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Local residents escape from a fire in the house that came under Ukrainian forces' air attack on the village of Luganskaya on July 2, 2014 (RIA Novosti/Valery Melnikov)

Poroshenko set to go all the way to ruin country’s southeast

Two Lugansk residents got killed and eight more sustained injuries as several apartment blocks came under fire on Thursday. An oncology center and a school were also damaged in the shelling, following Ukrainian president-elect Poroshenko’s refusal to prolong the 10-day ceasefire that he had announced earlier prior to the EU association agreement signing in Belgium.

After the truce formally ended on July 1, the Ukrainian army swiftly resumed massive attacks on the country’s south-eastern self-defense units.

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Whole residential blocks were damaged in July 2 airstrike by Ukrainian armed forces (RIA Novosti/Valeriy Melnikov)

The report on Thursday’s casualties reads as follows:

“On Thursday, a woman died after a projectile was fired at an apartment block at 1st Menzhinskaya street, one was injured and taken to the Lugansk regional hospital. Another man died in residential block 27 having sustained a gunshot wound.”

According to the latest updates, seven got injuries as several houses on a number of streets came under artillery attacks from on July 2 and July 3. In the most recent shellings of the oncology rehab and school no casualties were reported, though the buildings got partially ruined, the released documents say.

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Locals are sitting outside a house destroyed in the Ukrainian armed forces' air attack on the village of Luganskaya on July 2, 2014 (RIA Novosti/Valeriy Melnikov)

Locals are sitting outside a house destroyed in the Ukrainian armed forces’ air attack on the village of Luganskaya on July 2, 2014 (RIA Novosti/Valeriy Melnikov)

Additionally, an electric substation was damaged in armed clashes between pro-federalization activists and Ukrainian forces in Kamennobrodsky and Zhovtnevy districs, which left over 5,000 people without electricity. Emergency measures are currently in place to deal with the shellings aftermath.

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Residents of Luganskaya village after it came under Ukrainian forces’ air strike on July 2, 2014

The Kiev authorities launched a military operation in Ukraine’ east in April, so as to combat a broad opposition to the February power takeover, which resulted in Ukrainian Yanukovich being ousted. After shellings swept through a number of southeastern areas, Lugansk and Donetsk residents held a referendum, with the majority speaking in favour of gaining independence from Kiev and setting up the so-called Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics, or Novorossiya, as it’s now commonly referred to.

Moscow promptly responded by calling the special operation initiated by Kiev “punitive”, and demanding that the current Ukrainian authorities immediately halt it and sit down at the negotiating table with Ukraine’s south-eastern leaders.

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What’s underway in Ukraine and Novorossiya

Anti-governments rallies started in Ukraine’s southeast as early as in late February 2014 in response to the illegal seizure of power in Kiev and its tremendously unpopular Rada-introduced bill on ripping the Russian language of its status of a regional one. Donbass took the lead in pro-Russian activists’ rallies against Kiev, which have now reached its climax, with hundreds people, including civilians, killed in shellings.

In one of most recent attacks on Wednesday, ten died, a 5-year-old kid among them, in an artillery fire that hit a village in the Lugansk region.

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Most severe clashes have been raging through the towns of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk outside on Donetsk outskirts.

For the time being Slavyansk remains encircled, as the ties with the outer world were outright cut in the wake of attacks by Ukrainian militia groups.

The forces go on shelling the area,with a great many residential blocks literally razed to the ground, the latest reports from the self-defense headquarters read.

The day before the Ukrainian troops cut Slavyansk from neighboring Nikolaevka village, which served as a supply point for the town.

Though, clashes still continue in Nikolaevka, the town of Slavyansk remains encircled, with its defense constantly targeted in massive howitzer attacks and artillery fires.

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REPORTS BY THE MILITIAS FROM THE SOUTH-EAST OF UKRAINE

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Ukraine – July 2, 2014
UTC/Zulu: A first evaluation of the latest Ukie offensive on Novorussia.

Yesterday I wrote (The Saker) “hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and settle for anything in the middle”. 

Today, and while it is way too early to make any kind of definitive judgments, I feel that I can say with some confidence that the worst has not happened and that, in fact, there are signs that the Ukrainian offensive has, so far, yielded no useful results.

I have not heard from Juan or Gleb, but I have been carefully parsing the news coming out of Novorussia in the Russian media and, more importantly, in the Russian social media.  They all concur on the following:

  • The Ukrainian attacks have used massive but non-discriminate firepower.  Either this is a deliberate junta policy to terrorize the civilian population and thereby culturally cleanse the Donbass, or the Ukie forces are extremely poorly trained.  Whatever may be the case, there are plenty of civilians casualties, but the effect of this firepower on the resistance forces has not been as bad as one could have feared.

  • Both sides have had comparatively losses, though the attackers suffered much more due to several successful ambushes by the resistance which drew the attacking forces into “fire sacks” and, basically, wiped them out.

  • The Ukies seems to have tested the resistance by doing what is called in Russian “reconnaissance by fire” where you engage a force primarily to gage its response and find its weaker spots.  Apparently no such spots were found (yet).

  • The airspace over Novorussia seems to be very well defended and only in one day the Ukies lost at least one SU-25 close air support and one SU-24 bomber aircraft.  Other sources speak of several more aircraft hit, including one Mi-24 attack helicopter shot down and one twin engine aircraft hit, but which managed to fly away.

  • The main Ukrainian effort seems to be concentrated in re-taking control of the border between Novorussia and Russia, but their only success so far has been the re-taking of an abandoned border post which the resistance did not even bother defending.

  • No other significant gain or change in positions has been reported.

Still, the humanitarian situation is extremely bad, especially in Slaviansk which has been viciously shelled and bombed and which has lost all electrical power as a result of these strikes.

There are persistent rumors that the junta is about to begin using the OTR-21 Tochka operational tactical rocket against the resistance.  Maybe.  They sure have them, but the problem will be targeting.  The Ukies have no satellites and their aircraft-base reconnaissance capabilities appear to be minimal.  While it is possible that Uncle Sam will provide them with targeting data, the resistance forces just do not provide the kind of high-value targets which would justify the use of such advanced missiles.  My prediction is that if the Ukies engage their OTR-21s it will be for a pure terror attack aimed at flattening some well-known and therefore mostly empty building.

I have also noticed somewhat of a change in tone in the western corporate media. If the EU zombies are, again, threatening Russia with more (probably totally symbolic) sanctions, the western media seems to become aware of the plight of the civilian population of the Donbass. 

In conclusion I will repeat that while the initial reports seem to indicate that the Ukie offensive is going absolutely nowhere, it is way too early to rejoice, especially since we have now way of assessing how close either side is to its breaking point.

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Direct Information from Igor Strelkov & the Militia – July 1, 2014

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00:21 Information from the Militia
Ukies are conducting an intensive shelling of Kramatorsk, Slavyansk, the areas of Yampol and Krivaya Luka. As well, intensive battles are taking place in the area of Vishnevo-Dyakovo (DPR). In Metallist (suburb of Lugansk), Ukies got it good and are retreating to their positions.

23:50 (MSK) – Powerful heavy artillery explosions in Slavyansk, in Artyom and Severeniy districts.

00:00 (MSK) – Methodical destruction of Kramatorsk with heavy artillery is continuing. An artillery battery from the northern side of Krasniy Liman has joined in.

00:50 (MSK) – Signal flares over Krasniy Liman (the northern district); they are lighting up areas next to the artillery battery. Shelling against Kramatorsk is continuing. Fire has been opened at Slavyansk from the turn onto Krasniy Liman. Shelling is coming also from the garbage dump.

00:56 Commentary from the Militia
Q: Massive explosions and shooting in Kramatorsk. City centre is in smoke. In many areas of the city the civil defence siren is active.
Badass Soldier: We gave them an answer. Judging by the panicked radio transmissions, after our allah-verdi the TV tower fell on the Ukie positions.

01:47 Commentary from the Militia
Q: Do I understand it correctly that the TV tower succumbed to a purely natural disaster – hurricane winds and hail?
Badass Soldier: Unfortunately, we have neither the first, nor the second here – looks like our shells snapped the TV tower’s support cables. I noticed something – as soon as a guest comes to visit us, something strange always happens. You guys should stop sending us troopers – take pity on the Ukies! Just look – Topaz happened to come by for a tour, and the TV tower fell all of a sudden. Zmey is expected in a couple of days – I am scared to imagine what will happen …

09:44 Briefing from the Militia
Well, it looks like the Ukie advance has begun.A few hours ago, Ukie ground attack jets conducted a rocket-bomb strike on the Belenkoye village near Kramatorsk.
In LPR, there are battle in the area of Zheltoye settlement, in the Metallist settlement (a suburb of Lugansk) and in the Stanitsa Luganskaya.
There is also fighting in the area of Krasniy Partisan (near the Russian Gukovo).
Artillery shelling of Snezhnoye and Saur-Mogila has commenced. The same goes of Rubezhnoye.

11:48 Briefing from Igor Strelkov
Last night Slavyansk (Artyom settlement, Tselinniy, Severniy), Nikolayevka and Kramatorsk were subject to intensive shelling. A lot of destruction and wounded among the civilian population. Gas pipelines were smashed. There are no casulaties among the Militia.In the morning, Kramatorsk was bombed by the enemy aviation. I have no information about the results [of the bombing] – we have no communications with Kramatorsk [at this time].
Half an hour ago, Nikolayevka was shelled with Grad MLRS. We are determining casualty information.
There is fighting near Donetsk – there Ukies commenced an advance, which has been in the works for some time. We also have no communications with them.
We have information that Ukies started a tank advance against Seversk.
Tanks, artillery and infantry are being concentrating in our area. We will also be preparing for an assault.

11:57 Briefing from Igor Strelkov
Ukies shelled Piskunovka with artillery. It is a small village where we never had a garrison (it’s in neutral territory). There are multiple fires now. What’s most interesting is that a few days ago the residents [of the village] came out onto the streets and refused to let our militiamen pass, saying “get way from here – we don’t want them to shoot us.” So, our guys did not set up any positions there. Didn’t help.

14:18 Briefing from Igor Strelkov
Just now, a vehicle with humanitarian aid was fired upon. It barely managed to escape on flats. They decided to strangle us with the “bony hand of hunger” … There is at least 40,000 civilians left here – all the provisions are coming by way of humanitarian aid. And I am not even talking about the wounded.Ukies have concentrated their forces on a single direction. As if getting read for a parade. Look like they will be going for an assault … And there cannons upon cannons on top of cannons … are around are cannons and MLRS. They will start soon.

14:54 Commentary from Igor Strelkov
Q: Gunfire can be heard the centre of Donetsk.An intensive firefight started in the centre of Donetsk near the regional police HQ, which is controlled by the Militia. At least one person has been wounded; cars parked nearby have been damaged. According to RIA Novosti, it is unknown at this time who is involved in the skirmish.
Igor Strelkov: [We are] conducting a takeover of the [building]. The rear must be cleared [and secured] before an assault [on the city] takes place.In Kramatorsk, 2 more passengers of the destroyed motor-coach have died – in total, there are 6 dead and 4 wounded from this attack.The enemy is concentrating its forces against us and against Kramatorsk.

15:10 Commentary from Igor Strelkov
Q: On Russia 24 they just said that a unit of the field commander Bezler has taken over the police HQ in Donetsk and is refusing to obey the DPR Army – is battling against them. How can this be happening?
Igor Strelkov: Oh, in Donetsk it’s always – “either diarrhea or scrofula.” To be frank, I am really tired of hearing news from there – the news are consistently negative and always about some quarrel, squabble or the counting of chickens before they are hatched [Note: original – the division of an an unkilled bear’s skin]. To keep having internal strife in the face of an advancing enemy – it’s “the thing to do,” of course. As for me, I am long past caring who is in charge in Donetsk – as long as one person takes control. Be it Bes [Note: Bezler], Khodokovskiy, someone else. The only one I am completely oppsed to is Medvedchuk

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15:47 Commentary from Igor Strelkov
Q: Whispering, hoping: what about yourself?
Igor Strelkov: Firmly, no.To put things in order in Donetsk, you’d need a battalion (along with me). I can’t remove a force like that from the frontlines. Besides, “restoring the order” will also turn into shooting and squabbling. And the consequence for DPR will be most negative, equally on the military and on the geopolitical front.

15:57 Commentrary from Igor Strelkov
Q: [Ukie] news – yesterday, the Ukrainian artillery destroyed a Militia training camp near Slavyansk. Over 250 people died. True or not?
Igor Strelkov: Of course it’s not true! They did not just destroy one camp, they crushed a group of camps. Not just 250, but 2,500 militiamen are dead! There are three times as many wounded … The Militia is feeing, leaving behind dozens of tanks and aircraft, while the terrorist mercenaries are joining the ranks of the Ukrainian military en masse.

18:00 Briefing from Igor Strelkov
Igor Strelkov: In the course of the night from June 30 – July 1, the enemy conducted a series of artillery strikes against Slavyansk, Semyonovka, Nikolayevka, and Kramatorsk, using howitzer, mortars and Grad MLRS. In all the settlements there is significant destruction and wounded.In the morning, in the course of an artillery strike on Kramatorsk, a motor coach was hit. Four civilians died on the spot; two more died of their wounds at the hospital. Four more were wounded. The city was also attacked [from the air] by a Su-25 [ground attack jet].
In the course of the day on July 1, the enemy continued shelling all of the above-mentioned settlements; two militiamen were wounded. Our return strike at an enemy column that advanced into the area of Kombikormoviy destroyed and/or damaged 3 trucks with ammunition and 2 refuelling vehicles.
In the first half of the day, the enemy attempted to attack the positions of the Militia staffed by personnel from Mozgovoi’s Lisichansk Battalion in the area of the city of Seversk. The attack was repelled with significant losses [to the enemy]; two APCs were hit and burned down. The enemy returned the favour by continuing to shell Seversk with heavy artillery.

19:33 Commentary from Igor Strelkov
Q: Ukies are silent about the losses today. Looks like they are not insignificant. They may be waiting to take control of a small village, to publically claim a victory and add their losses at the end, [in small print].

Igor Strelkov: On the northern front we had two successful attacks:Mozgovoi’s fighters repelled a Ukie attack on Seversk, routing and dispersing an armoured scouting party. Two APCs were burned down and were left on the battlefield; three others fled in different direction. The enemy also suffered substantial losses in manpower.Our Nonas shelled a column of the enemy near the entrance to the Kombikormoviy checkpoint. With a high degree of certainty, we can claim the destruction of 3 trucks with artillery ammunitions and 2 refuelling vehicles. In return, the enemy conducted massive shelling of Slavyansk, Semyonovka and Cherevkovka, causing repeated destruction in the industrial and the residential sectors. There are no losses among militiamen.

19:39 Commentary from Igor Strelkov
Q: (thoughtfully) Wasn’t there just one [Nona], if I recall correctly …
Igor Strelkov: We restored the one we hit and captured near Yampol.

20:02 Information from the Militia
According to information from sources on the border between LPR and the Russian Federation, fierce battles continue near Izvarino. Militiamen have several “200s” (about 10 men) and “300s.”

The enemy lost 6 T-64 tanks and a number of APCs that were destroyed by the Militia. The number of dead among the Junta troops is unknown. At this time, the Militia is continuing to hold positions near the [border] crossing, the battles continue.

Saur-Mogila is being subjected to intense artillery shelling and airstrikes. During one of the attempts, a Junta aircraft missed and the rockets went past Saur Mogila, hitting the settlement of Dmitrovka. There are casualties among the civilian population.

19:47 Commentary from Igor Strelkov
Q: Ukies (NazGuard) are reporting that they have taken Zakotnoye under control. Igor Ivanovich, is this serious?
Igor Strelkov: But [the settlement] was not controlled by anyone. Our patrols would show up there from time to time.

19:28 Infromation from LPR
Bolotov stated at a press-conference in Lugansk that the Militia have taken full control of the Lugansk airport.

20:33 Information from the Ukrainian Armed Forces
We are dealing with the TV Tower at this moment. There was special equipment [on the TV Tower] that enabled us to correct artillery shelling and perform scouting and monitoring of the surroundings over a radius of several dozen kilometres. The toppling of the TV Tower has foiled our plans. The army is once again blind.

22:32 Briefing from the Militia
Badass Soldier: As of this time, the self-defence unit at Izvarino, under Strelkov’s jurisdiction, has destroyed an additional 2 BMP APCs, 2 Ural trucks, 1 BTR APC, and 2 mortars.

22:36 Eyewitness Reports from Location
Slavyansk was hit with high-calibre shells. In one of the buidings in the Artyom district the entranceway was smashed to bits. There are dead and wounded.Sharpnel charges came from Kombikormoviy. There is destruction at 4 Bulvarnaya street and 7 & 9 Volnaya street. A women died; there are also 3 wounded. Poroshenko is a “hero.”

According to an eyewitness:
At 7 Volnaya street, 3rd entranceway, 2nd floor – one dead, two wounded. At 4 Bulvarnaya street, 3rd entranceway, from 1st to 5th floor there is enormous destructions (looks like that hit a gas pipe) – one wounded (a grandma was freed from under the rubble. At 9 Volnaya street, window panes have been blown out. As well:
– School No. 10 was hit;
– boiler-room buiding in Artyom district, behind “Salyut” store, was hit;
– the roof of the “Salyut” store was hit;
There is information that there was 10 Bulvarnaya street was also hit.
According to DTEK Donetskoblenergo, Slavyansk has been entirely deelectrified as a result of shelling by the Ukrainian army.

18:50-23:30 Briefing from the Militia

18:50 (MSK) – Shelling is continuing from the direction of the northern part of Krasniy Liman. According to confirmed information, a frog [Note: MI-8] and a Su-25 were shot down over the territory of Lugansk. Accordingly, 4 air targets were destroyed today.

19:25 (MSK) – In Lugansk, the civil defence siren has come on. A Su ground attack jet is coming in for an attack. Another Su conducted airstrikes with NARs [Note: unguided air-to-ground rockets] against Stanitsa Luganskaya. Fire was opened in return; however, the aircraft escaped unharmed.

19:35 (MSK) – A unit of Su ground attack jets flew over the area of military engagement in Konstantinovka, coming from the direction of Artyomovsk.

20:05 (MSK) – A battery of heavy artillery is conducting strikes from the turn onto Svyatogorsk. Just now we received information that yet another aircraft was shot down over Raigorodok.

20:25 (MSK) – In the area of Zakotnoye there is a battle; KPVT is heard working; there are explosions. Overall, there are multiple maneuver-centric battles currently ongoing in LPR and DPR; the main events are taking place on the border with the Russian Federation, near Lugansk, at Saur Mogila, and in the area of Krasniy Liman-Yampol-Zakotnoye-Slavyansk. Shelling of Hero-Cities is being conducted using all kinds of weapons that Ukies have concentred in the military theatre; aviation is being widely used. In addition, Praviy Sector goons arrived today in Krasniy Liman on two buses (up to a company in total).

22:10 (MSK) – Artillery strikes are being conducted against Metallist.

23:00 (MSK) – A maneuver-centric engagement is taking place near Shurovo.

23:30 (MSK) – An explosion and automatic weapons’ fire on the south side of Krasniy Liman.

22:55 Information from a Reliable Contact
Indeed, there were Bezler’s men. The key goal of todays skirmish was Pozhidayev. He has been detained. There are no longer any police in Donetsk that are subordinated to Kiev. There will no longer be any shooting at police.Some militiamen decided that they are more militiamen than others. They took an initiative that was not requested. As of this time, all the differences have been settled in negotiations, there are no more problems.

23:39 Preliminary Data Regarding Ukrainian Losses Manpower Losses: 14 in total – 8 in Donetsk and 6 in LPRDestroyed Military Equipment:
– 2 tanks at Karlovka
– 6 T-64 tanks near the LPR/Russia border
– 1 BTR-80 APC in Lugansk
– 8 BMP/BTR APCs near the LPR/Russia border
– 2 BTR APCs near Seversk
– 2 BMP APCs near Izvarino
– 1 Su-25 shot down over Snezhnoye
– 1 Su-24 and 1 Su-25 shot down over Lugansk
– 3 trucks with artillery ammunition destroyed in Slavyansk
– 2 refuelling trucks destroyed in Slavyansk
– 2 Ural trucks near Izvarino
– 2 mortars near Izvarino

* Note: some source suggest, with a high degree of certainty that Ukraine lost 5 Su aircraft, 1 MI-8 helicopter, and that a further 2 Su jets were substantially damaged.

23:51 Commentary from Igor Strelkov
Q: They are really starting to hit Saur-Mogila – the guys are real heroes to live through a night like that and then until 14:00 – I counted at least 20 Grad volleys. Looks like they might have downed a Su jet as well. Who is their commander, he really deserves respect?

00:07 Commentary from Igor StrelkovQ: So, does it mean that they downed a third Su today? Or are we talking about the one over Stanitsa Luganskaya? Plus, we are patiently awaiting authoritative commentary on the situation between Bezler and Borodai.


Igor Strelkov: I am not certain either with respect to the 1st, or the 2nd, or the 3rd Su, as I [personally] did not report anything of the sort today (for clarity, here I will answer only with respect to the information I state personally, and not the information provided elsewhere by someone claiming to speak from my name). They were downed or damaged not in my area. Accordingly, I have no right to comment on this issue. The Ukrainian armed forces have confirmed that one of their aircraft was downed – that means that at leas one of them was indeed damaged.As for the situation with Bezler, Borodai, etc., I will not comment on it in any way. One thing I know for sure is that they will be doing backflips at the ATO HQ reading statements like those above. I only hope that this squabble will not reflect on what we do in our area.

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Donetsk militia takes control of Ukrainian anti-air installation

Ukrainian anti-air military installation

The self-defense forces of Donetsk People’s Republic seized control of a Ukrainian anti-air military installation, RIA Novosti reports.

“The forces of Donetsk People’s Republic assumed control of A-1402 military base,” the militia’s representative said. According to him, it is an anti-aircraft missile forces facility equipped with Buk mobile surface-to-air missile systems.

During the last several days the militia took control of two internal security troops’ installations in eastern Ukraine.

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SOURCES:

Voice of Russia

Vinegard Saker

Vinegard Saker

Voice of Russia

the real SyrianFreePress NETwork

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