Ukraine Live Day 523: 1 Ukrainian Soldier Killed, 1 Wounded; Civilian Injured

July 25, 2015
Home destroyed in Stanitsa Luganskaya. Photo by 0642.ua

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?


1 Ukrainian Soldier Killed, 1 Wounded; Civilian Injured in Shelling Along Donetsk and Mariupol Lines

Andrei Lysenko, spokesman of the presidential administration for ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] issues said the situation in southeast Ukraine is “stable but tense,” Unian.net reported.

But shelling continued along the front line with renewed attacks on the Mariupol line, after a lull yesterday. Said Lysenko (translation by The Interpreter):

Militants along the Donetsk line are shelling practically round the clock. Most of the shelling was recorded in the area of the Donetsk Airport and near Marinka. Fighters are using 122-mm caliber artillery, tanks, grenade launchers and firearms. On the Lugansk line, there is relative calm. However militants launched grenades near Stanitsa Luganskaya, Sokolnikov, Schastye, Popasnaya and Zolotaya.

He also said that combat has resumed on the Mariupol line with large-caliber artillery. Notably near Starognatovka and Bogdanovka, militants fired last night on Ukrainian positions from tanks, mortar-launchers and 120- and 122-mm howitzers. Five DNR drones were also observed in the Donetsk Region.

A soldier and a civilian were wounded by shelling in Stanitsa Luganskaya which began at 11:00 pm last night and continued until about 2:00 am, Unian.net reported. The civilian fell over a tripwire and the soldier was struck by a sniper’s bullet at a checkpoint. A doctor said both were in satisfactory condition.

But another soldier was killed by an RPG, 0642.ua reported later.

Heorhiy Tuka, the new governor of the military and civilian administration in Lugansk Region said he planned to travel to Stanitsa Luganskaya soon which he said was the “hottest” point on the front line.

Three homes and a gas main were damaged as well, leaving 1,600 consumers unable to cook.

For now they won’t need heat; the weather in this region is sweltering; both Kiev and Mariupol news services say they expect the hottest day in 80 years tomorrow.

Volunteers in the ultranationalist Azov Regiment are unhappy about the recent withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Shirikino following an OSCE-brokered effort to create a demilitarized zone in this largely-destroyed village now nearly devoid of civilians. Russian-backed separatist troops withdrew to Sakhanka, just 6 kilometers away to the east. The fear is that Mariupol is now vulnerable to attack again.

Starognativka, where there was fighting today, is about 70 kilometers from Mariupol to the north.

Andriy Biletskiy has issued a statement that “to surrender Shirokino is to surrender Mariupol.”

In order to prevent long lines at the checkpoint near Volnovakha, 60 kilometers from Mariupol, authorities are moving it 15 kilometers closer to the front line, and installing a “logistics center” which will have bank ATMs, water, food, and medicines, Mariupol News Service (MSN) reported.

They say many of the 1,500 people in cars and 3,000 on feet coming daily from the self-declared “Donetsk People’s Republic” are seeking these necessities, and the hope is by providing them, congestion will be relieved in the area.

Police say that rather than creating a “cordon,” they are “helping to protect civilians.”

Last Monday, July 20, the checkpoint was shelled by millitants.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick