Ukraine Suffers First Combat Fatalities Since Ceasefire Was Announced

September 9, 2016
Donbass Battalion scout Vadim Matrosov, who was killed last night. Photo: Yuri Velichko

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Ukraine Suffers First Combat Fatalities Since Ceasefire Was Announced

For the first time since the ceasefire officially came into effect on September 1, the Ukrainian military reports that one of their soldiers has been killed in combat in the Donbass.

Colonel Andriy Lysenko, military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, told reporters today that one soldier was killed and two wounded as a result of enemy shelling near Mariupol yesterday.

According to this morning’s ATO Press Center report, Russian-backed forces shelled the villages of Shirokino, Talakovka and Vodyanoye with 120 and 82 mm mortars.

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2016-09-09 13:30:03

Mariupol sector military spokesman Aleksandr Kindsfater also reported the use of self-propelled artillery and attacks near Novotroitskoye, on the highway between Mariupol and Donetsk, and Maryinka, to the west of the separatist-held regional capital.

However Ukraine’s TSN news channel reported today, citing their own sources, that four Ukrainian soldiers were killed and another four wounded within the last 24 hours.

According to the report, amongst the dead was Vadim Matrosov, a scout with the Donbass Battalion known by his call-sign of Botsman. He is survived by his wife and three-year-old daughter in Odessa.

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2016-09-09 12:58:34

A post on the Donbass Battalion’s Facebook page confirms that Matrosov, born in 1989, was killed yesterday evening, having suffered blast wounds.

The battalion has fighters deployed in Maryinka and destroyed several ammunition and fuel dumps near the front line this week.

According to TSN, one of the wounded is reported to be severely injured but in a stable condition. There is no official confirmation so far of these casualties.

Meanwhile the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) accused Ukrainian forces of using mortars to shell the nearby Aleksandrovka and Trudovskiye suburbs, as well as the southern villages of Sakhanka and Kominternovo and the outskirts of Bezymyannoye, where there were reports that houses were accidentally shelled by Russian-backed forces yesterday morning.

Across the rest of the front, the Ukrainian military reports 24 attacks by Russian-backed forces yesterday – the highest number reported since the ceasefire came into effect. 

— Pierre Vaux