Ukraine Live Day 442: Shelling At Highest Level Since Ceasefire Agreement

May 4, 2015
Aftermath of shelling in Avdeyevka. Photo: Novosti Donbassa

Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here. An archive of our liveblogs can be found here. For an overview and analysis of this developing story see our latest podcast.

Please help The Interpreter to continue providing this valuable information service by making a donation towards our costs.

For links to individual updates click on the timestamps.

For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: Evidence Review: Who Shot Down MH17?

NOTE – due to a numbering error today’s liveblog has moved. View it here

Shelling At Highest Level Since Ceasefire Agreement

NOTE: Due to an error in our numbering of today’s live coverage, our liveblog has moved to a new location. View new updates here.

The last 24 hours have seen the most intense shelling since the conclusion of the Minsk agreement in February, the Ukrainian military has claimed. Certainly, since Saturday night, there has been a dramatic escalation in the number of artillery bombardments in the Donetsk area. Both sides are trading blame and it has been reported that both Ukrainian and separatist-held areas have been shelled.

According to the Ukrainian military’s ATO press centre, there were 45 attacks by Russian-backed fighters between 18:00 and midnight yesterday, bringing the total number of attacks over the previous 24 hours to 95.

The press centre claimed that Russian-backed fighters had used 122 mm artillery five times, against positions near Avdeyevka, Vodyanoye, Opytnoye, Kamenka and Shirokino. 120 mm mortars were five times against Peski and three times near Avdeyevka.

The Ukrainian military also reported that positions near Avdeyevka had come under tank fire.

At around midnight, the report says, a Ukrainian defensive positions near the village of Novobakhmutkovka was shelled with 152 mm artillery.

At around the same time, Ukrainian forces engaged a reconnaissance group of 10 Russian-backed fighters in combat near the village of Novoselovka. According to the report, the Russian-backed fighters were repelled. 

Leviy Bereg‘s Oleksandr Rudomanov reported last night, citing reports from soldiers on the front, that positions near Avdeyevka were being shelled at a rate of one 82 mm mortar round every 5 to 10 minutes. He also reported the use of 122 mm artillery.

Today Novosti Donbassa published photographs of the aftermath of last night’s shelling in the town, which lies just to the north of Donetsk.




As Ukrainska Pravda reported just after midnight, journalists and residents in Donetsk also reported heavy, outbound shelling from the separatist-held city. relayed similar reports.

Edurard Basurin, a defence spokesman for the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), claimed last night that two civilians had been killed and seven wounded as a result of Ukrainian fire.

This afternoon, Novosti Donbassa reported that Oleksandr Motuzianik, spokesman for the Presidential Administration on the ATO,  reported in further detail on situation on the front line.

The Interpreter translates:

In the Donetsk area the highest number of attacks were recorded in the Donetsk Airport area. The militants are shelling ATO forces close to Avdeyevka, Opytnoye, Peski, Vodyanoye and the Putilovsky mine.

There were also ceasefire violations near Gorlovka and Granitnoye.

The intensity of the militants’ attacks in the Lugansk area has increased somewhat. Militants have also continued to use unmanned aerial vehicles for reconnaissance. 2 UAV flights have been detected in the Lugansk region.

In the Mariupol area the militants continue to shell the village of Shirokino. There have been 10 recorded attacks on Ukrainian troops there. 

Yesterday evening,  Alex Petrov, a soldier from the 37th independent motorised infantry battalion, reported on his Facebook page that a six-hour battle had taken place in the Shirokino

The Interpreter translates:

All the occupiers attacks were repelled. Ukrainian units from the Donbass, Azov and 37th motorised infantry battalions,the 79th airborne brigade and others inflicted substantial losses on the enemy.

The Donbass battalion have two wounded – lightly, thank God. 

In addition to the two wounded in Shirokino, Motuzianik announced that two Ukrainian soldiers had been killed and three wounded after driving over a landmine near the village of Yekaterinovka in the Popasnaya district. 

— Pierre Vaux