Day 747: 1 Ukrainian Soldier Killed; OSCE Protests Russian-Backed Militants’ Continued Training

March 5, 2016
A Ukrainian woman looks at the ruins of her home in Marinka in February 2016. Photo by Novosti Donbassa

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For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: How We Know Russia Shot Down MH17.


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


Russian-Backed Militants Attack Avdeyevka; 1 Ukrainian Soldier Killed; OSCE Protests Separatists’ Violation of Agreement to Stop Training Exercises

A Ukrainian soldier was killed in an attack by Russian-backed militants on the Ukrainian position in Avdeyevka, Novosti Donbassa reported, citing the Facebook page of the Poltava Dedicated Battalion. His name was Andriy Yareshko and he was an officer of the 16th Separate Motorized Territorial Battalion.

A spokesman for the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] said Avdeyevka fell under attack by Russian-backed militants as it has many times before (translation by The Interpreter):

The shelling of the Ukrainian Armed Forces stronghold near Avdeyevka began at 12:40. There were about 50 shells fired from 82-mm artillery; 10 shells from 120-mm artillery and also 22 shots from self-propelled artillery.

82- and 120-mm artillery was supposed to be banned under the Minsk agreement.

The town of Aleksandrovka was also fired on near the Marinka checkpoint with grenade-launchers and snipers’ rifles, Novosti Donbassa reported. The checkpoint was closed temporarily due to constant attacks.

Despite the agreement to stop target practice and training achieved in the Trilateral Group and reinforced at the last “Normandy Quartet” meeting, OSCE’s Alexander Hug has complained that combat exercises continue in the Donbass, Novosti Donbassa reports, citing TV 112.

The combatants were to end target practice in a 30-kilometers zone, but observers have spotted continuing training activity in areas “not controlled by the government,” he said, i.e. where Russian-backed separatist fighters are active. He said “dozens of tanks and artillery systems” were used in the exercises.

Elsewhere in the News:

— Ukrainian activists are calling for a demonstration on Maidan tomorrow, March 6, to urge the release of imprisoned pilot Nadiya Savchenko who has declared a dry hunger strike because of the delay of her sentencing and refusal to release her, Ukrainska Pravda reports.

—¬†Volunteers in the Gruz-200 iz Ukrainy v Rossiya [Cargo 200 from Ukraine to Russia], a group documenting Russian fighters killed in Ukraine, says they have a list of 2,081 people which includings soldiers, journalists and also missing persons, Ukrainska Pravda reports. Of these, 649 are Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine, where names and circumstances are known; the other cases are being checked. The journalists include reporters from both Russian and separatist media.

¬†— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick