OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine Fired On in Zaytsevo: No Injuries

April 10, 2016
OSCE SMM team patrolling on March 18. Photo by Evgeniy Maloletka/OSCE

Ukraine Day 782: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.

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


1 Civilian Killed in Russian-Backed Militant Attack on Avdeyevka

The ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] reported on its Facebook page today that Russian-backed fighters fired on Ukrainian positions 35 times.
Most of the shelling was in the Donetsk area around Avdeyevka (6 times) and in Shirokino (5 times). Ukrainian soldiers were fired on in Optynoye, Luganskoye, Nevelskoye and Peski. Heavy artillery, grenade-launchers and firearms were used in Mayorsk, Verknetoretsk, and Novoselivka. “Diversionary and reconnaissance groups fire chaotically, trying to expose weak spots in the ATO forces,” said the report. The Ukrainian army was forced to fire back “several times” to hold its positions and deter the enemy.
Max Tucker, reporting from the region, said one civilian was killed.

This is evidently the same woman already reported killed on April 8. 

The pro-Russian News-Front uploaded a video to YouTube showing fighting around the industrial zone in Avdeyevka. At about 4:45 minutes, the fighters claim that the Ukrainian troops do not shoot before 4 pm, because they wait until the OSCE SMM patrol passes and then begin firing. They are seemingly oblivious of their own firing on Avdeyevka throughout the video.

Livemapua says shooting has been “non-stop” around Maryinka today.
Several houses caught fire after attacked by “Russian forces,” Livemapua reported citing a report on Twitter.

Translation: View from Lenin St.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick 

OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine Fired On in Zaytsevo: No Injuries
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) issued a spot report today noting that their mission was fired upon while they were patrolling in Zhovanka, the Ukrainian-controlled part of Zaytsevo (Zaitseve).

On 9 April, an SMM patrol, comprised of five members in two armoured vehicles, was in Zhovanka, a government-controlled part of Zaitseve (50km north-east of Donetsk). The patrol was accompanied by the Ukrainian Armed Forces head of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) office in Toretsk.

At 12:52hrs, the SMM heard an explosion assessed as caused either by an 82mm mortar or a recoilless gun round impacting at a distance of approximately 100-200m south-east of its position. Within the next two seconds, small-arms shots were fired towards the SMM position coming approximately from the same direction of the impact. The SMM heard at least three-four bullets flying one-two metres above their heads. The SMM immediately took cover behind the vehicles, and then got inside them and left the location. No SMM members were hurt or vehicles damaged. The patrol returned safely to its base in Svitlodarsk at 16:00.

This means that the shots may have come from Russian-backed separatist-controlled territory.

OSCE SMM has been running “mirror patrols” from Avdeyevka (Avdiivka) to Yasinovataya (Yasynuvata), Unian.net reported, citing a statement of OSCE SMM on its Facebook page that it was making such patrols in response to a request from the Ukrainian military.

OSCE SMM reported yesterday, April 8 that it saw a “significantly higher” number of ceasefire violations.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick