Ukraine Day 1687: UPDATES BELOW. The Ukrainian Border Guards accused the Russia-backed forces of using laser weaponry after yet another border guard suffered an eye injury, the fifth such incident.
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An OSCE vehicle traveling by the town of Yasinuvata. Photo by Liga.net.
In its evening dispatch, the Joint Forces Operations (OOS) said that Russia-backed forces had made 9 attacks today, using 82-mm mortar-launchers, an armed BMP, grenade-launchers, heavy machine guns and light arms. Attacks were made on Ukrainian positions near Krymskoye, Novotoshkovskoye, Orekhovo, Luganskoye, Starognatovka, Chermalyk ,and Pavlopol.
According to Liga.net, earlier, the OOS reported that in the previous reporting period, four Russia-backed fighters were killed in battle and six were wounded. The report was not confirmed by the separatist side.
On October 1, a border guard from the Kramatorsk Unit was observing the district of Maryinka through an optical device when a flash was seen, and he suffered trauma to the retina of his eye, losing 80% of his vision.
He said this was already the 5th incident in which border guards have suffered eye injuries due to the use of laser weapons. In May, Russia-backed forces reportedly received a shipment of laser target range-finders from Russia, said Liga.net. The shipment followed delivery by the US on April 30 of Javelin anti-tank weapons.
Citing OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s October 1 report, the OOS said that monitors are barred access currently from Zaichenko, Sakhanka, Novoazovsk, Tavricheskoye, Bezymyannoye, Yuzhaya Lomovatka and Izvarino along the Mariupol line. “These actions have already become systematic,” said the OOS.
Former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma is stepping down from his role as a negotiator in the Trilateral Contact Group in the Minsk process, Liga.net reported, citing a post by Darka Olifer, Kuchma’s press secretary, on her Facebook page.
Olifer said that Kuchma had reached a “critical age” on August 9 when he turned 80, and felt it was time to leave. His replacement has not been named yet.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick