Ukraine Live Day 629: Militants Storm Ukrainian Positions; Fighting Rages in Many Areas; Border Guard Killed

November 8, 2015
A shell that fell in a yard in Pervomaisk during fighting November 8, 2015. Screen grab from Russia's TV1.

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Russian-Backed Militants Storm Ukrainian Positions, Take Casualties; Fighting Raging at Many Locations; 1 Border Guard Killed

Russian-backed militants attempted to storm Ukrainian army positions in Mayorsk today, the general staff said, according to a report from The separatists appeared to be attempting to provike the Ukrainian soldiers into violating the Minsk accords, said

The ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] said on its Facebook page today that starting at 5:50 am, they fired on Ukrainian positions with grenade-launchers, large-caliber machine guns and firearms (translation by The Interpreter):

The shelling was on Novgorodskoye, Troitskoye, Peski and Mayorsk. Twice on Mayorsk and Zaytsevo, the terrorists opened fire from 88 mm mortar launchers which should have been withdrawn under the Minsk agreements.

2015-11-09 04:15:50

2015-11-09 03:59:49

All together, they fired 15 times, said the ATO.

At 13:00, about
20 militants tried to storm our positions in the area of Mayorks. When
the occupiers approached 150-100 meters, not letting up on their fire on
our soldiers, there was a decision made to open fire on the militants,
another group of mercenaries began shelling another positions of
Ukrainian soldiers. Receiving a sufficient rebuff, the militants lay in
wait and tried to leave the battle. At 14:40 they tried to go around our
positions ,but fell under fire, suffered casualties and went into
hiding. At 15:50, the terrorists open fire from mortar-launchers and
under cover of that fire, they picked up their killed and wounded and

The headquarters said the Ukrainian Armed Forces were only
using firearms and keeping to the Minsk agreement but this was not
independently confirmed.

Military officials did not report any casualties but a conflict blogger said that a Ukrainian border guard was killed at Marinka, citing a local woman’s Facebook page:

Ekaterina Dorokhina wrote on her Facebook page that a former student of hers, Igor Neshko, a senior warrant officer from Chernihov serving as a border guard, was killed when the BTR he was riding in with 6 others overturned, either because it hit a mine or was shot at. Neshko was killed and the other 6 were hospitalized in Krasnoarmyesk, one with both arms broken. Neshko leaves behind a pregnant wife.

Ukrainian media sources as well as local social media and conflict reporters are describing an escalation of the conflict.

Translation: Headquarters: Militants continue the escalation of the conflict.

Translation: Military announced a worsening of the situation in the Donbass.

As we have reported in the last few days, the self-declared “Donetsk People’s Republic” forces have not cooperated with the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and have blocked access to armor holding areas and when they have provided it, some of the armor previously recorded was missing.

A blogger reports troops coming to separatist-controlled Dokuchayevsk from Shandrivka.

(The original source for this tweet had said there were two trucks).

There is also fighting reported in the Gorlovka area not covered in the official ATO report.


Also many reports of shelling in the Donetsk Airport area:

This video uploaded today is from the Kuybyshevsky District in Donetsk, which was struck by a Grad rocket yesterday and which was frequently the target of shelling in the crossfire in the last year. It has no pictures as it is taken in the night time, but sounds of shelling can be heard throughout.

This video uploaded today in Stakhanov also has the sound of shelling in the background.

Russia’s TV1 reported that 1 civilian had been killed in Pervomaisk and 8 homes and a school damaged
as a result of shelling, and blamed Ukrainian forces in Popasnaya. A civilian was also reportedly injured in Stakanov.

For more reports see the English-language feed of Lugansk News Today.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick