Ukraine Live Day 621: 2 Ukrainian Soldiers Reported Killed Today Near Avdeyevka

October 31, 2015
Fire-fighters douse smoldering embers in ammunition dump fire in Svatovo, Ukraine, October 30, 2015. Screen grab from Ukrainian Defense Ministry TV

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2 Ukrainian Soldiers Reported Killed Today Near Avdeyevka; Army Deals With Aftermath of Svatovo Explosion

Ukraine’s ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] spokesman has confirmed the killing of 1 Ukrainian soldier and wounding of another yesterday, October 30, 24 Today reported.

Today passed without any violations of the ceasefire, the ATO said on its Facebook page.

But Viktor Kovalenko reported 2 unconfirmed deaths of Ukrainian soldiers today, as did Lugansk News Today.

There was one violent incident in Lysychansk, but no one was injured.

ATO soldiers were busy dealing with the aftermath of the ammunition depot
explosion in Svatovo were two civilians were killed and 8 wounded.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry TV filmed the destroyed buildings, debris and detonated shells in the vicinity.

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) visited the area of the explosion in Svatovo yesterday.

They filed this report today, which brought the number of wounded up to 8 now:

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) visited the area of the explosion in Svatovo yesterday and filed this report today:

The SMM followed up on reports of an explosion at an ammunition depot in
government-controlled Svatove (127km north-west of Luhansk). The SMM
was stopped 5km from Svatove by Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel and
prevented from reaching the location due to security concerns. According
to a representative of the Anti-Terrorist Operation, a fire had caused
over 3,000 tons of ammunition to explode. Two persons (one civilian
woman and one male soldier) had been killed and eight injured, the
interlocutor said, adding that buildings had been destroyed and utility
supplies severely disrupted. The SMM also spoke with a representative of
the Civil-Military Administration of the Luhansk region, based in
government-controlled Sievierodonetsk (74km north-west of Luhansk), who
said that civilians and military personnel had been evacuated from the
area while the authorities attempted to bring the situation under
control. According to the interlocutor, 58 pieces of unexploded ordnance
had been located by 15:00hrs on 30 October. The cause of the fire is
being investigated, he added.

Ukrainian military has indicated that the fire may be sabotage from the Russian-backed separatists. A criminal case has been opened and it is being investigated by law-enforcement.

Svatovo was one of three towns (the others were Mariupol and
Krasnoarmeysk) where elections were not able to be held as planned in
the local elections October 25 due to insecurity or problems with

The OSCE SMM also recounted the incident involving an explosive device thrown at the home of the mayor of Lviv:

On 30 October, the SMM went to the house of the mayor of Lviv,
which had reportedly been the scene of an explosion the previous
evening at 22:50hrs. The SMM observed explosive blast marks on a wall of
the house and 10-12 police officers at the location. According to the
regional branch of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, one man has been
detained by police, who are investigating the incident as a terrorist
act. The house of the mayor had previously been hit with a portable
anti-tank rocket launcher (see SMM Daily Report 28 July 2014) and a rocket-propelled grenade (see SMM Daily Report 28

December 2014).

As in previous weeks, the SMM found that some tanks and heavy armor
were in the locations of withdrawal as they were supposed to be, and
some were not. They noted that previous discrepancies on the Ukrainian
side were corrected in two locations. On the side of the forces of the
self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic,” the monitors found some
weapons accounted for but some missing (two towed howitzers), and two
depots could not be found at all.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick