1 Ukrainian Soldier Wounded, 1 Concussed; OSCE Monitors Blocked, Drone Shelled

August 10, 2017
OSCE staff installing a surveillance camera at the Donetsk Filtration Station on August 7; the camera was destroyed by shelling two days later. Photo via ATO

Ukraine Day 1270: LIVE UPDATES BELOW. Gen. Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff of the Ground Forces of the US visited the advanced positions of the Ukrainian military near Mariupol today.

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

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


1 Ukrainian Soldier Wounded, 1 Concussed; OSCE Monitors Blocked, Drone Shelled

Gen. Mark Milley meets Ukrainian officers near the front line in Mariupol on August 10, 2017. Photo by ATO

As we reported yesterday, August 9, fighting escalated significantly yesterday, and continued today.

During the previous reporting period, one Ukrainian soldier suffered a concussion, the ATO said in its morning dispatch. There were 16 ceasefire violations.
While the Russia-backed forces fired less on Ukrainian positions in the past reporting period, they more often used weapons exceeding the 100-mm caliber limit banned under the Minsk agreement.
Yesterday toward noon militants fired 6 times from the direction of Kalinovo toward Ukrainian positions on the Lugansk line, then switched to the Maritime line. They fired 82-mm mortar-launchers at Ukrainian positions near Starognatovka and Talakovka, and 120-mm mortars in the area of Vodyanoye, Pavlopol and Gnutovo.
Furthermore, at about 21:00 militants pounded ATO positions with Grad missiles; at least 27 rounds were fired near Shirokino and 15 near Vodyanoye.
On the Donetsk line, in the evening, militants attacked Ukrainian positions on the southern outskirts of Avdeyevka and the Butovka Mine with various forms of weapons.
The ATO returned fire.
In its evening dispatch, the ATO said fighting had continued. Militants attacked Shirokino with 82-mm mortars and also fired on Vodyanoye. On the Donetsk line, Mayorsk was attacked with heavy machine guns and Luganskoye with mortar-launchers and grenade-launchers on the approaches to Novotoshkovskoye
The ATO also noted that OSCE Special Monitoring Mission was blocked by militants as first deputy Alexander Hug travelled near Talakovka. Ukrainian sappers had begun clearing the route along which the OSCE SMM planned to travel, when, despite guarantees of security, militants fired on Ukrainian positions with small arms. Snipers were also deployed. As a result, one Ukrainian soldier who was searching for explosives along the route was wounded.
OSCE observers then sent up a drone, but this was fired on by militants near Pikuzy (Kominternovo), an area controlled by the self-declared “Donetsk People’s Republic”. The OSCE mission then decided not to travel along the planned route to Mariupol.
The Ukrainian side of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination said this was the second attack by Russia-backed forces in two days that created an obstacle for OSCE.

In addition, on August 9, despite security assurances by both sides in the war, an OSCE surveillance camera at the Donetsk Filtration Station (DFS) near Yasinovataya (Yasynuvata)was shelled, along with an OSCE drone. Following its mandate, the SMM did not speculate as to which side fired on the camera. The JCCC believes it was the Russian-backed militants who have fired many times on the station before. Amb. Ertugrul Apakan, the chief monitor of the SMM, commented:

“The destruction of a camera deployed by the SMM on 7 August in support of the potential DFS safety zone demonstrates contempt for this important humanitarian initiative and for the many people on both sides of the contact line who stand to benefit from its installation.”

The repeated damage of the DFS has frequently left thousands of people without water in the region. Repair crews are often unable to function due to shelling.

Other news: 

o Gen. Mark Milley, Chief of Staff of the Ground Forces of the US visited the advanced positions of Ukrainian soldiers near Mariupol today.

The ATO reported Gen. Milley as saying (reverse translation by The Interpreter):

“You are the only ones who have real, actual combat experience against an existing enemy. I have heeded your experience and I am confident that soon, thanks to your fighting spirit, you will halt the enemy and restore sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
He added that the experience of the Ukrainian soldier battling hostile aggression on the part of the Russian Federation was extremely important for all countries. 

o The Ukrainian postal system was hit by a 48-hour cyberattack today, BBC reported.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick 

Note: The Interpreter has lost its funding!

Donate to this author to keep news and translations coming.