Situation in Ukraine
Chronicle of Kiev's military escalation in Donbass and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in southeastern Ukraine (February 12-23, 2015)
February 12 – Lugansk was again shelled by Ukrainian forces from Grad and Uragan MLRS. Cluster munitions may have been used in shelling the city’s 50-letiya Oktyabrya, Volkova and Gagarina neighbourhoods.
February 12 – Eduard Basurin, deputy commander of the DPR Defense Ministry corps, said the Ukrainian Azov Battalion, manned by activists from nationalist organisations, blocked the evacuation of civilians from Shirokino. The fact that Azov uses civilians as a human shield shows once again that nationalist battalions perform no functions other than blocking.
February 12 – Ukrainian troops continued to shell Donetsk. Two residential buildings on Garibaldi Street in the town of Azotny sustained direct hits. Shelling also set fire to residential buildings in Zoologicheskaya and Chekhoslovatskaya streets. A total of nine people were killed in the DPR during the past 24 hours.
February 13 – Right Sector leader Dmitry Yarosh said the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps reserves the right not to observe the ceasefire in Donbass. He stressed that even if the Ukrainian armed forces receive an order to withdraw heavy weapons and completely cease fire the Right Sector could continue active combat operations.
February 13 – Three people were killed and four injured when Ukrainian forces shelled Lugansk with artillery during the night. Natural gas pipelines were damaged in the Gagarina and Dzerzhinskogo neighbourhoos and on Vozrozhdeniya Street. Artillery shelling of the town of Frunze in the Slavyanoserbsky district continued throughout the night.
February 13 – Eduard Basurin, deputy commander of the DPR Defense Ministry corps, said three children were killed when a shell hit a residential building in Gorlovka. During the night, Ukrainian forces shelled DPR residential areas over 40 times.
February 14 – Britain’s The Guardian reported that the UK Defence Ministry has confirmed that Saxon armored vehicles, used by the British army in the 1980s and decommissioned three years ago, were delivered to Ukraine. The vehicles were sent to Ukraine without weapons under a private contract signed in 2013. Ukraine previously said Kiev has taken delivery of 20 Saxon vehicles and is expecting another 55.
February 14 – According to the DPR Emergency Situations Ministry, three people were killed and 12 injured by gunfire in central Donetsk. The DPR Defence Ministry said the attack was carried out by a special-ops unit.
February 14 – Two people were killed and four injured when several bombs went off in central Donetsk near the Park Inn hotel.
February 15 – Lugansk was shelled. Several breaches of the ceasefire were also recorded near Debaltsevo.
February 15 – DPR civilians continue to die as Ukraine violates the ceasefire agreement. Three people were killed and 13 injured when Ukrainian forces shelled the area during the past 24 hours. As of February 15, 170 transformer substations were cut off from power supplies and 43 boilers went out of action.
February 15 – The DPR authorities reported three shelling attacks on Gorlovka, including residential areas, by Ukrainian forces. One shell hit an Emergency Situations Ministry base in the Kalinovka district, damaging the roof of the building. Residential buildings in the city’s Tsentralny and Perovo districts took direct hits.
February 16 – Ukrainian forces shelled the town of Zorinsk (LPR) from MLRS, killing one civilian and seriously injuring another. At 4.30 a.m., Uragan MLRS were fired and at 8.00 a.m., Grad MLRS were fired. Residential buildings and communication networks were damaged.
February 16 – Ukrainian forces broke the ceasefire, shelling the Donetsk airport with artillery fire from Opytnoye and Vodino.
February 17 – A Russia Today film crew, including correspondent Murad Gadziyev and camera operators Pavel Klimov and Sam Henderson, came under fire when Ukrainian forces shelled the Donetsk airport.
February 19 – Ukrainian forces violated the ceasefire 12 times during the past 24 hours. The town of Uglegorsk and the villages of Sakhanka and Zhirokino were shelled. The Donetsk airport and Debaltsevo also came under fire. About 20 people were injured.
February 20 – A local resident was killed when Ukrainian forces shelled Donetsk’s Kuibyshevsky district.
February 22 – Members of Ukrainian voluntary battalions, which refuse to take orders from the Ukrainian military command and President Petr Poroshenko, shelled Donetsk suburbs from Avdeyevka.
February 23 – Ukrainian forces shelled self-defense forces’ positions at least five times. The towns of Vesyoloye, near the Donetsk airport, and Peski were shelled.
Chronicle of Kiev's military escalation in Donbass and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in southeastern Ukraine (February 4 – 11, 2015)
February 4: Ukrainian forces once again used cluster munitions during hostilities in southeastern Ukraine, including on January 27, when they shelled residential areas in Lugansk, and on February 2, when they shelled the town of Komsomolskoye in the Donetsk region, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine said.
February 4: Ukrainian forces shelled Donetsk using Uragan multiple launch rocket systems. One shell hit Hospital No. 27 in the Tekstilshchik residential area, killing five.
February 4: A Ukrainian shell hit a 14-storey building in Donetsk’s Solnechny residential area, wounding at least ten people and killing several others.
February 4: Eduard Basurin, Deputy Corps Commander of the Defence Ministry of the Donetsk People’s Republic, said a Ukrainian shell had exploded near a hotel in Donetsk.
February 4: Large-caliber Ukrainian artillery conducted intense shelling of residential areas in Donetsk and the city suburbs. In all, Ukrainian forces shelled local communities 26 times, in particular, hospitals and schools, killing six and wounding 28. Between January 1 and February 4, civilian casualties totaled 62. Residential areas were hit over 2,000 times.
February 4: The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ratified an agreement with Lithuania and Poland on establishing a combined military brigade. In all, 290 members of parliament voted for this bill.
February 5: Ukrainian incendiary shells hit Donetsk’s Petrovsky District. The Ukrainian army also used banned high-explosive white phosphorus munitions, local residents say. Another local school was damaged during the attack.
February 5: Ukrainian mercenaries from among former pro-Dudayev Chechen militants and the Aidar Battalion planted mines at a school in the town of Chernukhino in the Lugansk Region. Before that, they herded over 100 local residents, mostly women and senior citizens, into the school, and they also handcuffed Russian-speaking men to street poles.
February 6: Ukrainian artillery shelled communities in the Donetsk People’s Republic 24 times, wounding five people. Since the resumption of hostilities in Donbass, Ukrainian forces have killed 90 civilians and wounded 254.
February 6: Russia Today journalists Roman Kosarev and Anna Knishenko came under fire in Uglegorsk near Donetsk, where local authorities started evacuating civilians.
February 8: Eduard Basurin, Deputy Corps Commander of the DPR Defence Ministry, said Ukrainian forces were sending saboteur squads into the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. Their members are wearing uniforms of local self-defence units and the Russian Armed Forces. Apart from acting as artillery spotters and launching mortar attacks, these units are supposed to intimidate the local population and discredit the armed forces of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics.
February 8: Ukrainian punitive units launched all-out artillery strikes against Novorossiya communities and started destroying vital infrastructure facilities.
February 8: Ukrainian forces shelled several Donetsk districts, killing eight civilians and wounding 14.
February 9: Ukrainian forces shelled dozens of buildings in the Voroshilovsky, Kuibyshevsky and Kievsky districts of Donetsk. A large-caliber shell exploded at a local chemical plant that manufactures lacquers, varnishes and dry mixtures.
February 10: Ukrainian forces continued to launch rocket attacks on towns and cities in the Lugansk Region, thereby frustrating talks on establishing a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from the Debaltsevo pocket.
February 10: Ukrainian artillery once again shelled Donetsk, killing four civilians and wounding at least ten. Ukrainian forces also shelled the town of Grodovka and the village of Bryanka in the Lugansk Region. Several shells exploded at the Avdeyevka byproduct coke industry plant.
February 11: The Ukrainian army shelled a bus terminal in central Donetsk, killing and wounding a number of people. DPR authorities called the attack a premeditated act of sabotage, timed to coincide with the Minsk summit of Russian, German, French and Ukrainian leaders.
February 11: With the onset of talks between Russian, French, German and Ukrainian leaders, Ukrainian forces shelled LPR territories more intensively, using cluster munitions.
Chronicle of Kiev's military escalation in Donbass and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in southeastern Ukraine (January 27, 2015 – February 3, 2015)
January 27: One person was wounded as a result of shelling by the Ukrainian army of the Kievsky district of Donetsk. Shell fragments also hit two buses and a fixed-route taxi, the driver of which was wounded.
