Ukraine Live Day 677: Woman Killed in Russian-Backed Militant Mortar Attack on Zaitsevo

December 26, 2015
Ukrainian soldiers re-enforce positions in Donetsk Region in December 2015. Photo by ATO.

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3 Ukrainian Soldiers Wounded in Last 24 Hours

Three Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in the last 24 hours, reported, citing Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian presidential administration on ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] issues.

Lysenko said that while there had been “absolute silence” from the direction of Lugansk Region, there had been recurring shelling in Donetsk Region.

Russian-backed militants were also caught fleeing a buffer zone near Marinka, reported: 

Ukrainian servicemen say some rockets recently fired towards their positions were a subversion; used to cover the militant reconnaissance team leaving the area. The pro-Putin forces managed to escape via a so-called ‘grey area’, a buffer zone between the opposing fighters. Ukrainian soldiers say the meticulously planned operation couldn’t have been the work of local men with no military background.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick 

Woman Killed in Russian-Backed Militant Mortar Attack in Zaitsevo
A civilian woman apparently aged 60-70 was killed in Zaitsevo when mortars struck her home during an attack by Russian-backed militants at about 20:00, reported. Her body was brought to Dzerzhinsk and police are attempting identification. 
The militants fired on Ukrainian positions near Opytnoye, Peski and Avdeyevka 21 times, reported, citing the Facebook page of the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation]. Thus the holiday “quiet regimen” that went into effect December 23 was violated.
North of Gorlovka, militants pounded the areas of Novgorodskoye ,Zaitsevo, and Mayorsk, and also attached near Svetlodarsk and Luganskoye. According to the ATO [translated by The Interpreter]:

Generally, the enemy used firearms, grenade-launches, large-caliber machine guns and sniper fire. However, towards evening, near Zaitsevo, the militants twice struck with 82-mm mortar-launchers.

The ATO also reported that pro-Russian fighters had sent a civilian over a mine field:

A vivid example of the contempt of the militants for the safety of civilians occurred near Marinka. Pro-Russian criminals forced one of the locals in Aleksandrovka, which they have occupied, to cross the line of contact and sent him straight across a field which they had clearly mined. The man, whom they first plied with vodka, was supposed to be a live mine trawl, and they would have placed the entire responsibility for his death on Ukrainian soldiers. Fortunately, a tragedy was averted. 

In other news, Gennady Korban, leader of the UKROP party, who has been under house arrest pending investigation of a number of gang-related charges, was brought to a hearing on an IV by a court order, despite having just undergone a double stent operation. The court was to review an appeal by the prosecutor to change his house arrest to pre-trial detention in jail. 
But while in court for some hours, he began to feel worse and an emergency service was called.

When the ambulance came for him, however, it was kept on the grounds of the court while medics tried  to stabilize him. Eventually he was taken under SBU escort to the Amosov Institute for Heart Surgery.

The doctors who allowed Korban to be released from the hospital to go to court “committed a crime,” said Korban’s lawyer Oksana Tomchuk.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick