This post first appeared on Russia Insider
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, April 15, 16.30 pm. Exclusive to Russia Insider
(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: [email protected] This will help us provide you with information you want to have.)
April 13 represented two years since Ukraine started its so-called anti-terrorist operation (ATO), which turned into a war against the people of Donbass. Naturally, the intensity of attacks on the Ukrainian side significantly increased around this date. There is fighting along the entire front line. Kiev is not only using mortars, grenade launchers and small arms, but artillery, tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, anti-aircraft systems and MLRS also (see below pictures of weapons mentioned).
The situation remains the tensest on the northern and western outskirts of Donetsk, in the Mariupol direction to the south from the DPR capital and in the suburbs of Gorlovka situated in the north of the DPR.
On the northern outskirts of Donetsk bombardment is constant, continuing throughout the night. According to soldiers in DPR positions, they usually commence with mortar fire, followed by shells from Ukrainian tanks and motorised artillery systems. After that, infantry are engaged in fighting lasting hours, with the Ukrainian side supported by mortars.
In one of the western suburbs of Donetsk during the night of April 13, according to a few residents remaining there, about 40 mortar bombs launched from the Ukrainian side landed there. A large-caliber artillery projectile also landed on the edge of a central district of the DPR capital. One of our reporters who lives near this place heard the explosion, which made windows and walls of neighbouring houses shake.
At the Yasinovatsky checkpoint, situated on the Donetsk-Gorlovka road, fighting involving infantry continues around the clock. The Ukrainian troops have been attacking the checkpoint for over a month. According to DPR soldiers, the Ukrainian military shell it at night with mortars and artillery of all types. Two days ago, the area of the railway station was hit by several 122mm artillery shells. Another night the Ukrainian side made several single launches from a “Grad” MLRS.
In some areas to the south of Donetsk a few nights were relatively quiet, but on April 13 the intensity of mortar bombing dramatically increased there. During the night, residents of one of the localities counted over 55 mortar bombs launched from Ukrainian positions. As a result of the bombardment, roofs were riddled with shrapnel, windows were shattered, and walls damaged.
In Mariupol, the largest city in the south of Donbass, in one of the central streets, local partisans, passing by a group of Ukrainian soldiers in a car, threw a grenade at them. Local residents inform that the Ukrainian command announced an "Interception" plan, which, according to available information, has so far failed.
In attacks on the northern outskirts of Gorlovka, according to the DPR soldiers and local residents, Kiev uses all equipment amassed there, including heavy artillery, infantry fighting vehicles, armoured personnel carriers, anti-aircraft systems, as well as tanks, which deliberately shell residential areas.
One such bombardment from the Ukrainian side started immediately after the OSCE mission completed its inspection. DONi reporters accompanied the OSCE observers and were able to record both the attack and the immediate departure of the observers (see video below). Instead of documenting a clear violation of the Minsk Agreements by Kiev, Alexander Hug, the deputy head of the OSCE mission in Ukraine, promised to install a video camera in this locality in order to facilitate the recording of violations.
The next day the local authorities reported that about ten 82mm mortar bombs landed, resulting in four private homes being seriously damaged. The DPR Defense Ministry also informed that on April 13, as a result of the bombing, one DPR soldier was killed and two civilians wounded.
On one segment of the front line near Gorlovka, DPR army units managed to push the Ukrainian military back. The result was a neutral zone about three kilometres wide between the positions of the DPR army and the Ukrainian troops where several minor localities are situated. Seeking to return the lost territory, the Ukrainian military shelled with heavy artillery both the DPR positions and those localities. According to local authorities, in the night of April 13 alone, four 122mm artillery shells were documented as hitting residential areas.
In their turn, Kiev also reports of a record number of attacks by the DPR and LPR, accusing them of using the type of heavy equipment prohibited by the Minsk Agreements. However, according to the ATO press service, the Ukrainian positions are always shelled when the OSCE representatives are not there. Moreover, in the absence of real evidence of such attacks, the Ukrainian authorities sometimes attribute to the DPR and LPR errors in shelling made by their own side.
For example, on April 13, Kiev reported of the bombardment of a school by the DPR in Ukrainian-controlled Avdeevka, situated near Donetsk. The DPR Defense Ministry believes that the school was most likely mistakenly hit by Ukrainian artillery, as the Republic does not have on the front line the type of artillery systems used in the attack, something that was repeatedly confirmed by the OSCE mission.
Yesterday, with the Ukrainian artillery incessantly at work in Donbass, Ukraine changed the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. However, the new authorities are no more willing to resolve the conflict in Donbass peacefully that the previous ones.
In his first speech, the new Prime Minister, Volodymyr Groisman, announced his intention to “heal the wounds of Ukrainians by returning the Crimea and Donbass.”
A former Ukrainian ATO spokesman, Tymchuk, informed of a meeting of Ukrainian MPs with a US delegation headed by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Michael Carpenter, during which the American side threatened to cease military assistance to Ukraine if by July 2016 there were no demonstrable results of military reform.
The Defense Ministry of Ukraine announced that the “Donbass” and “Aidar” nationalist battalions, comprising residents of the former Donetsk and Luhansk regions, were to be united and shortly sent to the east.
The new government created the Anti Terrorist Operation (ATO) Ministry, which clearly indicates that Kiev is planning to continue it.
Information on weapons mentioned in this article
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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