Ukraine Day 1503: LIVE UPDATES BELOW. Nine policemen were injured during a soccer melee during a match attended by President Petro Poroshenko between Mariupol’s team and Kiev’s Dinamo.
Yesterday’s coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
Violence during soccer match in Mariupol. Photo by Ukrainska Pravda
Russia-backed fighters three times fired at drones run by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, Ukrainska Pravda reported, citing the Ukrainian side of the Joint Center for Coordination and Control (JCCC). One drone was down near Minusinsk, where the militants have a testing ground. Monitors were forced to lave the area.
OSCE uses the drones to verify whether armor has been withdrawn beyond the line of contact as stipulated by the Minsk accords. The JCCC reported that despite the loss of one drone, OSCE was able to document a convoy of 10 BMPs and the preparation of divisions of Russian forces.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry reported in its briefing on April 2 that when Russia-backed forces attacked OSCE monitors’ drones, they were still able to document “the movement in this district of a convoy of militants’ armor consisting of 10 BMPS, and also preparation measures by Russian occupation forces,” according to the Ukrainian side of the Joint Center for Command and Control.
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission itself in its April 3 report for April 2 reported on sightings of numerous BMPs both in Ukrainian-controlled territory and territory controlled by Russia-backed militants, but it did not describe Russian forces’ preparations.
During a soccer game between Mariupol’s team and Kiev’s Dinamo, violence broke out and 9 policemen were injured, Ukrainska Pravda reported. Fans had lit smoke bombs and firecrackers and police came to the scene. When the law-enforcers took the violators outside the stadium, the fans’ comrades came to their defense and began to push around the policemen and throw stones at their vehicles. The policemen injured were both from Mariupol and Zaporozhe Region.
There were also reports that some journalists may have been injured but details were unavailable.
It is not clear if any arrests were made but an investigation was opened.
President Petro Poroshenko was present at the match. During a visit to a school in Volnovakha, he said (translation by The Interpreter):
If in Mariupol soccer matches are not held — who will believe that we are for peace, who will believe that we can guarantee security?
Near Pavlopol, militants used heavy machine guns, small arms and sniper fire. Avdeyevka, the Butovka mine, and Vodyanoye were also fired on with small arms.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick