Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
For links to individual updates click on the timestamps.
For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: How We Know Russia Shot Down MH17.
- READ OUR SPECIAL REPORT: An Invasion By Any Other Name: The Kremlinâs Dirty War in Ukraine
UNN reports that Daniil Onipko, a press officer for the Ukrainian military operation in the south of the Donetsk region, known as Sector M, has told the news agency that a Ukrainian soldier was wounded during a skirmish yesterday near Granitnoye, east of Volnovkaha.
Earlier this morning, a military spokesman confirmed that one Ukrainian serviceman had been killed and five wounded over the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile Mariupol news site 0629.com.ua reports that another soldier was killed by a mine near Volnovakha.
— Pierre Vaux
Dmytro Yarosh has announced that he is stepping down as leader of the ultra-nationalist political and paramilitary group Pravyi Sektor (Right Sector).
Writing on his Facebook page today, Yarosh said that he had come to the decision following ideological differences with certain members of the Pravyi Sektor leadership.
The Interpreter translates:
“Having been wounded and needing a long period of treatment, I entrusted some of the direction of the movement to my closest associates, who had and have their own view on expanding the nationalist movement. My own position does not at all coincide with the aspirations of part of the leadership…
As leader, I bear personal responsibility for everything that is happening in the organisation, and I don’t intend to shift it onto others. This is precisely why I can not be the star presence in Pravyi Sektor.
Therefore I have to decline the invitation to head the proposed leadership conference and am giving up my powers as the leader of the Pravyi Sektor national liberation movement, remaining a nationalist, a statist and a revolutionary.”
— Pierre Vaux
A Ukrainian Sukhoi Su-25 attack jet has crashed in the Zaporozhye region. The pilot, Senior Lieutenant Yegor Bolshakov, born in 1992, was killed.
Translation: The pilot killed in Zaporozhye – Senior Lieutenant Yegor Bolshakov – graduated from Kozhedub university last year
Ukrainska Pravda reports that Vladislav Seleznyov, head of the General Staff’s press office, told the online paper that the aircraft crashed around 20 metres from the Dnipropetrovsk-Zaporozhye highway, near the village of Mikhailovka.
According to the report, one user on an Ukrainska Pravda forum claimed that pieces of wreckage were strewn across the highway itself and part of the aircraft had fallen into a gully at the side of the road.
Olexei Mazepa, another press officer for the General Staff, told the 112 television channel that the Su-25 was in full working order at the time of the crash and that Bolshakov was fully trained.
Mazepa said that the crash took place at around 10 am, during a planned training flight.
According to Seleznyov, investigators are not yet pursuing any single scenario of the events that led to the crash.
It should be noted that Zaporozhye is well outside the combat zone to the east.
— Pierre Vaux
The violence in the Donbass continues to accelerate as the Ukrainian military reports skirmishes and assaults at several key areas of the front line.
Colonel Andriy Lysenko, military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, has just announced that one Ukrainian serviceman has been killed and five wounded in action over the last 24 hours.
This morning, the Ukrainian military’s ATO Press Centre reported that Russian-backed fighters had attempted to assault Ukrainian positions last night near the village of Novozvanovka, in the west of the Lugansk region.
According to the report, Ukrainian troops opened fire for effect when an enemy assault team approached their positions at 22:00. Having withdrawn, the Russian-backed fighters attempted to outflank the Ukrainians and made another assault, which was once again, the military claims, repelled by fire. The ATO Press Centre says that the Russian-backed fighters suffered casualties, including fatalities.
To the southwest of Novozvanovka, the Ukrainian-held villages of Mayorsk and Zaytsevo, outside separatist-held Gorlovka, were shelled with 82 mm mortars.
Ukrainian military analyst and founder of Information Resistance Dmytro Tymchuk claimed this morning that Russian-backed fighters had attempted to push Ukrainian troops out of Mayorsk and Zaytsevo by shelling positions and attacking with infantry.
Further east in the Lugansk region, Ukrainian military intelligence reported an attack yesterday near the village of Bolotennoye, northeast of the separatist-held regional capital.
According to Tymchuk, the nearby village of Sizoye was also shelled. Both attacks, he claimed, were conducted with automatic mortars and grenade launchers from separatist-held territory on the southern banks of the river.
Fighting has also spread to the southern front, in the war-torn village of Shirokino and along the banks of the river Kalmius, which saw intense shelling and fighting this summer.
Yesterday afternoon Ukrainian marines told TSN that their positions in Shirokino had been attacked from multiple directions with 82 mm mortars.
According to the report, Russian-backed fighters have advanced to within 300-400 metres of the Ukrainian positions.
One marine told TSN (translated by The Interpreter):
“In the last two days we’ve noted military trucks with ammunition. They unloaded around thirty people, they were brought to their positions and ferried to their dugouts. And since that time they’ve begun to work on us with 82 mm mortars and SPG-9s.”
The troops also report sniper attacks and, even more worryingly, a deployment of tanks outside the village.
5 Channel reported that soldiers in Shirokino had told them that around 40 shells had fallen on their positions the previous night. The Ukrainian soldiers say they are adhering to their orders to only record attacks, not return fire.
This area of the front is particularly significant given that it is essential for the defence of the Donetsk-Mariupol highway, protecting the strategically vital city from being flanked from the north.
Furthermore, large deployments of Russian armour have been spotted by the OSCE throughout most of the last year near Komosmolskoye and Sontsevo, on the eastern banks of the river. These tanks remained in place after the weapons withdrawal process began in other areas.
Two bases have also been documented – one a training camp on the outskirts of Razdolnoye, and a forward operating base, constructed this summer, near Sontsevo.
In the Donetsk area, where the current wave of fighting first erupted, the Ukrainian report attacks near Avdeyevka, Peski, Opytnoye, and Marinka.
— Pierre Vaux