Ukraine Live Day 563: Is The Ceasefire Beginning To Fray?

September 3, 2015
Aftermath of attack near Schastye yesterday. Photo via EuroMaydan Facebook group.

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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Ukrainian Soldier Killed By Landmine Near Schastye This Morning

Ukraine’s Censor.NET reports that a Ukrainian soldier has been killed near Schastye today, after stepping on a landmine.

The news site cites volunteers Roman Sinitsyn and Pavel Kashchuk, who say that Vladimir Kiyan, a soldier in the 80th Independent Air-Mobile Brigade, was killed this morning.

2015-09-03 17:08:34

— Pierre Vaux
Ukraine Reports One Small-Arms Attack Near Avdeyevka This Evening

The Ukrainian military’s ATO Press Centre has released their evening report of military action in the Donbass today.

The report claims that only one attack was recorded between 6 am and 6 pm, with a small-arms attack on a Ukrainian defensive positions near Avdeyevka at around 5 pm.

According to the report, the attack came from the direction of Yasinovataya.


— Pierre Vaux

Ukraine Gets $1.3 Billion In New Loans

Japan and Germany have given new loans to Ukraine totaling about $1.3 billion, loans which will be used for much-needed infrastructure repair, according to Kyiv Post:

Signed in June by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the loan agreement stipulates that at least 30 percent of the equipment and goods for the underlying project must be Japanese-made, according to Kyiv-based Dragon Capital.

Apart from the latest loan, “Japan’s long-term financing to Ukraine includes $300 million of budget support, expected to be disbursed in the coming days together with a $500 million World Bank loan, and $200 million of project financing for airport terminal construction, which started back in 2004,” Dragon Capital said in an emailed note.

Meanwhile, Germany’s KfW Develpoment Bank gave a €200 million ($225 million) loan to Ukraine’s Deposit Guarantee Fund, according to the Finance Ministry. It’s for 15 years and comes with a five-year grace period and a 2.6 percent yearly interest rate.

Read about the loans on Kyiv Post:

Ukraine clinches $1.3 billion in loans to repay bank depositors, upgrade Kyiv's sewage water plant

Parliament on Sept. 2 approved a $900 million loan from Japan to upgrade Kyiv's Bortnychi aeration station, which treats the city's sewage water. Kyiv's municipal administration has since 2009 sought financing to upgrade the outdated station whose three facilities were built in 1965, 1975 and 1985.

View full page →

Sep 03, 2015 17:32 (GMT)

James Miller
A Foiled Bomb Plot By Russian Sympathizers Reported In Kiev

Earlier today the Ukrainian news outlet 112.UA published a report of a grenade attack on an office belonging to Right Sector (Pravyi Sektor), a far-right political organization (translated by The Interpreter):

In Kiev on Mayorova street (Obolon), four unidentified individuals threw a grenade into a Pravyi Sektor office, occupying the first floor of a residential building…

The explosion occurred at around 3:30. Four unidentified individuals arrived in a car with Kiev numberplates. The SBU and the police responded immediately and arrested the perpetrators.

RFE/RL has also picked up the story from AFP. That report, however, makes no mention of Right Sector, and the details are different:

Ukraine’s security services said Thursday they had detained four members of a pro-Russian group suspected of plotting to blow up a block of flats in Kiev.

“They planned to blow up a building in Obolon and were caught red-handed,” Olena Gitlyanska, spokeswoman for the SBU security services, told AFP, referring to a large residential area in northern Kiev.

The four men resisted arrest and threw a hand grenade at special forces as they were seized, the SBU said in a statement.

The SBU agents fired back, wounding one of the suspects in the leg.

The targetted block of flats had on the ground floor a centre collecting public donations for the armed forces battling pro-Russian separatists in the east and the men were seized close to the centre.

It’s possible that the “centre collecting public donations for the armed forces battling pro-Russian separatists” is the Right Sector office in question, but that’s not clear from the report.

James Miller, Pierre Vaux

Ukraine Accuses Russian-Backed Fighters Of Resuming Use Of Heavy Weaponry

Ukrainska Pravda reports that Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, has claimed that Russian-backed forces have resumed using heavy weaponry.

Speaking at the Administration’s daily press briefing at noon, Motuzyanyk said that, for the first time in four days, Russian-backed fighters had used 120 mm mortars.

According to the military spokesman, Ukrainian positions outside the village of Novotoshkovka, on the Bakhmutka highway in the Lugansk region, have been shelled with the heavy mortars, which should have been withdrawn in accordance with the Minsk agreements.

Earlier today, the ‘defence ministry’ of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic accused Ukrainian forces of having used these same weapons to bombard Donetsk last night.

Ukrainska Pravda notes that the tripartite Contact Group is due to meet on September 8 to discuss proposals for the withdrawal of all artillery with a calibre of less than 100 mm. 

With both sides now accusing each other of using heavy weaponry and, as Motuzyanyk has now confirmed, two Ukrainian soldiers killed and six wounded following yesterday’s ambush near Schastye, it appears the ceasefire is already unravelling.

— Pierre Vaux

1 Ukrainian Soldier Wounded With Sporadic Attacks In Lugansk Region And Claims Of Ukrainian Shelling Of Donetsk

While violence in the Donbass remains at the significantly reduced level since the agreement on the current ceasefire was announced at the end of last week, one Ukrainian serviceman has been wounded as sporadic attacks continue, most notably in the Lugansk region.

The Interior Ministry (MVD) reported today that Russian-backed forces had used small arms yesterday to attack Ukrainian settlements and positions near Krymskoye, Sokolniki, Schastye and Donetskiy.

One Ukrainian soldier was wounded as a result of the attack on Krymskoye. The small arms fire reportedly came from the direction of Zholobok, to the south-west. According to several reports from Ukrainian soldiers earlier this year, Zholobok, which is the westernmost occupied settlement on the Bakhmutka highway, is held by Russian regular forces rather than separatist paramilitaries.


According to the ATO Press Centre, Ukrainian troops in Krymskoye were again fired-upon at around 1 am today. The military says that Russian-backed fighters fired from the direction of Sokolniki with a grenade launcher.

Details have also emerged of the incident yesterday in which two members of a ‘mobile group,’ tasked with countering smugglers, were killed near Schastye. reports that the group’s car ran over a mine on the road, after which militants threw grenades and opened fire with small arms. 

Senior Lieutenant Dmitry Zharuk, a tax officer, and Andreiy Galushchenko, a volunteer, were killed. Four other wounded member of the patrol were evacuated after soldiers from the 92nd Independent Mechanised Brigade arrived and engaged the militants.

Photos of the wreckage of the vehicle were posted last night by the EuroMaydan Facebook group:




In the Donetsk region, the ATO Press Centre reports two small arms attacks, at around 19:00 and 22:00, on Ukrainian defensive positions near Marinka, south-west of Donetsk. At 21:40, Ukrainian troops in Krasnogorovka, just north of Marinka, came under heavy machine gun fire from the direction of occupied Staromikhailovka.

Meanwhile, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, claimed today that Ukrainian forces had used mortars to shell parts of northern Donetsk, Gorlovka and the town of Dokuchaevsk, on the front line south of Donetsk.

According to the ‘defence ministry’ of the DNR, Ukrainian troops used 82 and 120 mm mortars (the latter of which should have been withdrawn in accordance with the Minsk agreements) in addition to small arms. In particular, the ‘ministry’ claims that the Okrtyabrsky area of north-west Donetsk, on the front line near Ukrainian-held Peski, was shelled. The report says that fire came from Opytnoye, Avdeyevka and Verkhnotoretskoye.


— Pierre Vaux