Ukraine Day 880: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
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Last year, Zakharchenko’s secretary was seriously injured in a car bombing.
Last night, the ATO reported on its Facebook page that Russian-backed forces had fired 65 times in the last 24 hours on Ukrainian positions: 38 on the Donetsk line, including at Nevelskoye with 122-mm artillery; on Avdeyevka with 82- and 120-mm artillery, grenade launchers and firearms. Near Zaytsevo, Opoytnoye, Butkovka mine and Peski, militants used 82-mm artillery.
Thus for just the period of July 16, there were a total of 77 attacks, Interfax reported.
Meanwhile, Eduard Basurin, the defense minister of the self-declared “Donetsk People’s Republic” claimed Ukrainian military fired 423 times using 120- and 122-mm. Unlike Ukrainian military, which counts each round as one incident, the DNR counts each mortar fired. Ukrainian soldiers were said to fire on Gorlovka, Zaytsevo, Mikhailovka, Yasinovataya and Dokuchayevsk as well as Vasilyevka, Sakhanka and Kominternovo; in Donetsk there was firing on the Petrovsky District, the Donetsk Airport and western and northern outskirts of the city.
In other news:
“We also talked, obviously, about Ukraine. And I appreciated President Putin’s thoughts. I thought that too was constructive, and I think we have some homework to do, but there is a possibility out of that conversation of actually making some further progress. And I think that would be extremely helpful for all of us.
We still have some gaps, and my hope is that in the course of this conversation and work right now we can close those gaps and find a positive way forward.”
The military prosecutor is investigating the cause of the crash, which is believed to be due either to pilot error or a technical malfunction.
The pilot was able to eject safely, the General Staff reported on its Facebook page.
“If the procession about which so much is said is intended to unite the country, if the procession is obliged and called to prayer for peace, then why doesn’t it appeal to the Kremlin rulers and the walls of the Kremlin, from which the threat to peace comes in Ukraine, Europe and the whole world.”
“Those forces that do not wish Ukraine well need [Archduke] Franz Ferdinand [of Austria] who served as the cause of World War I, but I will not aggravate the situation, since there is an indisputable right of believers in Ukraine to freedom of religious expression.
I want to emphasize that the SBU is doing everything possible to understand the situation related to the events and the ‘procession of the cross’ and follow the situation of those groups or organizations who are interested in destabilizing or in the possible use of the ‘procession of the cross’ for destabilization of the situation in our state.”
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick