Day 766: 6 Ukrainian Soldiers Wounded; Russian-Backed Fighters Mount Assaults On Highway To Mariupol

March 24, 2016
Novotroitskoye. Photo from the 72nd Mechanised Brigade Facebook page


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


Images Show Destruction In Separatist-Held Makeyevka, But DNR Claims That Kindergarten Was Hit Appear False

Russian-backed separatists in Donetsk claim that Ukrainian forces last night shelled residential areas of Makeyevka, an eastern suburb of the regional capital.

According to Eduard Basurin, deputy commander of the armed forces of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), four civilians were wounded in the town. 

The separatist-backed Makeyevka municipal administration claims that across two districts of the town, 13 houses and three apartment blocks had been damaged. Meanwhile, the Donetsk News Agency (DAN) reports that more than a thousand homes had been left without power.



Both DAN and NewsFront, a YouTube channel that regularly releases separatist propaganda videos. claimed that a kindergarten (or daycare center) was amongst the buildings hit.

According  to the DAN report, the building was located on Tupolev street. 

We can confirm that the larger building struck was indeed on the junction of Tupolev and Heroes of Stalingrad streets as both buildings seen in the video above have been geolocated: 

But this address is not listed on Wikimapia as a kindergarten, instead it is labelled as the Enigma Café.

We have searched through lists of kindergartens operating in Makeyevka, and even found two located nearby, but nothing relating to this address. 

However there were discussions that suggested that the site may well have housed a kindergarten around ten years ago: 

At least one more building was damaged, as seen in the following video and located on Zvyozdnaya street:

Translation: #Makeyevka , aftermath of shelling on the night of 23-24/03/16… On the screenshot is 6 Zvyozdnaya.

OSCE monitors can be seen inspecting the site.


Eduard Basurin, who can be seen repeating the claims about the kindergarten in another NewsFront video, also reported the death of one of his fighters as a result of Ukrainian fire. The militants’ spokesman did not say when or where this had happened.

According to the DNR ‘defense ministry,’ 276 shells were fired by Ukrainian forces over 24 hours, including rounds from mortars, 122 mm artillery and infantry fighting vehicles.

— Pierre Vaux

6 Ukrainian Soldiers Wounded; Russian-Backed Fighters Mount Assaults On Highway To Mariupol

Six Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded as Kiev reports that Russian-backed fighters have launched 53 attacks over the last 24 hours.

According to Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, four soldiers were wounded by enemy fire in Avdeyevka, north of Donetsk, while two received injuries after a tripwire mine went off in Stanitsa Luganskaya, northeast of Lugansk.

Motuzyanyk said that more than 100 mortar shells had been fired at Ukrainian positions across the line, with the most intense fighting seen near near Donetsk and Gorlovka.

As we have been reporting, Avdeyevka has become one of the most intense areas of fighting in recent weeks.

Volunteer Vitaliy Deynega told the 112 television channel that there was another skirmish in this area last night, although not on the same scale as that seen on the previous evening.

According to Deynega, Russian-backed fighters opened fire with automatic grenade launchers and recoilless rifles.

Meanwhile military spokesman Aleksandr Kindsfater told that there had been an attack on Ukrainian positions near Novotroiskoye, on the highway between Donetsk and Mariupol – another area that has seen repeated incidents.


According to Kindsfater, a group of Russian-backed fighters approached within 300 metres of the Ukrainian lines, under cover of fire from 120 mm mortars, grenade launchers and heavy machine guns, and opened fire.

Posts on the Facebook page of the 72nd Guards Mechanised Brigade described what happened.

At 18:53 (16:53 GMT), a post read:

Literally 40 minutes ago, outside the village of Novotroitskoye, pro-Russian militants came up in a KamAZ to within a kilometre of the positions of the 72nd Brigade. Out of the truck came about 30 infantrymen; they dismounted, deployed in battle order and assaulted our defensive position. Our fighters opened fire for effect, as a result of which the KamAZ was knocked out and one can make out the moans and cries of the wounded from the field.


A few hours later, there was a follow-up, claiming that the attackers had been fighters from the Russian-backed Sparta Battalion (which is led by the notorious Arsen Pavlovich, aka Motorola).

According to the 72nd Brigade, the Russian-backed fighters attempted another assault, on a Ukrainian position nearer to separatist-held Dokuchaevsk.

There were also attacks near Gnutovo and Shirokino, closer to Mariupol. Ukrainian troops, reported Aleksandr Kindsfater.

— Pierre Vaux