January 27: Observers report that 57 people were wounded during shelling. Donetsk was shelled by Grad and Uragan multiple launch rocket systems. Four people died and nine were wounded on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, where Donetsk’s Kievsky, Kuibyshevsky and Petrovsky districts, along with Gorlovka and Yenakievo, came under fire.
January 28: Six people, including two children, were killed by artillery fire in Gorlovka. Debaltsevo, Avdeyevka and Vasilyevka were also shelled.
January 28: The Kiev military used Smerch heavy multiple rocket launchers against targets in the Lugansk People’s Republic, having killed 12 people and wounded over 100. Another person died in Lugansk, which came under fire from multiple rocket launchers.
January 28: Within 24 hours, four civilians died and nine were wounded in the shelling by the Kiev military of cities and villages in Donetsk People’s Republic.
January 28: The Ukrainian armed forces opened mortar fire against Azotny district in Donetsk, leaving one person wounded.
January 28: The OSCE mission reported on the death of 29 civilians in the shelling of the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics on January 23-27, 2015. According to observers, 57 people were wounded. Artillery fire on Donetsk using Grad and Uragan multiple launch rocket systems was reported. Four local residents were killed and nine wounded in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Donetsk’s Kievsky, Kuibyshevsky and Petrovsky districts, along with Gorlovka and Yenakievo villages, come under fire.
January 29: Three civilians died during the shelling of Donetsk’s Kievsky district by the Ukrainian military.
January 29: Eleven civilians were killed and 27 wounded in the shelling by the Ukrainian military of cities and communities in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Donetsk suffered the hardest blow, with seven killed and 20 wounded, while Gorlovka reported four dead and six wounded. Within 24 hours, 59 firing incidents targeting communities of the Donetsk People’s Republic were reported.
January 29: Speaking on a Ukrainian TV network, a member of parliament from the Radical Party’s parliamentary group, Dmitry Linko, acknowledged that their “strategy is to burn Moscow down.” The associate of Oleg Lyashko, the leader of the Radical Party, went on to say that even civilians in Donbass should not be regarded as Ukrainians.
January 30: Five people died and three were wounded in the shelling by the Ukrainian military of the Kuibyshev Cultural Centre in Donetsk, where humanitarian aid was being distributed. The same day, the number 14 trolleybus came under fire, leading to five deaths. Another shell hit a police station in the Kuibyshev district and a garage co-operative.
January 31: The Ukrainian army opened artillery fire against Gorlovka, a town in the Donetsk Region, producing a power outage in part of the city.
January 31: The Kiev military shelled the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and the positions of self-defence fighters 21 times overnight, killing two and wounding seven.
February 1: A passenger bus carrying civilians seeking to leave the combat zone came under fire in Debaltsevo. Nine people were wounded.
February 1: While Kiev tries to persuade the world that there is no Nazism in Ukraine, evidence found online points the other way: in a photograph published online, fighters from the Azov punitive battalion pose with a portrait of Hitler. Video footage of fighters performing a wild dance, featuring a Nazi salute, can also be found online.
February 1: Ukrainian artillery launched another massive strike against Donetsk. Grad and Uragan multiple launch rocket systems were used to fire from the town of Volnovakha with shells exploding in the Petrovsky, Kievsky and Kuibyshevsky districts of Donetsk.
February 1: The Ukrainian military uses heavy multiple launch rocket systems against the city of Bryanka, leaving one person wounded.
February 2: An article published on New York Times’ website claims that US authorities might explore the possibility of supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine. According to the newspaper, Philip Breedlove, Commander of U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, is in favour of providing lethal aid to Ukraine, along with a number of members of the White House and the Pentagon.
February 2: Ukrainian artillery shelled Donetsk, killing civilians, hitting residential houses, destroying a school and setting on fire manufacturing facilities of the largest machine building plant in the region.
February 2: Outside Lugansk the situation was deteriorating, just as in Donetsk. The Ukrainian army tried to break through city’s defence lines at any cost.
February 2: According to material from a journalistic investigation, extreme right mercenaries from Sweden, Poland, Great Britain and Italy are fighting in Ukraine. Bartosz Becker, the leader of Falanga, a radical Polish organisation, says that many Polish citizens came to Ukraine as private persons to join so-called voluntary battalions. According to Bartosz Becker, the Polish authorities will never officially acknowledge that their compatriots are participating in hostilities.
February 2: Eduard Basurin, Deputy Commander of the DPR’s Defence Ministry corps, says that shelling by the Ukrainian military in the last 24 house has resulted in 11 civilians dead and 42 wounded in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
February 3: Human Rights Watch released a report saying that the Ukrainian army is linked to civilian deaths in Donbass, based on an independent investigation conducted by HRW observers after the shelling of a trolleybus and a bus stop in the Bosse district of Donetsk on January 22.
February 3: The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine released a report after inspecting the affected districts of Lugansk, where civilians had died. The report confirmed that 300mm cluster munition rockets used for shelling were fired from systems located to the north – north-west of the city.
A chronicle of Kiev’s military operations in Donbass and the worsening humanitarian situation in southeast Ukraine (January 1-27, 2015)
On January 1, a LifeNews TV network correspondent and a camerawoman were attacked during a torch procession in Kiev. Correspondent Zhanna Karpenko was pushed, fell and hit her head. Her mobile phone was taken. Alexandra Ulyanovа had her camera seized and smashed.
On January 2, Russian actor Alexey Panin was accosted by Ukrainian nationalists in Odessa. The young men confronted the actor in a restaurant, demanding that he apologize for his earlier remarks about Crimea. On his Facebook page, Mark Gordiyenko, one of the initiators of the Russian actor’s “capture,” invites “all those wanting Panin’s blood and crucifixion to see to it personally.” “He is still in Odessa,” Gordiyenko writes, providing details of the attack.
On January 4, the self-defence forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) reported that Ukrainian security forces had broken the ceasefire 16 times during the past 24 hours, 30 percent of all violations occurring near the settlement of Nikishino and the rest near the Donetsk airport and the city’s northern suburbs.
On January 5, there was a bomb attack in Odessa on the corner of Gimnazicheskaya and Bolshaya Arnautskaya streets. The attack damaged a building that houses a coordination centre for security forces conducting the operation in eastern Ukraine.
On January 6, the UN released the latest figures on the number of people killed and injured in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Over 4,700 people have been killed and more than 10,000 injured since April 2014.
On January 8, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk described the liberation of Europe from fascism by the Soviet forces as invasion and aggression. His remarks came in an interview on the ARD TV network during the prime minister’s visit to Germany. The Ukrainian politician said that he “will not allow Russia to march across Germany as they did in World War II.” Furthermore, in his opinion, the liberation of Ukraine from the Nazis in 1943-44 can also be regarded as an act of aggression.
On January 8, residential areas in Donetsk as well as the towns of Gorlovka and Telmanovo came under massive shelling. Two civilians were killed and another seven injured in Donetsk.
On January 10, Ukrainian security forces resumed the shelling of Donetsk, specifically the city’s Kievsky, Kuibyshevsky, and Petrovsky districts, reportedly with heavy weapons, evidently howitzers.
On January 13, 12 people were killed and another 18 injured when an antipersonnel mine exploded near a passenger bus on the Mariupol Motorway near the town of Volnovakha. The bus was en route from Donetsk to Zlatoustovka.
On January 15, eight-year old Vanya Voronov was maimed in a shelling attack by Ukrainian troops on residential buildings in the suburbs of Shakhtyorsk in the Donetsk region. He lost both legs and his right arm. His five-year old brother Artyom and parents were killed instantly in the attack.
On January 16, four people were killed in a nighttime artillery attack on Donetsk. According to preliminary reports, a warehouse in the city’s Petrovsky district caught fire. Four bodies were found at the site of the blaze. Another person was injured. Five other people received shrapnel wounds. Several homes in various parts of Donetsk were destroyed and a water supply station was damaged by shelling.
On January 17, two civilians in the Donetsk People’s Republic were killed and three injured, including a child in the town of Gorlovka, when the Ukrainian army broke the ceasefire.
On January 17, Ukrainian security forces, supported by 15 tanks, self-propelled guns and Grad multiple rocket launch systems mounted a counteroffensive in Donetsk in an effort to seize the local airport from the self-defence forces. Security forces advanced from the towns of Peski and Avdeyevka. According to self-defence forces commander Motorola, it was a large-scale counteroffensive. Injuries were reported.
On January 17, three employees at the Avdeyevka coke plant were killed in a Grad attack, which also damaged a gas collector in a coke shop.
On January 18, Ukrainian security forces began massive shelling of residential areas in Donetsk, Lugansk and nearby territories using all types of weapons: artillery, Grad multiple rocket launchers and grenade launchers.
On January 18, Ukrainian army artillery shelled a firefighting unit in the town of Gorlovka in the Donetsk region, injuring an emergency situations ministry officer in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Two people were killed and 16 injured when a shell hit a public transit stop in the city centre. Four schools and one kindergarten were damaged.
On January 18, seven people were killed and 34 injured by shelling in Donetsk. A large number of residential buildings and infrastructure facilities were destroyed. DPR territory came under attack over 40 times in the past 24 hours. The airport and nearby areas were affected the most, as were Donetsk’s Kuibyshevsky and Kiyevsky districts.
On January 18, over 50 civilians, including children, were killed in Donetsk within a week. More than 100 homes were damaged. Power supply to central Donetsk was cut off.
On January 19, Epiphany, Ukrainian armed forces started active combat operations. Thirty civilians, including children, were killed and a school was destroyed when Gorlovka came under massive air strikes (with 500-kg bombs). There were a total of 56 artillery attacks that day.
On January 19, five patients suffered concussions and one doctor was injured when a shell hit a Donetsk city hospital during an artillery attack. It also destroyed the hospital’s heating system. Several people were killed in a marketplace in the Tekstilshchik neighbourhood and a nearby school was destroyed.
On January 19, 16 members of the self-defence forces were killed and 62 injured in a defensive operation.
On January 19, the self-defence forces of the self-proclaimed DPR claimed the Ukrainian military had shelled DPR territory almost 60 times during the past 24 hours, killing nine.
On January 19, between six and 12 people were injured, two of them seriously, when a bomb went off outside the Moskovsky district court in Kharkov.
On January 19, two civilians were killed and 11 injured by shelling in Donetsk. The city encountered power and water supply problems, with the Severny Water Supply Station and hundreds of transformer substations blacked out.
On January 20, one person was killed and six injured when a shell hit a public transit stop. A Rossia-24 TV crew came under mortar attack in central Donetsk.
On January 20, a cargo train derailed when a railway bridge was blown up in the village of Kuznetsovka on the border between the Zaporozhye and Donetsk regions. No casualties were reported.
On January 20, one person was killed and six injured when a shell hit a bus stop in Donetsk. The artillery attack damaged the Zasyadko coal mine, a firefighting unit, several boiler houses and a toy factory. VGTRK (All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company) reporters came under fire.
On January 20, a bomb equivalent to 100 kg of TNTwent off on a railway line in the Rozovsky district in the Zaporozhye region.
On January 21, five civilians were killed and 29 injured, including a 13-year old girl and a nine-year old boy, in Donetsk, according to the mayor’s office. The intensity of shelling by the Ukrainian military declined: there were 13 artillery attacks during the night and 36 in the past 24 hours.
On January 21, more evidence of foreigners fighting on Kiev’s side in Donetsk came to light. Georgy Kalanadze, former chief of the Joint Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces, said at least 100 former Georgian army servicemen were involved in the security operation.
On January 22, according to preliminary reports, 15 people were killed and over 20 injured, including children, when a shell hit a trolleybus in Donetsk. Many of those injured were in critical condition.
On January 23, Ukrainian armed forces launched an airstrike on the town of Troitskoye in the Lugansk region.
On January 23, a hospital in Gorlovka came under fire. Windows were shattered in the building. Luckily, no one was killed. Later, the news crew of independent correspondent Alyona Kochkina came under fire there.
On January 24, 30 people were killed and over 90 injured when residential areas in Mariupol came under rocket and artillery attack. According to local residents, the shelling came from an area controlled by the Ukrainian authorities.
On January 26, it was reportedthattwo civilians had been killed, including one child, and 15 injured by artillery fire over the preceding three days. The Ukrainian army was redeploying its forces in Donetsk but continuing to shell residential areas.
On January 26, about 300 coal miners were trapped underground in the Zasyadko mine when an artillery attack by the Ukrainian army cut power to the mine.
On January 27, Ukrainian artillery shelled Donetsk and Gorlovka late into the night, including with multiple rocket launch systems. Serious damage was reported in the Kiyevsky, Kuibyshevsky and Petrovsky districts, including at power substations, with fires breaking out in several buildings.