Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!

Donetsk Blog, July 8: Ukrainian Dirty Dozens - Russia Warns of Escalation - US Journalists Find No Russian Soldiers

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, July 8, 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.)

By mid-week, the intensity of attacks on the territory of the DPR by Kiev decreased slightly. There were still battles ongoing along the entire front line, with the Ukrainian side using mortars, infantry fighting vehicles, grenade launchers, and small arms, while earlier this week the DPR Defense Ministry reported of dozens of bombardments with artillery of a 122 and 152mm caliber.

The relative calm, however, did not last long. Yesterday the Ukrainian military again used heavy weapons during night attacks. Residents of the northern, western and south-western outskirts of Donetsk reported in social networks of explosions from mortars, one after the other. Periodically, even the central districts of the DPR capital heard artillery volleys.

The northern outskirts of Gorlovka, the largest city in the north of the DPR, and the Yasinovatskiy checkpoint, located between Donetsk and Gorlovka, suffered intensive artillery attacks on the Ukrainian side.

In the Logvinovo area where the Ukrainian army had made an unsuccessful attempt to break through a few days ago, the fighting was especially heavy. According to local residents, they heard artillery fire even with the windows closed.

Kiev has also begun provocative night shelling of the entry and exit checkpoint in the Gorlovka area, only one in the northern sector of the front. According to DPR fighters in positions, every night Ukrainian strike groups advance 200 to 300 meters and conduct aimed fire on the checkpoint, after which they return to their positions so that in the morning they can blame the attack the DPR army.

According to DPR authorities, as a result of attacks on the Ukrainian side, two DPR soldiers were wounded, as well as three civilians. In one of the districts of Donetsk, 29 homes were damaged and another completely burned, eight civilian cars and a bus were destroyed, and a gas pipeline and power lines damaged, which resulted in 132 homes left without gas and electricity.

Residents of localities affected by shelling again had to spend the night in basements. Those whose houses are destroyed and who have nowhere to go are forced to live in these cellars. In one of the most shelled suburbs of Donetsk, residents have been living in such conditions, with children, for a year and a half. It is dangerous for them to go out, even during the day, due to Ukrainian snipers.

After another bombardment of civilians, the DPR army opened return fire, which the press service of the Ukrainian so-called anti-terrorist operation (ATO) naturally labelled an unprovoked attack on Ukrainian positions. There was, as usual, no data on the Ukrainian losses in the press service report, while the DPR soldiers in positions reported of at least one Ukrainian soldier killed and four wounded.

Kiev also continues to conceal the scale of non-combat losses in its army. According to DPR intelligence, during night-time bombardment, and due to lack of coordination in the Ukrainian army command, one of their units came under "friendly" fire. Moreover, the attack was apparently carried out with heavy artillery, as the affected unit lost two infantry fighting vehicles and one tank.

Combat and non-combat losses in the Ukrainian army, as well as the failure of the last two waves of mobilization, lead to the fact that many Ukrainian units in the ATO area are undermanned. Due to this fact, the unit commanders are doing everything possible to delay the demobilization of their subordinates. In one of the units, mobilization documents were "lost", which led to riots, resulting, according to the medical staff of a hospital in Kiev-controlled territory, in six soldiers being hospitalized with gunshot wounds and injuries.

To replenish the undermanned units, the Ukrainian authorities also use pardoned criminals. According to LPR intelligence, 30 former prisoners arrived a week ago to one of the training camps located near the front line. After a three-day training session, they were handed weapons and given the order to go to the front line. That same night they deserted with their arms. Kiev announced an “intercept" operation, which has not yet produced any results.

At the same time, the delivery by the Ukrainian authorities of weapons and equipment to the front line does not stop for a single day. Over the past few days alone, DPR intelligence sources on the ground reported the arrival at the different sections of the front of dozens of tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled and towed artillery systems, and "Grad" MLRS’s (see below pictures of weapons mentioned), as well as another group of personnel from a private military company.

In addition, according to DPR intelligence, three days ago a Ukrainian unit of heavy drones capable of carrying a combat load arrived in the south-west of Donetsk.

Two days ago, after a meeting with the ambassadors of France and Germany in Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement stating that by all indications, the Ukrainian authorities are preparing to intensify the hostilities in Donbass. The escalation of tension along the contact line, caused by the constant strengthening by the Ukrainian group, is also noted by the OSCE observation mission.

Today in Warsaw the NATO summit begins, during which it is once again planned to discuss ways of containing Russia and its allegedly direct involvement in the conflict in Donbass.

At the same time, a group of American journalists has just visited Donbass. They interviewed both the DPR army soldiers in positions, literally under fire, and civilians living under unceasing bombardments who know perfectly well where these bombardments are coming from. The authors of the video report personally verified that the DPR army soldiers are all local residents.

“Here on this site there are meant to be thousands of Russian soldiers, those very soldiers the officials from the State Department keep talking about. But they are invisible. They are not here,” says Nick Schifrin, the author of the report.

Information on weapons mentioned in this article

Image icon maxresdefault.jpg
A mortar is a tube-like cannon which fires a projectile which explodes upon impact. They have ranges of up to 3 miles
Image icon 1327459785_spg-d0001.jpg
A grenade launcher
Image icon bmp-2.11609.jpg
An infantry fighting vehicle
Image icon 799bad5a3b514f096e69bbc4a7896cd91420187985.jpg
A 122mm motorised artillery system “Gvozdika”
Image icon 2s3-akatsiya-sajjiouau-03.jpg
A 152mm motorised artillery system “Akatsia”
Image icon gaubitsa-d-30-05.jpg
A 122mm howitzer D-30
Image icon 1424187184_6.jpg
A 122mm MLRS “Grad”
Image icon udarnye_bespilotniki_3.jpg
An assault drone

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:


Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Anyone is free to republish, copy, and redistribute the text in this content (but not the images or videos) in any medium or format, with the right to remix, transform, and build upon it, even commercially, as long as they provide a backlink and credit to Russia Insider. It is not necessary to notify Russia Insider. Licensed Creative Commons

Our commenting rules: You can say pretty much anything except the F word. If you are abusive, obscene, or a paid troll, we will ban you. Full statement from the Editor, Charles Bausman.