Ukraine Live Day 600: Relative Calm on Front with Some Gunfire; Police Arrest 4 After Kiev Shoot-Out

October 10, 2015
Police cordon in Kiev near Zhytomyrska metro stop where shoot-out with reported extortionists took place yesterday October 9, 2015. Photo by

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Relative Calm on the Front with Some Gunfire; Police Arrest 4 After Shoot-Out in Kiev; Pre-Election Violence in Odessa

Pro-Russian militants fired on Ukrainian positions near the village of Berdyanskoye on the Mariupol line, Unian reported, citing the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] Facebook page.

The ATO denied claims from militants that they had fired from tanks.

the “provocations,” Ukrainian troops are restoring infrastructure
including the opening of a new checkpoint and humanitarian and logistics
center near Novotroitske (Novotroitskoye), said the ATO.

The OSCE Special Monitoring Missing reported today that yesterday, October 9 was relatively calm

the pledge of withdrawals of heavy armor, the SMM found some weapons
including howitzers and MLRSs absent from their holding areas on the
Ukrainian side and failed to obtain an updated list of location of
weapons sent to the JCCC.

In separatist-controlled territory, the SMM continued to observe heavy armor notably near Mariupol:

 In violation of the respective withdrawal lines, the SMM observed in the area of government-controlled Luhanske (59km north-east of Donetsk) a heavily damaged main battle tank (MBTs) (T-64) being transported on a truck heading north. The SMM unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) continued to observe, in violation of respective withdrawal lines, the presence of heavy weapons: in the area of “DPR”-controlled Petrivske (77km north-east of Mariupol) one self-propelled howitzer (122mm 2S1 “Gvozdika), in the area of “DPR”-controlled Komsomolske (74km north-east of Mariupol) seven MBTs and other military equipment, and in the area of “DPR”-controlled Sontseve (60km north-east of Mariupol) twenty three MBTs and other military equipment were observed. In the area of government-controlled Hranitne (48km north-east of Mariupol), the UAV spotted one towed heavy artillery piece.

Police roped off the area around the supermarket at the metro stop Zhitomirskaya in Kiev today following a shoot-out yesterday October 9 by a group of armed men reportedly involved in extortion, Unian reported. Police opened fire at the gunmen and ultimately placed four under arrest today between the ages of 25-30, after detaining several dozen.

Aleksandr Tereshchuk, chief of the Kiev police, said officers were forced to open fire to stop the gunmen, but according to preliminary reports, there have been no gunfire injuries, Unian reported (translation by The Interpreter):

The criminal investigation department of the city of Kiev is conducting an operation to arrest the criminals. The perpetrators were demanding cash from truckers — this was called racketeering in the past. Furthermore, there were some hooliganism – some bodily injuries were caused. This was documented over a certain period of time, and a special unit of police conducted the detentions of about two dozen people.

In a separate incident, police arrested 6 men who planned to blow up a draft board in Kiev on Fatherland Defense Day, celebrated October 14, Unian reported.

Vasiliy Gritsak, head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) told reporters of the detentions from the town of Pyatikhatka in Kiev Region which is the location of the SBU’s training center. He did not specify which draft board was targeted and no names of suspects were released.

In Odessa, Sergei Kivalov, a member of parliament and head of the pro-Russian Morskaya [Marine] party, said he is withdrawing from the mayoral race after he suffered threats of violence and “a repeat of May 2, 2014” in which 48 people died in a fire in the trade union building and 300 people were injured after clashes between nationalists and separatists, Unian reported.

Yester October 9, a grenade was thrown into the yard of Kivalov’s home on Tenistaya Street in Arkady District. A crater of approximately 20 centimeters resulted from the blast. There were no injuries.

Kivalov wrote on his Facebook page that he had received threatening text messages on his cell phone and believes these are related to his plan to run for mayor.

On September 17 at around midnight, a grenade was also thrown into the International Humanitarian University which is controlled by Kivalov. There were no injuries. Vandals also broke into the university’s building on the Black Sea causing about 1 million hryvnia’s ($47,765) worth of damage, said Kivalov.

Kivalov has represented the pro-Russian separatist cause in Odessa, and was accused of falsifying elections in 2004 when he chaired the Central Election Commission, and was said to receive millions of dollars in bribes from then-president Viktor Yanukovych.

In September, Odessa Region Governor Saakashvili accused Kivalov of election manipulation.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick