Ukraine Live Day 536: Heavy Fighting Around Donetsk Last Night; Grads Used In Lugansk Region

August 7, 2015
2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled guns in separatist-held Krasny Luch. Photo via InformNapalm

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Heavy Fighting Around Donetsk Last Night; Grads Used In Lugansk Region

Ukrainian officials report today that, while fighting has lessened over the last 24 hours in some areas of the front line, sustained attacks have been mounted against key positions and Russian-backed forces have resumed the use of Grad rockets for the first time since July 27.

The Ukrainian military’s ATO Press Centre reported this morning that Russian-backed forces had conducted 106 attacks over the last 24 hours, a significant increase since yesterday morning’s report of 65 over the same period.

78 of these attacks reportedly took place near Donetsk.

To the west of the separatist-held city, Ukrainian troops were engaged in a nearly two-hour-long shoot-out last night with a group of around 20 Russian-backed fighters near Krasnogorovka.

According to the ATO Press Centre, the Russian-backed fighters were attempting, supported by 120 mm mortar bombardment, to break through the front line to reach a Ukrainian fortified position. The Ukrainian military says that the attack was repelled.

In Avdeyevka, to the north of Donetsk, one civilian was wounded by shelling last night.

The Donetsk regional branch of the Interior Ministry announced today that a 75-year-old man was found with shrapnel wounds after Lenin Street was shelled at around 20:00. They have been taken to hospital.

The ATO Press Centre reports that both Avdeyevka and nearby Opytnoye were shelled by 122 mm artillery and tanks.

The far-right Svoboda party announced last night that two fighters from the Carpathian Sich assault company of the 93rd Mechanised Brigade had been killed near Donetsk Airport.

Svoboda cited the commander of Carpathian Sich, Oleh Kutsyn, as saying that the two, named as Danilo Kasyanenko and Oleh Kostyuk, were killed as a result of a direct shell strike at around 18:00.

Colonel Andriy Lysenko, military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, told reported today that another seven Ukrainian servicemen had been wounded over the last 24 hours:

Lysenko added that part of the Marinka suburb, just south of Krasnogorovka, had been left without electricity after last night’s fighting:

The separatist-backed Donetsk city administration reported today that the city’s Kuybyshevsky and Voroshilovsky districts had come under fire overnight. No casualties were reported.

According to the report, two houses and one multi-storey apartment building were struck in the Kuybyshevsky district and two apartment blocks were hit in the Voroshilovsky district.

The administration claimed that the shells that struck housing in the Voroshilovsky district, on Chelyukintsev and Artyoma streets, came from Ukrainian tanks.

Donetsk news site notes that the furthest reach of a shell fired by a modernised Ukrainian T-64BM Bulat tank is between 1,700 and 2,000 metres.

The nearest Ukrainian positions to these impact sites, in the city centre, are, says, approximately 12 kilometres away.

This video purportedly captures the sound of artillery fire from the grounds of the Topaz factory, a regularly firing position for Russian-backed forces, last night:


In the south of the Donetsk region, Ukrainian troops near Novogrigoryevka, east of Volnovkaha, and Chermalyk, to the south along the river Kalmius, were fired on several times with heavy machine guns and grenade launchers.

At dawn yesterday, Ukrainian positions near Novogrigoryekva were shelled by Russian-backed forces with 122 mm self-propelled artillery for 13 minutes. 

In the Lugansk region, the governor, Georgiy Tuka, reportedtoday that Troitskoye, on the western fringes of the region, was bombarded last night by Grad MLRS.

This is the first use of such weapons in almost two weeks.

According to Tuka, two houses on Krasnaya Street were completely destroyed by the barrage.

No reports of casualties have been received so far.

Tuka’s office reported an intensification of attacks elsewhere in the region, with Stanitsa Luganskaya, Zolotoye, Popasnaya and Schastye coming under fire.

In Schastye, three Ukrainian soldiers from the 92nd Mechanised Brigade were wounded after coming under automatic grenade launcher and machine gun fire last night. 

— Pierre Vaux