Ukraine Live Day 566: Ceasefire holding, But 3 Ukrainian Paratroopers Go Missing

September 6, 2015

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?

Ceasefire Tentatively Holding

Despite ceasefire violations reported yesterday, Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, spokesperson of the Administration of the President of Ukraine on issues related to the “Anti-Terror Operation” (ATO), says that the ceasefire is largely holding. The Ukraine Crisis Media Center has this summary of today’s ATO briefing:

Total ceasefire still holds in the Luhansk and Mariupol sectors. Militants’ armed provocations were observed only in the Donetsk sector, mostly using light arms and grenade launchers. Ceasefire was violated three times near Zaitseve north of Horlivka, said Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, spokesperson of the Administration of the President of Ukraine on ATO-related issues, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

According to Col. Motuzyanyk, militants instigated several brief armed provocations in the vicinity of Donetsk airport, in particular near Avdiivka, Opytne and Pisky. Russia-backed militants sporadically use prohibited weapons. Insurgent fired at Ukrainian positions from a tank and 120mm mortars.

Col. Motuzyanyk said that the Armed Forces incurred no losses in the past 24 hours, but five troops were injured.

Yesterday we reported ceasefire violations in the area of Donetsk Airport, matching these reports:

However, there is a new problem today. The Ukrainian military is reporting that three paratroopers have gone missing near the Crimean peninsula, occupied by Russian soldiers. Ukraine Today reports that three soldiers from the 79th airborne brigade disappeared on the morning of September 5:

“In the morning of September 5, we became aware of the three soldiers from the 79th separate airmobile brigade gone missing – senior soldier Yurov, soldiers Orlenko and Mekshun. In the course of search operations, after serving duty at the observation post… they put on plain clothes and went to swim at the dam, according to their fellow soldiers. The dam is located in the area adjacent to the illegally occupied territory of Crimea,” reads the statement.

According to the General Staff, it was later found that on the same night, two vehicles (an URAL truck and UAZ) drove close to the said area from the illegally occupied territory of Crimea. Therefore, Ukrainian troops might have been illegally captured by the Russian military.

James Miller