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Below we will be making regular updates so check back often.
A day after the OSCE stated that they have seen military convoys in eastern Ukraine and warned about an impending militant attack on Mariupol, the Russian government is accusing the OSCE of bias. The BBC reports:
“Some aspects of the recent work of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine are a cause for concern,” the Russian foreign ministry said in its statement (in Russian).
“We get the impression that its efforts are directed at helping and supporting only one side in the conflict, the official authorities in Kiev… Such policies from the mission’s leadership undermine trust in its work.”
The OSCE has been embroiled in controversy in the last two weeks. Russia’s complaint comes less than a week after the Ukrainian government accused some members of the OSCE of supplying foreign governments with information about their troop movements. Before this, the OSCE reported that a shell which killed teenagers came from the northwest, which would seem to implicate the Ukrainian military. The OSCE, however, very rarely makes these kinds of statements, and they soon tweeted that they were not assigning blame for that incident.
Since the Ukrainian government’s complaints, the OSCE has been far more vocal about the growing threat in eastern Ukraine. Yesterday Ilkka Kanerva, a top OSCE official, said that the mission did not have the resources it needs and faces “unacceptable restrictions” in its mandate in Ukraine.
Donetsk news site 62.ua reports that shelling has left the northern Kievsky district of the city without electricity.
The site cites reports on social networks that fighting can be heard from direction of both the airport and the village of Peski, to the west, where Ukrainian troops are providing support for the defenders of the airport.
One report said that artillery salvoes were coming from the railway station at a rate of once or twice every 15 minutes.
While regular blasts and thuds from artillery could be heard earlier this afternoon on the Ruptly live stream of the airport, the situation appears quieter now, judging from the feed.
— Pierre Vaux
Reuters reports that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has reassured everyone that the military is ready to defeat any attack by Russian-backed rebels:
“If events begin to unravel in spite of the peace plan, Ukrainian armed forces today are ready and capable of repelling (an offensive),” Poroshenko said in statement, adding Kiev remained committed to finding a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Earlier Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Pavlo Klimkin, said that the government had no plans to launch a military offensive to retake territory controlled by Russian-backed militants (see update below).
This video was uploaded today by Russia’s SputnikTV YouTube channel:
Althought the video is dated November 14, the video contains a still image which matches one found on lostarmour.info,
a database of armoured vehicles destroyed in the Ukrainian conflict.
Here, the vehicle, is listed as having been destroyed on November 11.
The photo on Lostarmour.info is a screenshot from the video:
This photo was posted on the militarizm military forum on November 11.
The BMP-2 is listed here as belonging to the 93’rd Detached Motorized Brigade.
the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council spokesman, Andrei
Lysenko, said that Russian-backed forces were attempting to sever lines
of communication between Peski and the defenders of the neighboring
— Pierre Vaux
The Ukrainian foreign minister, Pavlo Klimkin, has told Germany’s Rheinische Post that his government is not planning to bring about the return of the occupied regions of the Donbass by military force.
“The issue concerns a political solution. Such a military operation would also affect the civilian population, our Ukrainian citizens,” he said in an interview with German newspaper Rheinische Post.
Klimkin said that the Ukrainian government planned to continue to comply with the ceasefire and continue the search for a political solution.
He said that the economic situation in Luhansk and Donetsk was bad and would continue to worsen.
“We are trying to provide as much humanitarian aid as possible. We made a difficult decision to continue to supply electricity and gas, although these supplies are not paid for. We cannot just leave people alone,” Klimkin said.
He said that if Russian-supported separatists again begin to attack the positions of the Ukrainian army, it will give them a worthy rebuff, as its fighting capacity had recently increased substantially.
“Today there are thousands of soldiers in its ranks who can fight and have already proved that,” Klimkin said.
— Pierre Vaux
Ukrainska Pravda reports that the spokesman for the National Security and Defence Council, Andrei Lysenko, has announced that 1 Ukrainian serviceman has been killed and 6 wounded in the past 24 hours.
Lysenko said that there had been an assault on Donetsk Airport had been repelled during the night. Russian-backed forces have also attempted to sever lines of communication between the defenders of the airport and Ukrainian forces in the village of Peski, to the west.
This video uploaded today shows a rocket-propelled grenade fired by Russian-backed fighters striking a terminal building at the airport.
Writing on her Facebook page, Pogukay said that the Ukrainian-held village was shelled with mortars at 9 (7:00 GMT) this morning.
The Interpreter translates:
“As a result of the mortar shelling, local residents received shrapnel wounds – citizen K. born in 1976 and her daughter, according to initial reports, of 5-6 years.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces took the wounded to a hospital in the Novoaidar district. The daughter died from her shrapnel wounds and her mother is on life support. Doctors are fighting to save her life.”
— Pierre Vaux