Ukraine Day 975: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
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With President Petro Poroshenko due to meet with his Russian, German and French counterparts in Berlin tonight, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense reported today that one Ukrainian soldier has been killed and another wounded.
As we reported yesterday, both the Ukrainian Presidential Administration and the Kremlin were playing down expectations for the outcome of the talks.
Today Deutsche Welle reports that Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the talks were aimed at “offering a brutally honest assessment of progress on the Minsk peace accords.
In Kiev, Colonel Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the Ministry, told reporters that both casualties were incurred yesterday near the village of Lebedinskoye, just east of Mariupol.
InfoResist reported that the dead soldier was a 22-year-old marine.
According to this morning’s ATO Press Center report, Russia-backed forces conducted 57 attacks yesterday.
The heaviest fighting by far was seen in the south, with artillery shells falling closer to Mariupol than they have at any time in the last year, striking the village of Vinogradnoye, on the eastern edge of the city.
The Mariupol police reported that, at around midnight, five or six shells had fallen in the village, shattering windows and rupturing gas and electricity lines, but fortunately injuring no one.
Colonel Lysenko also reported damage in the village of Pishchevik:
According to the Ukrainian military, 152- and 122-mm artillery, as well as 120 and 82 mm mortars were used in the attacks in the south, ranging from Vodyanoye to Shirokino, on the Azov coast.
Ukrainian troops in Shirokino told TSN news on Monday that they believed the troops shelling them were Russian soldiers, due to their speed and accuracy.
Elsewhere, Ukrainian troops in Verkhnetoretskoye, north of Donetsk, and Novozvanovka and Krymskoye, in the Lugansk region, came under mortar fire.
Meanwhile, in separatist-held Donetsk, a public funeral has been held for Arsen Pavlov, aka Motorola, the Russian militant commander and war criminal who was assassinated on Sunday.
Komsomolskaya Pravda‘s Aleksandr Kots, one of Russia’s most prominent war propagandists, tweeted from Donetsk, where large crowds assembled (to what extent voluntarily is uncertain) to pass Pavlov’s coffin.
Translation: Queue to say farewell to Motorola
The leader of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic,” Aleksandr Zakharchenko, who has accused Ukrainian agents of planting the bomb in an elevator shaft in Pavlov’s apartment building, said that he would “erect a monument to Motorola on Karachun hill when we take Slavyansk.”
Karachun hill was one of the key strategic positions during the battle for Slavyansk, which was liberated by Ukrainian troops in July 2014. Two Ukrainian helicopters were shot down in May and June that year while taking off from the hill, killing a total of 23 servicemen, including General Volodymyr Kulchitsky
Translation: Motorola is being taken to the cemetery on a gun carriage.
“I’ve shot 15 prisoners. I don’t give a shit. No comment. I kill whoever I want.”
— Pierre Vaux