3 Ukrainian Soldiers Wounded, 1 Civilian Injured from Russia-Backed Shelling; DNR Calls Up Reserves

April 6, 2017
A Mon-50 mine in a tree in the Donbass. Photo via @GirkinGirkin

Ukraine Day 1144: LIVE UPDATES BELOW. 3 Ukrainin soldiers were wounded in battle and one civilian was injured in Avdeyevka from Russia-backed shelling.

Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.


An Invasion By Any Other Name: The Kremlin’s Dirty War in Ukraine


3 Ukrainian Soldiers Wounded, 1 Civilian Injured from Russia-Backed Shelling; DNR Calls Up Reserves

Mass call-up of the reserves in the self-declared “Donetsk People’s Republic” in Torez. Photo via @GirkinGirkin

Another civilian, age 45 was injured today, April 6 in Avdeyevka (Avdiivka) when a shell launched by Russia-backed forces landed in his yard on Sobornays St, Levy Bereg reported, citing the Facebook page of Pavlo Zhebrivsky, head of the Donetsk Region Military and Civilian Administration.

The civilian was taken to the hospital. Yesterday we reported on another man, age 62, also wounded in Avdeyevka.
In its morning dispatch, the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] said Russia-backed forces continued to violate the ceasefire established April 1. Two Ukrainian soldiers were wounded. In its evening dispatch, the ATO reported another Ukrainian soldier was wounded later in the day, bringing the total for this 24-hour period to 3 WIA.
In the morning, the ATO recorded 29 attacks over night with most activity around Mariupol. Militants fired 82-mm mortars, grenade-launchers and heavy machine guns on Ukrainian positions in Krasnogorovka. Near Pavlopol and Vodyanoye they used grenade-launchers and heavy machine guns. Positions in Maryinka were attacked with grenade-launchers and small arms. Near Novotroitskoye, Krasnogorovka and Vodyanoye, snipers were active.
On the Lugansk line, positions near Sizoye were shelled with 120-mm mortars and anti-tank grenades were fired on Ukrainian positions in Novoaleksandrovka. The Ukrainian forces did not return fire.

In its evening dispatch, the ATO reported just 14 attacks during the day, which is an improvement over previous days.

The DNR claimed that Ukraine had moved 120-mm artillery to the Mariupol and Debaltsevo fronts, to Novognatovka (7 km from the line of contact, near Volnovakha) and Novoluganskoye and Bogdanovka (3-4 km from the line of contact near Volnovakha and Debaltsevo, respectively)

DNR forces shot down and OSCE SMM drone today, Hromadske TV reported.

 Translation: Putin’s humanitarian aid.

o Dock Workers Demonstrate in Mariupol

A group of dock workers in an independent trade union organized a rally today and drove away other port employees, 0629.com.ua, the Mariupol city site reported.

The demonstrators accused the management of not providing enough work, with little freight loading.
The members of the official trade union who came to the rally accused the independents of idleness and selling out and going to work in the coal mines.
Workers told a journalist that their pay was too low and they could not support their families, and they also had no place for their children to spend vacations as the official trade union does.
They also complained that while the government had allocated funds to develop the port, they had not been transferred.

Port boss Oleksandr Oleynik came to the rally and denied that the workers were not getting enough orders, citing figures for freight which were contested by others. He said “chaos will not pass” and that ways would be sought to address their problems, but “we must go through the hard times together”.

Ninety-percent of the freight comes from the Azovstal plant owned by Metinvest, the company of Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, who has lost some of his plants and coal mines since the “nationalization” of them by the DNR following a boycott of the Donbass instituted by Kiev last month.

Other freight cannot reach the port now evidently due to the separatists’ seizure of plants. The coal terminal is standing empty.

o Ukrainian ‘Saboteur’ Defendant Pleads Guilty

Redvan Suleymanov, one of the defendants in the “Crimean Saboteurs” case has plead guilty, Lb.ua reports. But he denied that he caused great damage.

On August 10, the FSB claimed that there were two attempts by Ukrainian “saboteurs” to penetrate the Russian-occupied territory of Crimea, which led to clashes with border guards and the killing of a Russian guard and a soldier. 
The other defendants are Yevhen Panov and Andrei Zakhtey.

o DNR Turns Out Largest Mobilization of Reserves in Its History

The pro-Russian Donetsk Information Agency claimed today that the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” had turned out its highest mobilization ever of reservists. The self-styled deputy defense minister Eduard Basurin said 27,000 men had turned out. He said the job was to train them “in the event of a large-scale aggravation of the situation in the Donbass”.
Aleksandr Zakharchenko, the self-styled prime minister of the DNR, came to greet the reservists.
Translation: Torez

The turn-out of the DNR reservists is yet another troubling sign that has caused some analysts to speculate that Russia may be readying another invasion of Ukraine. The Russian Army has deployed the 1st Guards Tank Army, the 40th Army, and the 8th Army all around Ukraine’s borders. Stephen Blank, previously at the US Army War College and now at the American Foreign Police Council, writes for the Atlantic Council:

More recent deployments are even more ominous. On March 8, Moscow announced that the Russian Navy would prioritize ships capable of carrying troops that can perform amphibious operations, which could easily be used against Ukraine, the Balkans, the Caucasus, or in the Middle East. On the weekend of March 24, observers recorded dozens of tanks deploying at Pokrovskoye in the southern Rostov-On-the Don region near Ukraine. At the same time, Russia deployed airborne forces (VDV) to Belarus, making it impossible for Ukraine to reroute forces from its north to its threatened southern frontier around Mariupol. And those VDV forces also clearly threaten an invasion of Belarus.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick 

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