Powerful explosions hit cities in eastern Ukraine

From RT
2/18/22

At least one of the two consecutive blasts in Lugansk has affected a gas pipeline

At least two explosions rocked the city of Lugansk in eastern Ukraine late on Friday, a Sputnik news agency correspondent has reported. Local media have also confirmed that the first blast affected a pipeline in the area, resulting in a major fire. The second one reportedly took place at a gas station. 

The reports of explosions come just hours after the neighboring city of Donetsk was rocked by another blast. It was caused by a car bomb, which targeted a vehicle belonging to the head of the people’s militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, and did not result in any casualties.

Earlier, both self-proclaimed republics in Lugansk and Donetsk ordered a mass evacuation of civilians from the area to Russia, citing fears of a potential attack by the Ukrainian military. Meanwhile, Kiev has denied any plans to take the breakaway regions by force. 

Tensions are currently running high in eastern Ukraine, as the two breakaway republics – known colloquially as Donbass – allege the government in Kiev is planning a military operation to claim their territory by force. They have cited a sharp increase in incidents along the armistice line, including the use of artillery, mortars, and tanks by the Ukrainian military…

https://www.rt.com/russia/549924-lugansk-explosion-ukraine/

A massive explosion in the center of Donetsk on Friday evening was the work of a car bomb that detonated outside the government headquarters, the authorities in the breakaway region in eastern Ukraine have said.

Multiple reports of the blast came shortly after both Donetsk and Lugansk, the two regions that seceded from Ukraine in 2014, announced an evacuation of civilians into Russia, fearing an attack by the Ukrainian military. 

RT correspondent Roman Kosarev, who is on the ground in Donetsk to report on the evacuation, has also confirmed that he heard the explosion.

Images from the scene show a completely destroyed car in the parking lot about 100 meters or so outside the seat of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, with significant damage to other vehicles nearby.

The targeted vehicle belonged to the head of the DPR People’s Militia, Denis Sinenkov, who told Interfax that he was not injured in the blast…

The authorities in Donetsk are asking residents to remain calm, stay on alert, and limit movement around the city as much as they can.

https://www.rt.com/russia/549901-donetsk-explosion-ukraine/

International Law: Minsk-2 Package of Measures, signed February 12, 2015; adopted by UN Security Council, February 17, 2015

From United Nations Security Council

Resolution 2202 (2015)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 7384th meeting, on 17 February 2015
Annex 1

Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements

Minsk, 12 February 2015

1. Immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine and its strict implementation as of 15 February 2015, 12 a.m. local time.

2. Withdrawal of all heavy weapons by both sides by equal distances in order to create a security zone of at least 50 km wide from each other for the artillery systems of calibre of 100 and more, a security zone of 70 km wide for MLRS and 140 km wide for MLRS “Tornado-S”, Uragan, Smerch and Tactical Missile Systems (Tochka, Tochka U):

– for the Ukrainian troops: from the de facto line of contact;

– for the armed formations from certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine: from the line of contact according to the Minsk Memorandum of Sept. 19th, 2014;

The withdrawal of the heavy weapons as specified above is to start on day 2 of the ceasefire at the latest and be completed within 14 days. The process shall be facilitated by the OSCE and supported by the Trilateral Contact Group.

3. Ensure effective monitoring and verification of the ceasefire regime and the withdrawal of heavy weapons by the OSCE from day 1 of the withdrawal, using all technical equipment necessary, including satellites, drones, radar equipment, etc.

4. Launch a dialogue, on day 1 of the withdrawal, on modalities of local elections in accordance with Ukrainian legislation and the Law of Ukraine “On interim local self-government order in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions” as well as on the future regime of these areas based on this law. Adopt promptly, by no later than 30 days after the date of signing of this document a Resolution of the Parliament of Ukraine specifying the area enjoying a special regime, under the Law of Ukraine “On interim self-government order in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions”, based on the line of the Minsk Memorandum of September 19, 2014.

5. Ensure pardon and amnesty by enacting the law prohibiting the prosecution and punishment of persons in connection with the events that took place in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.

6. Ensure release and exchange of all hostages and unlawfully detained persons, based on the principle “all for all”. This process is to be finished on the day 5 after the withdrawal at the latest.

7. Ensure safe access, delivery, storage, and distribution of humanitarian assistance to those in need, on the basis of an international mechanism.

