Ukraine Live Day 475: Fighting Continues As World Leaders Meet For G7 Summit

June 7, 2015
Smoke rises from a block of flats in separatist-held Donetsk that was shelled last night. Photo via @vladicvp

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.

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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?

One Member Of Sunk Coastal Patrol Vessel Dies In Mariupol Hospital; Search Continues For Missing Serviceman reports that one of the servicemen recovered from the Border Service coastal patrol boat that was damaged by an explosion off Mariupol earlier today has died in hospital.

The search continues for one missing crew member. 


— Pierre Vaux

Ukraine Reports Grad Attacks Near Granitnoye And 8 Wounded Soldiers Over Last 24 Hours

Ukrainska Pravda reports that Oleksandr Motuzianik, spokesman for the Presidential Administration on the military operation in the south-east, announced this afternoon that eight Ukrainian servicemen had been wounded over the last 24 hours.

Motuzianik claimed that Russian-backed forces had used Grad MLRS five times near Granitnoye, where shelling was reported this morning, over that time period.

Earlier today, the ATO Press Centre reported that Ukrainian positions near the village of Novolaspa, to the north of Granitnoye, had been attacked by tanks and armoured personnel carriers.

This area of the front line, east of Volnovakha and north-east of Mariupol, is of key strategic importance. For Russian and separatist forces to make a move on Mariupol, they would first need to push Ukrainian forces off the Donetsk-Mariupol highway, enabling a pincer from the north whilst they continue to attack from the east at Shirokino.


Motuzianik also reported that 120 mm mortars had been used nine times and 122 mm artillery five times. In the Donetsk region, Ukrainian positions on the northern outskirts of Gorlovka and Donetsk, as well as Marinka were attacked.

In the Lugansk region, Ukrainian positions near Schastye, Stanitsa Luganskaya and on the Bakhmutka highway came under attack.

— Pierre Vaux

Ukraine Says Russian-Backed Forces Fired On OSCE And JCCC Observers Near Schastye Today

The Ukrainian military’s ATO Press Centre reports that Russian-backed fighters fired on observers from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) and the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) today near Schastye.

According to the report, the incident occurred at 11:15 (8:15 GMT). 

The Interpreter translates:

SMM and JCCC observers and Ukrainian military positions came under fire from 82 mm mortars near a bridge over the Seversky Donets river, where the observers were recording photographic evidence and measurements of craters from previous attacks by illegal armed groups.

The shelling came from the direction of separatist-held Vesyolaya Gora.

“The shells exploded at a distance of 200 metres from the observers. After the shelling began the members of the monitoring group were forced to withdraw to a safe location. There were no casualties, no vehicles were damaged.

— Pierre Vaux

One Serviceman Missing After Blast Strikes Ukrainian Coastal Patrol Boat Off Mariupol

Mariupol news site reports that an explosion struck a Ukrainian patrol vessel just off the coast near Mariupol this afternoon, causing the ship to list and take on water.


One serviceman from the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service (SBGS) is reported to be missing while the other 6 were recovered by the crew of another patrol boat.


At 16:50 (13:50 GMT) 0629 reported that the search for the missing serviceman was still under way.


The explosion occurred at 14:20 (11:20 GMT), with initial reports coming from holidaymakers on the beach at Peschany, near the port.


The Mariupol city police reported that they have established that the coast patrol boat had struck an explosive device in the water.

Volunteer Galina Odnorog told 0629 that four wounded servicemen had been brought to the military hospital in Mariupoo. Three of them had wounds of middling severity and one was lightly injured.

— Pierre Vaux

Fighting Continues As World Leaders Meet For G7 Summit

With Ukraine high on the agenda at the G7 summit at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria today, fighting has continued in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

On the outskirts of Marinka, where Russian-backed forces launched a failed assault on June 3, gunfire was heard today.

Reporter Andrey Borodulin tweeted that, while at the Ukrainian military’s ‘checkpoint zero’ – the foremost position on the highway south-east of Marinka – gunfire could be heard less than 2 kilometres away.

Meanwhile posts on a VKontakte group for residents of Granitnoye, a Ukrainian-held town east of Volnovakha, reported shelling this morning.

According to the posts, the post office was destroyed and a shell fell outside a school.  

In separatist-held Donetsk, a clear-up was under way today after shells struck a block of flats at number 13 Marshal Zhukov Prospekt yesterday evening. 

The office of the separatist-backed ‘mayor’ of Donetsk, Igor Martynov, reported that casualty reported this morning that casualty figures were still being confirmed.

The report also said that shells had struck a residential building on Orbit street in the Kievsky district. 

The ‘deputy defence minister’ of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), Eduard Basurin, told reporters today that the shells that struck the Oktyabrsky neighbourhood had come from the direction of Marinka and Krasnogorovka.


The Ukrainian military’s ATO Press Centre claimed today that nearly 30 attacks were conducted by Russian-backed forces last night.

UNIAN reports:

The positions of the Ukrainian troops near the village of Peski, which is located near the destroyed Donetsk airport, were attacked from 120mm-caliber mortars, while the village of Vodyanoye was shelled from 122mm-caliber artillery systems.

“The enemy fired on the positions of our troops near the village of Novolaspa from tanks and armored personnel carriers. In the town of Marinka, they used small arms to incite Ukrainian servicemen [to fire back],” the press center said.

In Lugansk region, the village of Sokolniki was a hot spot.

What is more, two Ukrainian soldiers were wounded by shrapnel when militants used automatic grenade launchers and anti-aircraft systems to shell the village of Valuyskoye in Lugansk region from the right bank of the River Seversky Donets on Saturday, according to the Chairman of Lugansk Regional Military and Civilian Administration Hennadiy Moskal’s press service.

Last night, Russian-backed militants also used mortars whose caliber is more than 100 mm to shell the village of Leninskoye in the Artyomovsk sector. The village of Kirovo in the same sector came under fire several times – militants used grenade launchers, 82mm-caliber mortars and heavy machine guns.

In the early hours of Saturday, militants attacked Shirokino with 120mm-caliber mortars and 122mm-caliber artillery systems.

— Pierre Vaux