Ukraine Day 991: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.
The number of attacks on Ukrainian positions decreased today, November 1, but heavier artillery was used, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry Reported. There were no Ukrainian casualties reported and one Russia-backed fighter was killed.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
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One Ukrainian soldier was killed and two wounded yesterday in the Donbass.
Colonel Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, told reporters at a briefing today that one soldier was killed and another wounded by enemy fire in Avdeyevka, north of Donetsk, while another was injured during a clash with Russia-backed fighters in Simigoryre, northeast of Gorlovka.
Another Ukrainian serviceman who had been wounded on a previous date, died in hospital in Zaporozhye.
According to the Ukrainian military, Russia-backed forces conducted 31 attacks yesterday.
The Ukrainian military claimed this morning that mortars had been used across much of the front.
In the south, Russia-backed fores continued to shell Ukrainian positions near Pavlopol and Vodyanoye with 82 and 120 mm mortars, while small-arms and grenade-launcher attacks were reported near Talakovka, Shirokino and Lebedinskoye.
Around separatist-held Donetsk city, mortars were reportedly used against Krasngorovka, to the west, and Avdeyevka, where the worst casualties were suffered. Colonel Lysenko claimed that more than 60 mortar shells fell on Avdeyevka over the course of the day.
In the Lugansk region, mortar-shelling was reported near Orekhovo, while grenade-launcher attacks took place near Tryokhizbenka, Stanitsa Luganskaya, Novozvanovka and Novoaleksandrovka.
Further shelling was reported today.
ATO Press Center spokesman Viktor Shubets told the 112 news channel that positions near the village of Gnutovo, northeast of Mariupol were shelled at around 1:00 with 120 mm mortars.
Fighting was also reported in the Donetsk area:
Ukraine appears to have conducted the first military flight over the combat zone in over two years.
Residents of of Kamensk, a northern suburb of Mariupol, and Volnovakha, on the highway to Donetsk, reported a jet fighter flying low overhead this morning.
Translation: Jet aircraft over Volnovakha!!! Hardcore. I didn’t manage to jump out to see whose. I hope it was ours.
Mariupol news site 0629.com.ua was told by Kamensk residents that the fighter flew over extremely low, from the direction of Volnovakha and headed towards the village of Shevchenko and Mariupol Airport, which closed in 2014.
Aleksandr Kindsfater, military spokesman for the Mariupol area of operations, told 0629 that it was not a Russian fighter, nor, he said, did it belong to the separatists (who have no air assets anyway).
The Ukrainian Air Force ceased flights over the front line in the summer of 2014 after suffering heavy losses to Russian surface-to-air missiles. The nature of today’s flight is unknown.
The OSCE has observed trucks, apparently carrying the bodies of killed Russian fighters, crossing the border between Ukraine and Russia.
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) reported that on October 27 they saw a truck marked as Cargo 200 – Soviet-era military code for soldiers killed in battle, entering Russia at the Gukovo border crossing point between separatist-held territory in the Lugansk region and Russia’s Rostov region.
On 27 October at 15:00hrs the OT at the Gukovo BCP observed a van with Russian licence plates crossing the border from Ukraine to the Russian Federation. The van had the inscription “Funereal” on the sides written in Russian and had a sign “200” on an A4 format paper on its windshield. The OT was unable to ascertain whether it was carrying a coffin or not.
Daniel Baer, the US ambassador to the OSCE, told a session of the organization’s Permanent Council today that more than 20 such trucks had been recorded crossing the border here within the last two and a half years.
He noted that the number of vehicles returning dead Russians could be higher, given that the OSCE could only record those vehicles that were marked as such. Furthermore, the OSCE is only able to monitor two crossing points on the long section of the Ukrainian border that is under Russian or separatist control.
In addition, the SMM reported that they saw ambulances moving in and out of Ukraine on two occasions while monitoring the Donetsk crossing point, near the Lugansk town of Krasnodon, in the last week of October.
The head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), Vasyl Hrytsak, says that former Yanukovych ally Vadim Novinsky has fled the country for Greece.
“According to the information we’ve got, Novinsky left Zhuliany (airport in Kyiv) for Thessaloniki, Greece, on board his plane at 09:30 in the morning today,” Chairman of the SBU Security Service Vasyl Hrytsak told reporters in Odesa on Friday, November 4.
As was reported earlier, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko announced on November 3 that a motion had been prepared to ask the parliament for consent to Novinsky’s criminal prosecution.
Novinsky is suspected of abuse of power and misuse of office in illegal confinement of Oleksandr Drabynko, the Archbishop of Pereyasliv-Khmelnytsky and Vyshnevsky and a former personal assistant to the late Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) Volodymyr (Sabodan).
Novinsky said that the criminal proceedings against him were politically motivated. He announced he was planning to visit Mount Athos on Friday but pledged to return.
Almost exactly a year ago, investigators from the Interior Ministry made another attempt to summon Novinsky, along with two other members of the Opposition Bloc (the party formed from the remnants of Yanukovych’s Party of Regions) for questioning.
Prosecutors announced today that they had uncovered a vast cache of weaponry, including an armoured personnel carrier, in an underground bunker near Kiev.
The cache was found by the SBU in the Boryspil district, east of the capital. Amongst the arms found were 60 rockets, possibly for Grad multiple-launch rocket systems; four shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles; around 200 anti-tank mines; a recoilless rifle, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and armor-piercing shells.
The authorities have not yet stated whether they believe the arsenal was accrued for selling on the black market, or for use by Russian agents to stage attacks in the Kiev area.
— Pierre Vaux