry, exceeded 500 on some days. Along the entire frontline, there is fighting involving infantry, particularly in the strategic sectors, such as suburbs of Donetsk, the Yasinovatstky checkpoint, near Gorlovka in the north, and in the areas of Kominternovo and Dokuchaevsk in the south.

The intensification of the hostilities primarily affects civilians. In addition to small fights, the Ukrainian side daily shells the northern outskirts of Gorlovka with mortars, grenade launchers, armored vehicles, and anti-aircraft systems. Two days ago, the local authorities reported that a private home had burned down there as a result of a direct hit.

On the same day, Kiev severely shelled Dokuchaevsk. According to DPR soldiers on the ground, for 30 minutes the Ukrainian side launched 42 120mm mortar bombs on the town. The town authorities reported that the bombardment resulted in the wounding of a young woman as well as damage to four homes and severe damage to a motor company and a gas pipeline.

To the west of Donetsk, the Ukrainian side constantly open fire on the locality of Staromykhailovka, which DONi reporters visited after one of the attacks. The bombardment occurred at night when the residents were asleep, destroying eight homes and causing serious damage to the local church and a kindergarten. On arriving there, OSCE observers only documented the fact of the bombardment and the destruction.

DPR authorities report that as a result of bombardments, over the past three days three civilians were injured and 19 homes and structures damaged.

To prevent Ukrainian heavy weapons approaching the localities of the DPR, and their subversive groups trying to penetrate the territory of the Republic, the DPR soldiers began to covertly advance into the "grey" zone, occupying key positions there. As a result, groups of the Ukrainian military, trying to reach the rear of the DPR army, have been forced to retreat to their territory, suffering losses in the process.

According to DPR soldiers on the ground, the Ukrainian military are in turn seizing the "grey" zone in the area of Elenovka, where in late April the Ukrainian side shelled a line of civilian cars, leading to the death of five DRP citizens, including a pregnant woman. The Ukrainian military have come so close to the positions of the DPR army that their soldiers periodically enter into the direct line of sight of Republican soldiers at the checkpoints there.

The DPR army has also managed to gain a foothold in the outskirts of Avdeevka, located to the north of Donetsk, from which Kiev daily shells the airport area and the northern outskirts of the DPR capital. DPR soldiers state that the distance between their positions and those of the enemy ranges from between 30 to 50 meters in that area. As a result, according to the DPR Defense Ministry, a soldier and officer accidentally drove into the territory controlled by the Republic two days ago and were taken prisoner.

Yesterday the positions of the DPR army in that area were attacked by Kiev. Judging by the nature of the attack, the Ukrainian side had intended to carry out a reconnaissance in force, although it is possible that their ultimate goal was to attempt a breakthrough. The Ukrainian units were pushed back to their original positions, losing, according to the DPR Defense Ministry, six soldiers dead and about a dozen wounded. The DPR losses in repelling the Ukrainian attack were two dead and one wounded.

Kiev also continues to deliver to the front line heavy weapons, including self-propelled artillery systems, “Grad” MLRS’s, tanks, MT-LB (multi-purpose armoured transporters), howitzers, and anti-tank guns (see below pictures of weapons mentioned). In addition, according to DPR intelligence, the Ukrainian side is transporting to the front line, in the area of ​​the Yasinovatsky checkpoint, several units of the "Shilka" motorised anti-aircraft system, presumably to strike at close range with maximum force. The fiercest battles have been carried out in his area in recent months, and the Ukrainian army has repeatedly tried to break through the defenses of the DPR army.

The aggravation on the front line has traditionally coincided with the visit to Donbass of the deputy head of the OSCE mission in Ukraine, Alexander Hug. Not so long ago, in response to a question from DONi news agency about the routine of documenting attacks, Alexander Hug stated that the OSCE observers should record only those facts they saw with their own eyes. However, whenever under fire, they immediately leave, or, if it turns out to be impossible, merely document the number of explosions. There were cases when they visited a shelled locality many hours after the bombardment, documenting only the destruction.

Moreover, residents of Kalinovka, a village on the LPR territory, visited by the OSCE observers following another bombardment, said that representatives of the mission had been most interested in the location of LPR army positions, as well as in information regarding whether any equipment had passed through the village. The locals also added that they constantly saw the OSCE drones flying right over the village.

The DPR authorities believe that the intensification of hostilities in Donbas is related to an appeal to the West by President Poroshenko of Ukraine to place an international armed mission in the east of the country. Neither he nor anybody in the West is interested in the opinion of the residents of Donbass as a part of the united – as Poroshenko constantly repeats - country.

In response, a few days ago the head of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, announced that any attempt of any armed force to cross the DPR border, without coordination with the authorities of the Republic, would be regarded as an invasion and be repulsed.

A command and staff exercise was held over the past two days in the Republic under the supervision of the DPR Defense Minister together with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of State Security, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Emergency Situations. During the exercise, a coordination of the power structures units on the defense of the Republic in the course of repulsing enemy aggression was carried out.


Information on weapons mentioned in this article

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A mortar is a tube-like cannon which fires a projectile which explodes upon impact. They have ranges of up to 3 miles

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A grenade launcher

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An infantry fighting vehicle

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A 152mm motorised artillery system “Akatsia”

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A multi-purpose armoured transporter

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A 122mm howitzer D-30

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An 100mm anti-tank cannon “Rapira”

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A MLRS “Grad”

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A motorised anti-aircraft system “Shilka”

The Donetsk International News Agency is a private, non-profit information agency located in the center of the city of Donetsk. It is headed by Finnish journalist, Janus Putkonen and has 10 full time journalists on staff. Approximately half of them are natives of Western European countries. Its website is:  www.dninews.com

 

 

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