Ukraine Live Day 598: Ukraine Insists Withdrawal Will Continue As Planned Despite Reports Of Fighting

October 8, 2015
Ukraine's Aidar Battalion on exercise today. Photo: Nikolai Nagorny

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Ukraine Insists Withdrawal Will Continue As Planned Despite Reports Of Fighting

The Ukrainian military has given further details on yesterday’s attack that left four soldiers wounded..

According to the ATO Press Centre, Russian-backed fighters fired on the position, near Troitskoye in the Lugansk region, with two anti-tank missiles at 12:25. 

One of the missiles struck a digger that was being used for engineering work. 

The military claims that representatives from both the OSCE and the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) have recorded that the incident occurred.

Ruslan Tkachuk, spokesman for the Ukrainian military operation in the Lugansk region, told the 112 television channel this morning that monitors from both the OSCE and the UN had visited the scene of the attack and that military police officers were investigating.

Tkachuk claimed that the attack would not derail the process of withdrawing tanks and artillery from the front in the region. 

The ATO Press Centre claimed that there were no other ceasefire violations last night.

In fact the Ukrainian military says that this is the first violation of the ceasefire since September 30.

However, this is simply not true, even by official Ukrainian reports. On October 6, Andriy Lysenko, military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, told reporters that a Ukrainian soldier had been wounded during a skirmish with Russian-backed fighters near Tryokhizbenka, also in the Lugansk Region.

Furthermore a video uploaded last night to the YouTube channel of a separatist “international brigade” records the sound of artillery and gunfire, audible, the narrator says, from the direction of Donetsk Airport. The narrator confirms the date of the recording as October 7, 2015:

The pro-separatist Donetsk News Agency (DAN) reported last night that Ivan Prikhodko, the head of the Kuybyshevsky district of Donetsk, had told the agency that Ukrainian forces had shelled the Oktyabrsky neighbourhood, near the front line south of the airport, with mortars at 20:32. 

Prikhodko claimed that two direct hits on Kremlevsky street had been recorded.

As we reported last night, the latest report from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) once again suggests that there is more fighting in the Donbass than either side is officially willing to acknowledge.

— Pierre Vaux