Ukraine Live Day 646: Ukrainian Chief of General Staff Orders Troops to Cease Fire

November 25, 2015
Gen. Viktor Murzhenko, Ukrainian chief of general staff and commander-in-chief, in February 2015.

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Ukraine Accuses Russian-Backed Fighters Of Firing On Separatist-Held Gorlovka With Grads

The Ukrainian military claims that Russian-backed fighters are firing on separatist-held Gorlovka with Grad rockets in order to stage a provocation.

A post on the ATO Press Centre Facebook page at 18:35 GMT (translated by The Interpreter):

Attention!!! At this moment terrorists are firing from Spartak in the direction of Golovka with multiple-launch rocket systems. 20 rounds have already been fired. By these means the militants are again trying to discredit the Ukrainian armed forces. Recall that Spartak is temporarily occupied under the control of the terrorists.

So far, we have not seen any other reports of Grad fire on Gorlovka, though pro-separatist sources have reported bangs and small arms fire was audible in the town earlier.

Earlier this evening, at 17:21 GMT, the ATO Press Centre reported 23 attacks so far today. 

According to the report, Russian-backed fighters used grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and small arms to attack Novgorodskoye, Marinka, Peski, Opytnoye, Krasnogorovka and Verkhnetoretskoye.  


The Ukrainian military also reports two machine gun and small arms attacks on Luganskoye, to the east of Gorlovka.

Meanwhile the ‘defence ministry’ of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) claimed this afternoon that Ukrainian forces had violated the ceasefire 16 times over the previous 24 hours.

— Pierre Vaux

Two Electrical Sub-Stations in Sevastopol Burn Due to Overload; Ukraine Has Still Not Restored Power to Russian-Occupied Crimea
Two electrical power substations in Sevastpol have caught on fire due to overload in an energy crisis induced by a partial shut-off of power supply from Ukraine caused by an explosion at two pylons still to be repaired, reported.
Power is not yet back on in Russian-occupied Crimea after explosions in Ukraine’s Kherson Region last weekend destroyed two of the four pylons supporting power lines into the Crimea. A number of towns have been dark, up to 2 million people were  initially left without electricity and Simferopol has been running at 40% power.
Sevastopolenergy representative Ruslan Boryahkin said that due to the “chaotic” supply of power, fire broke out at the transformer sub-station on Kolobov Street in the Gagarin District and another on Khrustalev Street. reported.  There was also a fire at a residence in Kerch, simferopol.ino reported.
About 50 other emergencies were recorded throughout the network, all connected to the overload as citizens attempt to turn back on their appliances all at once as power returned spottily in some areas.
Meanwhile, Ukrenergo said that the deadline to repair the damaged pylons has passed due to wet conditions after heavy rains but work is expected to be completed on November 26, reported. Power is then expected to be reported to the Kakhovka-Titan line supplying 40% of Crimea’s electricity needs. 
Occupation authorities in Crimea say about one million are still left without electricity, TASS reported: 999,000 people at 803 towns.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

Ukrainian Chief of General Staff Orders Troops to Cease Fire Despite Provocations from Russian-Back Militants
Viktor Murzhenko, chief of the Ukrainian general staff and commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, has ordered troops not to open fire starting at 00 hours today, November 24.
Murzhenko’s order was announced by Maj.-Gen. Boris Kremenetsky, head of the Ukrainian team at the Joint Center for Command and Coordination, a Ukrainian-Russian body that is monitoring the cease fire.
Kremenetsky said that Russian-backed militants continue to violate the ceasefire, using large-caliber weapons and grenade-launchers and attempt to provoke Ukrainian soldiers into violating the Minsk agreements.
Even so, the chief of the general staff was issuing his order in order to “confirm Ukraine’s unconditional efforts to settle the situation in the Donbasss peacefully,” he added. He expressed concern about repeated reports of heavy armor in possession of the militants (translation by The Interpreter):

Thus, in the past 24 hours, on November 24, JCCC observers recorded two cases of use against the Ukrainian Armed Forces of 82-mm mortar launchers and once case of use of 120-mm mortar launchers.

He also said diversionary groups had stepped up their activity, but repair work was still underway in the region.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick