Donetsk Separatists Send Fighters To Prop Up Lugansk ‘Authorities’ While Shelling Continues

September 22, 2016
Igor Plotnitsky and Aleksandr Zakharchenko. Photo:

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Donetsk Separatists Send Fighters To Prop Up Lugansk ‘Authorities’ While Shelling Continues

The leader of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), Aleksandr Zakharchenko, has announced that he is deploying troops to ensure order in the other separatist ‘Republic’ in Lugansk.

Zakharchenko told Russia’s LifeNews today that he has had to redeploy the Sparta Battalion, headed by notorious fighter Arsen Pavlov, known by his nomme de guerre of Motorola, to the so-called Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR) to “solve their problems.”

According to the Russia-backed DNR leader, the LNR appealed to their fellow separatists after an attempted “coup.”

Yesterday morning the LNR leader, Igor Plotnitsky, declared that an attempt had been made to organize his overthrow. Plotnitsky claimed that the Ukrainian military and “perhaps even” Russian “patrons” were behind the attempt.

In August, Plotnitsky was wounded by a car bomb in Lugansk city.

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the Ukrainian security services of carrying out the attack, mirroring claims from Plotnitsky himself.

However the LNR ‘authorities’ soon began accusing Nikolai Minin, former aide to Pavel Dremov, the leader of a semi-autonomous group of separatist Cossack fighters in the Lugansk region – himself assassinated last year, of organizing the attack.

Minin was reportedly found decapitated in his bed.

The Ukrainian military continues to report the use of heavy weaponry by Russia-backed forces.

According to this morning’s ATO Press Center report, Ukrianian positions in Zaytsevo were shelled for the second day running yesterday with 120 mm mortars.

In all 14 attacks were reported by the Ukrainian military across the front line. 

Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Andriy Lysenko gave a briefing at noon today:

Meanwhile Eduard Basurin, military spokesman for the so-called DNR, accused Ukrainian forces of violating the ceasefire 61 times over 24 hours.

According to Basurin, Ukrainian troops used 82 mm mortars to shell the outskirts of Donetsk and the town of Dokuchaevsk, on the highway between Donetsk and Mariupol.

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2016-09-22 15:18:52

Dokuchaevsk lies a few kilometres from Novotroitskoye, where the Ukrainians reported two attacks yesterday. 

A video, purportedly filmed in Dokuchaevsk and uploaded last night records the sound of fighting.

Artillery (possibly mortar) and automatic gunfire can be heard, some of it certainly outbound (indicating fire from Russia-backed forces) but possibly also incoming.

— Pierre Vaux