Ukraine Live Day 614: Russian-Backed Militants Fire on Shirokino; Russian Troop, Weapon Deployment Continues

October 24, 2015
A Ukrainian soldier puts dressing on a member of the Canadian Armed Forces during Canada's training of Ukrainian troops, October 22, 2015. Photo by CAF

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Russian-Backed Militants Fire on Shirokino; Russian Base Confirmed Nearby, Deployment Continues

Russian-backed  militants fired on the southern Ukrainian town of Shirokino (Shyrokine) yesterday October 23, Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the presidential administration on ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] affairs said today at a briefing, according to (translation by The Interpreter):

Yesterday in the village of Shirokino two hostile provocations were recorded. The occupiers unleashed random fire on the positions of the ATO forces from firearms and grenade-launchers. In the past day, not a single Ukrainian soldier was killed or wounded.

He added that Russia was still deploying its forces to the territories of Donetsk and Lugansk Regions and training militants there, as well as supplying them with weapons.

In order to demonstratively fulfill the Minsk agreements, the Russian military withdrew from the line of contact and deployed on both sides of sections of the border not controlled by Ukraine. At the same time, in order to maintain high combat readiness by the illegal armed formations on the occupied territory, training of militants continues, inspections commissions arrive and weapons from Russian territory are delivered.

But pro-Russian separatist media said fighting had broken out yesterday October 23 overnight in fact between Ukrainian nationalist battalions and the regular Ukrainian army after an argument over the radio involving one drunk soldier. There was no  other source for this claim.

Translation: Last night in the area of Shirokino, fighters of the national battalions launched a battle with the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Then today, firing continued, the ATO reported on its Facebook page.

Starting from 16:45 to 17:07, the terrorists fired on
our positions south of Avdeyevka from the area of the Putilov Forest,
using firearms and grenade-launchers. The OSCE mission has reported
this. Ukrainian soldiers did not open fire.

Today, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission published its report for yesterday that the separatists had not withdrawn heavily armor:

In violation of the respective withdrawal lines in
Donetsk region, the SMM saw one main battle tank (MBT) in the area of
“DPR”-controlled Michurine (56km north-east of Mariupol); and, four
infantry fighting vehicles (BMP-1) – one fitted with an anti-tank system
– in the area of “DPR”-controlled Telmanove (67km south-south-east of

InformNapalm reported this past week that they had found fresh proof on updated Yandex satellite photos of a Russian base near Shirokino.

There have been other recent reports of armor in this area.
Translation: On October 21, a whole 10 tanks (1st Slavyansk) on the route Vesyoloye, Dzerzhinskoye, Sakhanka, Shirokino – Novoazovsk (grainery).

InformNapalm’s work confirms what was also shown by a drone video of this same location taken by Dnipro-1 Battalion in April 2015:

– Catherine A. Fitzpatrick