8. Definition of modalities of full resumption of socioeconomic ties, including social transfers such as pension payments and other payments (incomes and revenues, timely payments of all utility bills, reinstating taxation within the legal framework of Ukraine). To this end, Ukraine shall reinstate control of the segment of its banking system in the conflict-affected areas and possibly an international mechanism to facilitate such transfers shall be established.

9. Reinstatement of full control of the state border by the government of Ukraine throughout the conflict area, starting on day 1 after the local elections and ending after the comprehensive political settlement (local elections in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on the basis of the Law of Ukraine and constitutional reform) to be finalized by the end of 2015, provided that paragraph 11 has been implemented in consultation with and upon agreement by representatives of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group.

10. Withdrawal of all foreign armed formations, military equipment, as well as mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine under monitoring of the OSCE. Disarmament of all illegal groups.

11. Carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine with a new constitution entering into force by the end of 2015 providing for decentralization as a key element (including a reference to the specificities of certain areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, agreed with the representatives of these areas), as well as adopting permanent legislation on the special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in line with measures as set out in the footnote until the end of 2015. [Note]

12. Based on the Law of Ukraine “On interim local self-government order in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions”, questions related to local elections will be discussed and agreed upon with representatives of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group. Elections will be held in accordance with relevant OSCE standards and monitored by OSCE/ODIHR.

13. Intensify the work of the Trilateral Contact Group including through the establishment of working groups on the implementation of relevant aspects of the Minsk agreements. They will reflect the composition of the Trilateral Contact Group.

Note

Such measures are, according to the Law on the special order for local selfgovernment in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions:

– Exemption from punishment, prosecution and discrimination for persons involved in the events that have taken place in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions;

– Right to linguistic self-determination;

– Participation of organs of local self-government in the appointment of heads of public prosecution offices and courts in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions;

– Possibility for central governmental authorities to initiate agreements with organs of local self-government regarding the economic, social and cultural development of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions;

– State supports the social and economic development of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions;

– Support by central government authorities of cross-border cooperation in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions with districts of the Russian Federation;

– Creation of the people’s police units by decision of local councils for the maintenance of public order in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions;

– The powers of deputies of local councils and officials, elected at early elections, appointed by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by this law, cannot be early terminated.

Participants of the Trilateral Contact Group:

Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini

Second President of Ukraine, L. D. Kuchma

Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Ukraine, M. Yu. Zurabov

A.W. Zakharchenko

I.W. Plotnitski

Source:
securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_res_2202.pdf

February 12: Seven years since Kiev, Donetsk, Lugansk signed Minsk-2 Package of Measures — the only way to peace

Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
Moscow,
February 9, 2022

Ukraine Update

February 12 will mark seven years since Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk, with the Russian and OSCE mediation and the assistance of the Normandy format, signed the Package of Measures, which has become the only basis, one that has no alternative, for the settlement of the internal Ukrainian crisis. After being approved by UN Security Council Resolution 2202, it has become part of international law, binding for all parties involved.

I would like to remind you that seven years ago, the parties to the conflict agreed to observe a ceasefire, withdraw their forces from the line of contact, grant Donbass a special status within Ukraine and an amnesty for its residents, carry out a constitutional reform with a focus on decentralisation, restoration of socioeconomic ties, and exchange of detained persons. Regrettably, none of this has been implemented. Kiev continues to sabotage its commitments, often demonstrating this in public with the tacit consent of its Western patrons.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has made a number of notorious statements recently, declaring that “there will be no special status, as visualised by Russia, no veto right.” He has also alleged that the Minsk accords do not envisage a dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk.  I would like to inquire whether he can read. The Minsk accords are not some oral commitments; they exist as a text, this text is available, and it can be perused. Instead of claiming anything of the sort, Ukraine had better reread the Package of Measures.

I would like to respond once again to what he said, I quote: “There will be nothing of the kind, as visualised by Russia.” Russia visualises it exactly as it is written down, and it would be fine if the other parties to and signatories of the agreements, and the participants in the process itself proceeded from the text rather than their vision. Basically, it is a wonderful practice for all those who profess law. It is better to rely on the spirit and the letter of the law rather than engage in interpretations thereby sinking back into the times about which our common Russian-Ukrainian proverb says: “Every law has a loophole.”  No! This text was not bequeathed to us by the past generations, with which we are no longer in contact because of the centuries that separate our epochs. The whole thing was done by the active and now living participants in the political process. It was recorded by TV cameras and explained after the signing by Ukrainian officials, among others. It would be good to show to Mr Kuleba, in particular, the video with comments by President Petr Poroshenko and his Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin, who were speaking about a “breakthrough” Ukraine had achieved on the diplomatic track by signing these documents. They also explained in no uncertain terms what was written in the documents and how to interpret them, i.e., exactly as it was committed to paper. So, shall we look for the Poroshenko-Klimkin video or will you find it on your own? We don’t mind sharing. So, once again, returning to the Package of Measures: it states directly the need to discuss and coordinate with Donbass the issues concerning its future.   

Unfortunately, we know who is encouraging Ukraine’s disdainful attitude towards the Package of Measures. This is being done by those who are actively operating, rather than merely standing behind Kiev’s back. Of course, we are talking about US handlers. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the other day that it was possible to implement the provisions of the Minsk agreements only if their due order of priority was selected. It is strange that the United States is trying to find an order of priority in a document that clearly sets forth the entire sequence of all the parties’ steps. What is the point of looking for this order of priority? It is necessary to read the document that stipulates everything. These statements, especially their synchronised nature, show one thing: the United States is in favour of revising the Package of Measures, and this may wreck the peace process. All this inspires the Kiev regime to continue treating its own population in a negative manner in the first place, and to continue disregarding international law and common sense, and so on. Unfortunately, we do not hear an adequate response to statements by Ukrainian leaders, including those on the part of the US Department of State, from Germany and France, our colleagues in the Normandy format.

All these double standards of our European colleagues were confirmed this week. Our European colleagues voice their readiness to facilitate a peace settlement and speak about a certain de-escalation. They are urging everyone to do anything, but, in reality, they are providing Kiev with weapons and ignoring the sufferings of Donbass residents.  On February 7 and8, the foreign ministers of Germany, Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic visited the line of contact. This appears to be a noble mission, and the process, advocated by us, has apparently got underway. We are saying all the time that they should go there, see the situation, speak with the people and form an unbiased opinion without the help of their own media outlets, which they themselves provide with all kinds of methodological recommendations and theses. And so, helmeted Western diplomats clad in bulletproof vests rode towards the line of contact. But there is one problem and nuance: they visited an area controlled by Kiev and, for some reason, did not go any further. And I would say that the most tragic, if not interesting, developments are taking place there. Although many international experts, including OSCE observers, are working in the region, Western representatives are painstakingly turning a blind eye on what is happening in Donbass. They simply don’t see these developments and avoid visiting Donetsk and Lugansk. But, if they were in the vicinity, why didn’t they use this opportunity and speak with the people? I had a conversation with Western journalists the other day, and I asked the same question as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. During his interviews and news conferences with Western journalists and while replying to their question about the domestic Ukrainian crisis, he asks them why they don’t go to Donbass. Why do they ask indirect questions, and why do they describe the situation without any first-hand knowledge? What is the problem? We have heard a lot. One of the most surprising and widespread replies is that it is dangerous there.

Our British colleagues compared Russia’s current alleged escalation of the situation regarding Ukraine with the situation in the North Caucasus in the 1990s. I recall that period quite well. They deemed it possible to draw analogies with those developments. Consequently, we should remind them that quite a few journalists, politicians and activists from these countries in Western and Eastern Europe and the United States visited the counter-terrorist operation’s zone then. That was fraught with real, not hypothetical, dangers because terrorists and militants abducted those journalists and public activists and demanded a ransom for them. I am talking about numerous, rather than isolated, incidents. Tremendous ransoms were paid, and journalists later described their own treatment in their books. You should read those books. I read them and was deeply impressed. If the British party considers it possible to draw such analogies, then it would be appropriate to do the same in other areas. We should ask why Western society does not speak with Donbass representatives, why it does not discuss human rights, and why its news reports do not begin with headlines about a humanitarian disaster in Donbass. I believe that it is high time this was done. They are interested in all the regions of the world to which the countries of their accreditation do not belong. Indeed, it is a noble business to cover the situation in all corners of our planet. Those living in the United States are concerned about the Uyghurs, and UK residents always ask questions about Myanmar. But there is one little nuance here: the UK and Ukraine are located on the European continent. One way or another, they are neighbours in terms of common European space, rather than geographic proximity. Why is London concerned about the human rights situation thousands and tens of thousands of kilometres away from the UK, and why do they begin their news reports with human rights matters? They forget about these human rights when this concerns their direct neighbour on the European continent and a country that has accepted all Western values. Does this not also concern Germany, the Czech Republic and other countries? Please don’t be afraid. The line of contact is not a red line for you, and you should cross it, you should pay attention to local residents and show respect for these people who have been suffering for many years because you once inspired Ukrainian politicians to stage an unconstitutional coup.

The West continues to supply weapons and military equipment to one of the parties to the conflict – Kiev. Earlier this week, Sweden and the Netherlands joined the list of countries supporting the Kiev regime’s aggressive, militarist approaches and principles. As you may know, if one is for peace, one is pumped full of weapons. On February 8, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (VSU) launched nationwide command-and-staff exercises, Metel-2022 (Snowstorm-2022). (I hope they will not end in the same way as Alexander Pushkin described in his short story “The Snowstorm.”) So, the troops will be trained to use the NLAW and Javelin antitank missile systems supplied by the UK and the US, respectively, as well as Turkish Bayraktar drones.

We are certain that the de-escalation in Ukraine, which our Western partners have been discussing so much, can be achieved very quickly. For this, they should stop weapon deliveries to Ukraine, withdraw their military advisers and instructors, discontinue joint VSU-NATO exercises, and pull out all earlier supplied foreign armaments to locations beyond the Ukrainian territory. Since the Western world is focused on Ukraine, it should start with the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

To strengthen regional security in the broad sense, NATO ought to announce that it is renouncing its open-doors policy. Kiev, for its part, should return to the neutral, non-bloc status enshrined in the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine of July 16, 1990. The need to implement this Declaration is sealed by the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine of August 24, 1991. The now effective 1996 Constitution of Ukraine contains a provision to the effect that in approving the Fundamental Law the Verkhovna Rada was guided by the said Act.

We call on everyone to stop the artificial fomenting of tensions in and around Ukraine and take practical steps aimed at achieving a real de-escalation and settlement of the Donbass conflict on the no-alternative basis of the Package of Measures. We hope that today’s online meeting of the Contact Group and the upcoming contacts between the political advisers of the Normandy format leaders will lead to positive shifts in the process of peaceful settlement of the internal Ukrainian conflict.   

https://www.mid.ru/en/press_service/spokesman/briefings/1797611/

Captured Ukrainian soldiers say offensive planned for World Cup

From Fort Russ

By Paul Antonopoulos
May 24, 2018

Ukrainian soldiers captured by the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said in statements on Wednesday that Kiev might launch an offensive against Donbass during the upcoming 2018 World Cup held in Russia.

According to reports, two captured Ukrainian soldiers, Vasily Zhimilinsky and Vitaly Chmil explained the circumstances in which they were captured and answered questions from reporters. The two soldiers confirmed that they were not pressured by the Donetsk side.

“We were told that an offensive would begin either on the eve of the presidential election in Russia, when the snow melted and the earth dried up, or during the World Cup.”

The captured soldiers even revealed that “there was an order and it was all a matter of receiving more ammunition and fuel … The captain also told us that before the offensive, Javelin anti-tank missile systems would be delivered to every unit on the front line.”

Chmil confirmed suspicions that Ukrainian forces are readying for an offensive against Donbass defense forces. The two captured soldiers confirmed the presence of artillery systems at the Ukrainian army’s frontline positions.

One of the captured soldiers was declared a deserter by the high command of the Ukrainian military, although both soldiers were captured on the battlefield, but at different times and in different sectors on the contact line.

The conflict in Donbas began in 2014 when Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, who refused to recognize the new government in Kiev which came to power after a US-backed coup.

The official Minsk Agreements have done little to prevent constant Ukrainian forays and bombardments. The Donbass republics have persistently accused Ukraine of provocations and violating the Minsk Agreements, whereas Kiev habitually claims that the Donbass militias and “Russian occupation forces” alleged to be in the area are shooting at themselves and blaming Ukraine.

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/05/captured-ukrainian-soldiers-say-offensive-planned-for-world-cup/

30,000 reserves gather in Donetsk (VIDEO)

April 10th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

The official YouTube channel of Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the Donetsk Republic, has published momentous footage of the gathering of 30,000 men in the DNR forces reserve, which took place on 6th April 2017.

The soundtrack to the video is a Soviet song from the time of the Second World War, “Rise up, huge country!” The choice of the song echoes the symbolism of the struggle of the DNR against a neo-fascist Ukraine.
In the video, Zakharchenko called on the reserves to stand up against the Kiev regime.
“For the third year in a row, there is war in our country. For the third year, the enemy is a attempting to eradicate us, our children and our parents. Everyday, Ukrainian media attempts to prove why they need to kill us. I am proud that I was born in the Donbass and I am proud of you. Together we will win – the enemy will be destroyed.” – said Zakharchenko.

 

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/04/30000-reserves-gather-in-donetsk.html

February 18, Putin signs Executive Order recognizing DPR/LPR documents, visa-free travel to Russia

From the Kremlin
February 18, 2017

Vladimir Putin signed Executive Order On Recognition in the Russian Federation of Documents and Vehicle Registration Plates Issued to Ukrainian Citizens and Stateless Persons Permanently Residing in Certain Districts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk Regions.

Being guided by universally recognised principles and standards of the international humanitarian law and in order to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals, the President has resolved that temporarily, during the political settlement period of the crisis in certain districts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions pursuant to the Minsk Agreements, personal identification documents, education and (or) qualification certificates, birth certificates, marriage, divorce, name change and death certificates, vehicle registration certificates, and vehicle registration plates issued by the corresponding authorities (organisations), valid in the specified district, will be recognised in the Russian Federation as valid for Ukrainian citizens and stateless persons permanently residing in those areas.

Pursuant to the Executive Order, Ukrainian citizens and stateless persons permanently residing in certain districts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions can enter and leave the Russian Federation without applying for visas upon showing identification documents (birth certificates for children under the age of 16), issued by the corresponding authorities which are valid in the said districts.

The Government of the Russian Federation has been instructed to take the necessary measures to implement this Executive Order.

The Executive Order will come into effect upon its signing.

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53895

February 10, Ukrainian forces fire at the DPR 438 times

February 11th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

– DNI – translated by J. Flores –
Ukrainian security forces fired at the front-line territory of the DPR 438 times over the past day. The situation in the Republic remains tense, said the deputy commander of the operational command, Eduard Basurin, today .
“The situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic remains tense. Over the past day the Ukrainian Armed Forces fired on the territory of the Republic 438 times. Of this amount, MLRS were used eight times, eight times as heavy artillery, tanks, 11 times, 154 mortars of various calibres times, BMP – 27 times, anti-aircraft guns, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms – 230 times “, the deputy commander said.
According to him, the enemy continues its attacks on residential areas of cities and districts of the DPR. Under fire from the APU were the outskirts of Donetsk – a village Staromykhailivka, Petrovsky district of the city and the territory of the airport. To the west of Donetsk, in the area occupied Novomihaylovki (5.5 km to the contact line), the Republican intelligence established the whereabouts of three Ukrainian howitzers “Hyacinth-B”. In the same direction, in the vicinity of occupied villages Funny Guy (22 km to the contact line) and Novoselidovka (21 km to the contact line) Six “Grad” Howitzer “Peony” and three tanks of the enemy were seen. Surrounding villages continue to be shelled.

DPR emergency statement: Following Trump call, Poroshenko is preparing for total war

February 6, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
RusVesna – translated by J. Arnoldski –
The deputy commander of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Eduard Basurin, stated at an emergency briefing in Donetsk last night that Poroshenko is preparing to unleash a full-scale war and reject the Minsk Agreements.
Basurin announced: “Following the talk between Poroshenko and Trump, Ukraine will in the near future cease to receive financial and military support for its terrorist operation in the land of Donbass. In connection with this, the Ukrainian president has fallen into complete despair and is ready to desperately commit to the most reckless action of unleashing a full-scale and bloody war in Eastern Europe.”
“All of this is needed in order to blame their crimes on the unrecognized republics and the Russian Federation and defraud the West of new funds in order to develop their business built on the blood of the ordinary Ukrainian people,” Basurin continued.
“The military-political command of Ukraine has refused to implement the Minsk Agreement on withdrawing heavy artillery from the contact line. On the contrary, it has carried out a build up of troop groupings.
“Our intelligence has confirmed the enemy’s activeness. In particular, we have recorded the concentration of enemy forces and means on the frontline for the purpose of creating a strike group. 
Two Tochka-U tactical missile complexes have been moved from Kramatorsk to the territory of the Avdeevka Coke Plant. Another six Tochka-U’s have been unloaded at the train station in Novobakhmutovka…Two companies of nationalists headed by the ex-commander of Right Sector, D. Yarosh, have arrived in the area of the 72nd separate mechanized brigade. Units of the National Guard of Ukraine have arrived in the area of Volnovakha.”
The DPR deputy commander reported further: “Under the cover of night, while lighting up the Crimean front in an attempt to disguise their other activities, the transfer of an anti-tank artillery division from the 57th separate mechanized brigade is ongoing to reinforce the UAF’s mechanized brigades on the Donetsk and Mariupol fronts. In addition, the fact of the redeployment of the 92nd separate mechanized brigade in full force from the Kharkov region to the zone of Poroshenko’s terrorist operation against the civilian population of Donbass, has been established. Three battalions from the nationalist Azov force have arrived from in Mariupol from Urzuf.”
Eduard Basurin concluded: “This information allows us to conclude that the UAF command, on the order of the military-political leadership of Ukraine, is preparing offensive combat operations across the entire contact line as well as sabotage against civil infrastructure, imitating the Nazis in 1941.
“In turn, our troops are ready to give the enemy a dignified rebuff and rout Kiev’s terrorist troops as before.” 

Documentary — Trapped: Life on the Donetsk frontline through the eyes of a little girl

From RT
February 6, 2017
 –
 –
Trapped. Life on the Donetsk frontline through the eyes of a little girl.
Director: Aleksandr Panov
Author: Vyacheslav Guz

Zaitsevo village, is caught between the opposing sides. As hostilities between the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) continue, the locals sleep to the sound of gunfire and use their cellars and basements as bomb shelters. They say they simply have nowhere else to go, so they continue to live in this no man’s land, where near constant shelling puts their lives in the line every day.

Related: Paramedics risk their lives to save injured civilians in Donetsk

Among Zaitsevo’s residents is 7-year-old Masha, she lives with her family, 4 generations of women, her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. They all grew up here and consider the village their home, a place where families are so deeply rooted that moving away to become refugees is unthinkable. They have no choice but to do the best they can to try and maintain a measure of normality in life. Windows have to be left open so they aren’t shattered by explosions. The Internet provides their only contact with neighbours for local news and mutual support.

Related: WWII veterans in Donetsk caught-up in a new bloody conflict 

Masha attends her first grade classes every day, even though her school has twice been hit by artillery fire. To find calm when the shelling starts, she plays with her puppy and has learned to fit her daily schedule around the regular bombardment. Her fondest dream is that, one day, the war will end. +

Watch this film in Russian

https://rtd.rt.com/films/trapped-donetsk/

Donbass resistance hero Givi killed in terrorist attack (VIDEO)

From Fort Russ

February 8, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
By J. Arnoldski –
The commander of the Donetsk People’s Republic’s Somali battalion, Mikhail Tolstykh, famous as Givi, has been killed in a terrorist attack in Donetsk, the Ministry of Defense of the DPR has reported. 

“Regrettably, we can confirm this fact,” the DPR’s military spokesman, Eduard Basurin, has told journalists.

 
The terrorist attack took place at around 6:00 A.M. Givi was reportedly killed in his office by a Shmel flamethrower. “The death of this man was beneficial to Ukrainian special forces,” the DPR command commented.
Employees of the Ministry for Emergency Situations are working at the scene.
 

 

 
According to a defense ministry official, “This is a continuation of the terrorist war begun by the Kiev government against the people of Donbass. An investigative team is working at the site of the terrorist attack.” 
<iframe width=”600″ height=”400″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/sKP4PsML1QY&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen><!–iframe>
The ministry also added that security measures have been stepped up in the DPR and residents are urged to remain calm. “We know what kind of people these are. We will find them and they will be punished to the full extent of wartime laws,” the DPR’s prosecutor stated, also confirming that the terrorist attack was the work of a Ukrainian sabotage-reconnaissance group.
Colonel Mikhail Tolstykh, a.k.a. Givi, was born in Ilovaysk on July 19th, 1980. Givi chose his nickname while serving in the Ukrainian Army. After the coup d’etat in Ukraine in 2014, Tolstykh became one of the activists of the movement for self-determination for the country’s eastern regions. 
When Ukrainian troops began their military operation against the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Givi was promoted to commander and fought in the battles of Slavyansk, Ilovaysk, as well the Donetsk Airport. Numerous assassination attempts were made on Givi over the course of the war. Givi received the Order of Hero of the DPR, two St. George Crosses, and a “For Defending Slavyansk” medal.
In October 2016, Givi’s close comrade-in-arms and militia commander Arsen Pavlov, a.k.a Motorola, was also killed in Donetsk as a result of a terrorist attack. 
Givi’s assassination is the second high-profile attack over the past week in the context of the overall escalation of the situation in Donbass. On February 4th, the commander of the Lugansk People’s Militia, Oleg Anashchenko, was killed in Lugansk, which was also identified as a Ukrainian terrorist attack.

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