Ukraine Day 901: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
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The fighting in Ukraine has been intense over the last 36 hours. According to Ukraine Today, seven Ukrainian soldiers were wounded on Friday night, August 5:
At least seven Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded during the last night close to the occupied territories of Donetsk and neighbouring Horlivka. Apart from these two battle points, Russian-backed separatist forces attempted to approach Ukrainian positions in Adviyivka industrial zone, Maryinka, and Krasnohorivka, all of them in Donetsk region.
Militant forces keep attacking Ukrainian positions along contact line
The hottest points are neighbouring towns of Maryinka, Krasnohorivka, and Avdiyivka industrial zone At least seven Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded during the last night close to the occupied territories of Donetsk and neighbouring Horlivka. Apart from these two battle points, Russian-backed separatist forces attempted to approach Ukrainian positions in Adviyivka industrial zone, Maryinka, and Krasnohorivka, all of them in Donetsk region.
Meanwhile, the leader of the self-proclaimed ‘Lugansk People’s Republic,’ Igor Plotnitsky, was reportedly seriously injured in a possible assassination attempt. BBC reports that Plotnitsky is now in stable condition:
A blast hit a car carrying Igor Plotnitsky, head of the Luhansk People’s Republic, in the city of Luhansk. Two others were also hurt.
Mr Plotnitsky, 52, is said to be stable after hospital treatment.
The rebels said Ukrainian “saboteurs” might be behind the attack – a claim denied by the Ukrainian authorities.
Describing Saturday’s attack as a “terrorist” act, the pro-Russian rebels pledged to punish the perpetrators.
Ukraine crisis: Blast injures Luhansk rebel leader Plotnitsky – BBC News
The leader of a self-proclaimed separatist republic in eastern Ukraine, Igor Plotnitsky, has been injured in a bomb attack, rebel officials confirmed. A blast hit a car carrying Igor Plotnitsky, head of the Luhansk People's Republic, in the city of Luhansk. Two others were also hurt.
Kyiv Post offers more details about the attack:
Plotnitsky was in his Land Cruiser during the 7:50 a.m. explosion. He was wounded as a result, though the extent of his injuries remains unclear. He is now hospitalized in a Luhansk medical facility.
The explosion injured several other people and was powerful enough to damage the facades of nearby buildings.
At noon, Sergey Kozlov, another separatist leader who refers to himself as a Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, said that Plotnitsky’s state of health is currently stable and is life is not in danger. The attack is now under investigation by separatist forces, he added.
Luhansk separatist leader Plotnitsky wounded in car bombing
Igor Plotnitsky, the Russian-backed separatist leader of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, was wounded in a car bombing in Luhansk on Aug. 6. Igor Plotnitsky, the Russian-backed separatist leader of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, was wounded in an apparent car bombing in Luhansk this morning, according to separatist media reports later confirmed by Ukraine's Security Service.
The New York Times reports that this may be part of a power struggle within Lugansk itself:
When the rebellion erupted in 2014, the Luhansk region was principally controlled by Don Cossacks, the onetime horsemen of the southern steppe, who have fought on the Russian side but have also tried to carve out their own republics from the chaos in Ukraine. The Cossacks are loyal to Russia but have for centuries dreamed of forming an autonomous state.
Cossack republics were declared in the Luhansk region, in three small towns, where traditional Cossack rule including punishment by public whipping was established. Starting in the spring of 2015, Mr. Plotnitsky had tried to bring them to heel, demanding that the Cossack units incorporate into the Russian-controlled rebel military.
Two Cossack leaders, Aleksei B. Mozgovoi and Pavel L. Dryomov, were killed in car bombings in 2015. Mr. Dryomov had posted a video on YouTube, addressed to Mr. Putin, that criticized Mr. Plotnitsky for trading coal with the enemy in government-controlled Ukraine and demanded his ouster.
Estimates of the number of casualties in the fighting between the Don Cossacks and the Luhansk People’s Republic forces range from 100, by the Cossacks’ count, to 200, according to Ukrainian law enforcement officials.
Bomb Wounds Russian-Backed Leader of Ukraine Separatist Region
KIEV, Ukraine – The Russian-backed president of a separatist region in Ukraine was wounded on Saturday in an assassination attempt, highlighting rising violence in the country's east. A bomb – the weapon of choice in a half-dozen recent, and mysterious, assassinations in the territory – tore apart a car carrying Igor V.