Donetsk Blog, June 17: DPR’s Counter-Battery Fire - Kiev Disowns Radicals - Poroshenko Prepares for Guerrilla War

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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, June 17, 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:   This will help us provide you with information you want to have.)

Heavy fighting continues along the entire front line in Donbass over the last few days, the intensity of which, according to most observers, is gradually approaching that of 2014-2015. The situation is particular hard in the area of Donetsk, its satellite town of Makeevka, Dokuchaevsk in the south, Gorlovka in the north, and Yasinovataya, situated between Donetsk and Gorlovka.

The Ukrainian side is openly using artillery the calibre of which is prohibited by the Minsk Agreements. Among hundreds of bombardments of the DPR territory by Kiev, which are daily reported by the DPR Defense Ministry, dozens are carried out with 122 and 152mm artillery. In addition, the Ukrainian army continues to traditionally use infantry fighting vehicles, mortars, grenade launchers and small arms (see below pictures of weapons mentioned).

Two days ago, soldiers of the DPR army DNI, located near the Donetsk airport, reported the arrival of a few rockets from positions of the Ukrainian army. The few residents remaining in suburbs adjacent to the airport said that on that night, their houses had been shaking.

After the severe attack at Donetsk and Makeevka a few days ago, which resulted in 20 civilians wounded, every bombardment by Kiev is answered by the DPR army with counter-battery fire on the positions of the Ukrainian military. Two days ago, according to the DPR soldiers, they were able to hit a Ukrainian ammunition depot in the west of Donetsk, which caused a massive detonation.

On the same day, Kiev appealed to the OSCE with a statement on the Minsk Agreements violation by the DPR. The press centre of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) headquarters accused the Republican army of 58 bombardments of their positions, including three shells from a 122mm self-propelled artillery system and one from a tank. In their statement there was no information about either civilian casualties and destruction of civilian objects or losses of the Ukrainian military.

At the same time, only over the past few days, the leaders of the Right Sector and Ukrainian volunteers reported receiving heavy casualties of up to 70 men. In response to their statements, the ATO’s spokesperson said that the Defense Ministry of Ukraine considered the losses of the Right Sector to be non-combat-related, and would investigate the unauthorized presence on the front of people not belonging to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Two days ago, the head of the Kiev trade union of health care workers said that for five months of 2016 alone, medical institutions of the capital of Ukraine had received about 3,500 wounded from the ATO area.

The destruction of Ukrainian ammunition in the area of Donetsk allowed residents of the DPR capital to spend the last two days in relative quiet. However, in the south and north of the Republic, Kiev continued massive attacks.

On the same day when Kiev complained to the OSCE about 58 bombardments of their positions by the DPR, the Ukrainian army shelled Dokuchaevsk in the south of the DPR with 152mm cannons. According to the DPR Defense Ministry, 11 artillery projectiles were launched at the city, resulting in three houses being destroyed. A nearby village was hit that night by the Ukrainian military with 35 152mm artillery projectiles.

In the north of the Republic, Gorlovka was again under the fire of Ukrainian artillery, and this time not only its northern suburbs were hit. Residents reported that shells coming from the Ukrainian positions landed even in the city centre. According to city authorities, as a result of the bombardment, 15 houses were fully or partially damaged.

Recently, the Ukrainian military also began shelling the peaceful population of Donbass even in Kiev-controlled areas. In particular, according to the DPR Defense Ministry, yesterday a Ukrainian unit opened fire with small arms on civilians who were waiting to cross between the Ukrainian checkpoint and Ukrainian customs. According to witnesses, two civilians were wounded and the rest fled deep into the territory controlled by Ukraine.

On the same night, Ukrainian artillery shelled the residential areas of a locality in the west of Donetsk, apparently trying to place the blame for the bombardment on the DPR or provoke the Army of the Republic to return fire.

From Gorlovka also came another disturbing piece of news. According to DPR intelligence, the Ukrainian military moved one kilometre deeper into the "grey" zone. Previously, the distance between Kiev and DNI checkpoints was three kilometers, and even then, according to the DPR soldiers on positions, in this sector there was not a single day without bombardments and clashes.

At the same time, Kiev not only continues to seize sections of the "grey" zone but also openly carries out regrouping in order to surround Dokuchaevsk and cut off Donetsk from the southern territories of the Republic, which would enable it to get as quickly as possible to the border with Russia.

After massive bombardments of the DPR by the Ukrainian army at the end of last week, during the negotiations in Minsk, another “silence regime” was declared and a commission to investigate them was created. The representative of Kiev in the humanitarian subgroup of the Contact Group said that the negotiations were very difficult, but indispensable in order to give Ukraine a break and an opportunity to strengthen its army during this break.

The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine said that the country was running out of ammunition that it had "inherited" from the Soviet Union. Since the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine was artificially blocked, according to him, he gave the order to organise as soon as possible the production of its own ammunition in the country. This program is expected to involve about 800 Ukrainian enterprises.

Ukraine’s President Poroshenko announced to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine of the need to prepare the infrastructure and appropriate material and technical base in order to be able, if necessary, to promptly expand the guerrilla movement in the country.

Information on weapons mentioned in this article

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

A grenade launcher

A tank T-72

An infantry fighting vehicle

A 122mm howitzer D-30

A 152mm howitzer MSTA-B

A 122mm motorised artillery system “Gvozdika”

A MLRS “Grad”

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:



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