Tag Archives: Luhansk

Ukrainian troops suffer heavy loss in ambush


Associated Press
An armed pro-Russian rebel secures the area next to a refrigerated train loaded with the bodies of victims, in Torez, eastern Ukraine, 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, Sunday, July 20, 2014. Armed rebels forced emergency workers to hand over all 196 bodies recovered from the Malaysia Airlines crash site and had them loaded Sunday onto refrigerated train cars bound for a rebel-held city, Ukrainian officials and monitors said.An armed pro-Russian rebel secures the area next to a refrigerated train loaded with the bodies of victims, in Torez, eastern Ukraine, 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, Sunday, July 20, 2014. Armed rebels forced emergency workers to hand over all 196 bodies recovered from the Malaysia Airlines crash site and had them loaded Sunday onto refrigerated train cars bound for a rebel-held city, Ukrainian officials and monitors said. VADIM GHIRDA/AP

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukrainian authorities say at least 10 government troops have been killed in an ambush by pro-Russian separatist rebels in an area near the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

Defense officials said in a statement Friday that the attack happened during redeployment in the town of Shakhtarsk, which has been the object of sustained battles for several days.

Ukrainian forces have latterly focused their strategy on driving a wedge into an area between the two main rebel strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Shakhtarsk lies on one of two highways linking those cities and is about 20 kilometers south where the Malaysia Airlines plane came down.

The Boeing 777 was brought down in a missile attack last month, killing all 298 people onboard.

Ukrainian soldiers, including some who are wounded, stand next to a Ukrainian helicopter as another one flies in the background on July 31, 2014 in a field near Zaporizhya, after a military operation in Ukraine's eastern regions. © AFPUkrainian soldiers, including some who are wounded, stand next to a Ukrainian helicopter as another one flies in the background on July 31, 2014 in a field near Zaporizhya, after a military operation in Ukraine’s eastern regions. © AFP

via Ukrainian troops suffer heavy loss in ambush – Europe – Stripes.

At least 363 soldiers killed in Russia’s war against Ukraine


by Iryna Yeroshko, Maryna Lysytsia.
Here are some of the Ukrainian soldiers killed in war since July 17. For a more complete set of photographs, go to the Kyiv Post print edition of Aug. 1. © CourtesyHere are some of the Ukrainian soldiers killed in war since July 17. For a more complete set of photographs, go to the Kyiv Post print edition of Aug. 1. © Courtesy

In its push to purge Russian-backed insurgents from eastern Ukraine, government forces this month freed several cities. Among them are the Donetsk Oblast cities of Dzerzhynsk, Rubizhne, Soledar, Debaltseve, Shakhtarsk and Torez, as well as Luhansk Oblast’s Lutugino, Lysychansk, Severodonetsk and Popasna.

But the nation paid a high price in liberating the cities, with more than 120 soldiers killed in battle since July 17. In total, 363 government troops have been killed and 1,434 wounded since the onslaught of the violence in April. The following is the list of soldiers killed in battle from July 17-28.

July 17

Ivan Yavkushyn, 31, from Yevpatoria, killed during shelling at a checkpoint in Marynivka, Donetsk Oblast. He is survived by his wife and daughter.

Dmytro Hryhorenko, 22, from Fastiv, Kyiv Oblast, died from injuries received during battle on July 12.

Andriy Kostyrko, 24, from Bryukhovychi village, Lviv Oblast, was killed when Kremlin-backed insurgents shelled his group’s position in Luhansk.

July 18

Ruslan Chubatenko, 23, from Bereznyaky in Cherkasy Oblast, killed after rebels fired Grad rockets near Savur-Mohyla in Donetsk Oblast.

Oleh Barskyi, 38, was killed during shelling near Marynivka, Donetsk Oblast. He leaves a wife and a son.

Viktor Boiko, 40, from Cherkasy, was killed by sniper fire. He leaves a 12-year-old daughter.

Ihor Chernyak, a volunteer of the Donbass Battalion, was killed during battle near Popasna village, Luhansk Oblast.

Konstyantun Blozva was killed in battle near Popasna village, Luhansk Oblast.

Sergiy Bohonko, 22, from Yerky village, Cherkasy Oblast. The Donbas Battalion volunteer died from injuries in Artemivsk, Donetsk Oblast. Continue reading

Pavlo Klimkin: The bitter lessons of #MH17


By Pavlo Klimkin.Debris lies at the site of the crash of a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 298 people in eastern Ukraine.Debris lies at the site of the crash of a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 298 people in eastern Ukraine.

Editor’s note: Pavlo Klimkin is the Foreign Minister of Ukraine. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) — During the last four months, the people of Ukraine have been fighting for their freedom, independence and European path in a war started by Russia-backed terrorists and their accomplices.

Ukrainian military forces suffer heavy losses in battles against terrorists equipped with the newest Russian weaponry. We’ve seen reports of the pro-Russian thugs shooting women and children, cynically calling it a “protection of the Russian-speaking population.”

The price we are paying to bring peace back to the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine is too high. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has proposed the decentralization of power as part of his peace plan. It means more freedom, more economic autonomy and more opportunities to use languages spoken in a particular community for every region.

Ukraine has also demonstrated its genuine willingness to resolve this crisis through negotiations and compromises. Our armed forces have shown exceptional restraint during their military operations in order to avoid casualties among peaceful civilians and prevent destruction of their towns and villages. Our unilateral cease-fire in the zone of the conflict had lasted from June 20 to June 30, during which 27 Ukrainian servicemen, from all over Ukraine, were killed by the bandits.

On July 17 we believe the terrorists fired at the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, cutting short the lives of almost 300 people. This was a tragic wake-up call to the whole world. From now on Russian exporters of terrorism bring tragedy and tears to people across the planet — from the Netherlands to Australia.

Ukrainians, knowing too well the bitterness of loss, sincerely share grief with the families of the deceased. Our government is conducting, together with a team of international experts, a thorough investigation of the circumstances of this heinous act of terrorism. There is already incontrovertible evidence that the airliner was shot down by an anti-aircraft missile system that had arrived from Russia.

Pro-Russian militants block the way behind Dutch and Australian forensic teams on their way to the crash site of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 28, 2014 in Donetsk. © AFPPro-Russian militants block the way behind Dutch and Australian forensic teams on their way to the crash site of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 28, 2014 in Donetsk. © AFP

For the first time since 1983, when a Soviet jet fighter deliberately shot down a South Korean Boeing 747, Russia stands entangled in such a horrendous tragedy. We remember that an objective investigation of that catastrophe was made possible only 10 years later, after the USSR collapsed. We would not like to have to wait that long to learn the truth about the tragedy of MH17.

Indeed, the guilty must be promptly punished.

We are encouraged with the growing understanding in both the West and the East of the nature of terrorism in eastern Ukraine. While U.S. senators and European Union ministers already consider designating the Donetsk People’s Republic and its Luhansk twin as terrorist organizations, we expect Russia to halt its support to terrorists. Since most of them are Russian citizens and “former” security service officers, we also urge Moscow to take them away from Ukraine. They must go home.

Russian sponsorship of terrorism in Ukraine amply demonstrates that in the 21st century any regional conflict invariably poses a threat to global security.

International and internal terrorism, as well as unbridled export of conventional and high-tech weaponry, have no regard for state borders, national sovereignty or human lives.

Ukraine has been consistently advocating not only international control of nuclear weapons, but today we also stand for the creation of a universal mechanism for international control of conventional arms.

We strive for a world based on the respect for international law and trust between nations.

CNN.com.

In Ukraine’s east, Soviet-style economy withers under onslaught


By Lina Kushch, Elizabeth Piper and Natalia Zinets.A man walks past a coal mine in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, July 8, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/MAXIM ZMEYEVA man walks past a coal mine in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, July 8, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/MAXIM ZMEYEV.

(Reuters) – After pro-Russian rebels took 720 kg of explosives, 360 detonators and almost 1 km of wiring, the Skochinskiy coal mine, an ageing stalwart of the economy in Ukraine’s Donbass region, was put out of action.

Fierce fighting and rebel requisitioning have stopped work at many of the coal mines in and around the strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk. Without the fuel, nearby steel factories and electricity plants across Ukraine are struggling to work.

Many in Ukraine’s western and central regions see the industrial east as a burden, home to an outdated Soviet economy of monolithic factories that offer little to the rest of a country where other sectors and smaller firms are more common.

But officials say with a budget unable to finance the Ukrainian army after losing revenues from Crimea, annexed by Moscow in March, Kiev not only needs the contributions from its east but also its heavy industry, albeit in a modernised form.

“There’s a war in Donetsk and Luhansk and practically all revenue from these regions to the state budget has fallen. Plus they annexed Crimea,” said Mikhailo Noniak, deputy minister for revenue and duties at Ukraine’s tax agency.

“The reality of the financial situation is pretty bad at the moment because of Russia’s aggression. A lot of money goes to defence.”

Ukraine is virtually bankrupt, running wide external deficits and struggling to cover state wages, never mind feed and equip an army whose numbers have risen as fighting against rebels who want independence for the Donbass intensifies.

Western lender, the International Monetary Fund, has thrown a financial lifeline, stumping up $17.1 billion as part of a two-year bailout package. Kiev has received $3.2 billion so far and hopes to get an additional $1.4 billion in late August.

Oligarchs, who became wealthy in the chaos following the fall of the Soviet Union and own much of the country’s private economy, have also stepped in, with one, Ihor Kolomoisky, financing and arming several battalions fighting the rebels.

But while financing from businessmen is unsustainable, Western funding demands that a reluctant Ukrainian parliament make some tough changes to its economy, where the state has long subsidised energy bills and has a bloated state sector.

Much of that budget spending goes to its east, especially Luhansk and Donetsk, impoverished regions where a flat panorama of pot-holed roads and grassy fields is punctuated by slag piles or mining machinery.

EASTERN DRAIN

Donetsk contributed 11.7 percent, or 170.8 billion hryvnias UAH=, to Ukrainian gross domestic product last year and Luhansk contributed just over 4 percent, at 38.9 billion hryvnias. Continue reading

Kremlin-backed militants abduct infants with special medical needs


Terrorist group 'Donetsk Peoples Republic'

61 infants in need of constant medical care have been abducted by Kremlin-backed militants from a children’s home in Luhansk.  According to the Health Ministry, this number includes 16 infants less than a year old.  The children were taken away in two buses and although they do not have any of the necessary papers, it is believed that the terrorists are planning to take them into Russia.  19 members of staff have also been abducted, including the chief doctor.

The Vostok [East] SOS Initiative has been trying without success to contact the chief doctor.  It has called on international organizations, monitoring missions in Ukraine, embassies and NGOs “to react without delay to the terrorist actions of the Russian Federation in Eastern Ukraine where, with Russia’s help to the terrorists, small children are becoming hostages.”  Further pressure on Russia is needed “to force the terrorists to let these Ukrainian orphans go and not make children a live shield”.  They must remain in Ukraine but be moved to a safe place.

Vostok SOS points out that Luhansk Regional Children’s Home No. 2 takes infants up to the age of 4 who need constant medical supervision. There are children with Down’s syndrome; various neurological abnormalities; and also some children with HIV.  The militants seized the children at 17.15 on Saturday and their current whereabouts are unknown.

Similar calls have been issued by Ukraine’s health and foreign ministries.  Children must not be held hostage.

This is not the first attempt to forcibly take orphans to Russia.  In early July DPR militants arrived at the Mariyinsk school-orphanage and demanded that the head of the orphanage take the children then and there to Russia.   The 54 children and their teachers categorically refused to go and they succeeded then in moving the children to Donetsk.  On July 14, the militants returned and on that occasion took 150 children from both the Mariyinsk and Donetsk school orphanages.  It is not clear how the situation was resolved, however the children on that occasion were not taken across the border.

On June 12, in contrast, children from the Snizhne Orphanage were taken by bus into Russia at a crossing under the control of the militants.  The Russian border guards, faced with only photocopied birth certificates and no other paperwork, allowed the children to be taken into their country.

The story was doubtless supposed to make the militants and Russia look like heroes, but was a crashing failure.  Nine of the 25 children broke free at the border.  The others were returned the following day after Ukraine’s Justice Ministry turned to the European Court of Human Rights. The latter applied Rule 39 obliging the Russian government to provide an explanation for the children’s illegal transportation across the border by June 17 (more details at Russian tanks and Ukrainian orphans in Moscow’s unabated offensive).

KHPG.