Donetsk Defence: Weekly Situation Report, 10/20/2017

Good afternoon!

Last week, activities for combat training were held in the DPR Armed Forces among the commanders of the junior level.

Over the past 24 hours, 33 violations of the ceasefire regime by the Ukrainian Armed Forces were recorded.

In the Donetsk direction, the enemy used artillery, mortars, tanks, weapons of infantry fighting vehicles, various types of grenade launchers and small arms. One 152-mm artillery projectile, seven tank rounds, 42 mortar shells of 120-mm and 65 of 82-mm calibre were fired at 11 localities and adjacent areas.

In the Mariupol direction, the enemy launched ten mortar shells of 82-mm calibre onto Leninskoye locality. IFV weapons, various types of grenade launchers and small arms were also applied.

In the Gorlovka direction, the enemy launched six mortar shells of 82-mm calibre onto the area of Zaitsevo and Mikhailovka localities.

In total, over the past week, the enemy committed 264 violations of the ceasefire regime, launching onto the Republic's territory 1,283 artillery projectiles, tank rounds and mortar shells of 120 and 82-mm calibres.

Areas of 25 Republic's localities were affected by the AFU fire.

Two civilians were wounded as a result of the shelling of the Petrovsky district of Donetsk.

Two Republican soldier were killed in the defense lines of the Republic.

The Ukrainian punishers purposefully interfere with the work of the OSCE SMM with a view to conceal their criminal activities.

Thus, on October 18 and 19, the Ukrainian side launched fire with mortars, tanks and large-calibre small arms onto the territory of the DFS area during the work of representatives of the OSCE SMM to resume technical maintenance of CCTV cameras, and tried to shift responsibility for the bombardment to the units of the DPR Armed Forces.

The AFU command continues concentrating heavy weapons in the vicinities of the line of combat contact.

Tanks T64 — 10 units;

100-mm anti-tank guns Rapira — 7 units;

122-mm self-propelled artillery mount Gvozdika — 3 units.

Along with that, the absence of heavy weapons in the storage areas is daily recorded in reports of the OSCE Mission:

100-mm anti-tank guns MT-12 Rapira — 18 units;

122-mm MRLS Grad — 11 units;

9K35 anti-aircraft missile systems Strela-10 — 5 units.

In total, for the past week, the absence of 50 heavy weapons units of the AFU was established.

The step-up of enemy sniper groups' activity is noted along the entire contact line. According to our reconnaissance, three groups of snipers armed with Barret rifles of 12.7 mm calibre arrived at the positions of the Volunteer Ukrainian Corps The Right Sector in the vicinity of Maryinka locality.

Peaceful residents of the Republic often fall victims of the sniper fire engaged by militant nationalists.

Fashion on the 'free shooters' had existed in Ukraine even before the war in the Donbass. Militants of the UNA-UNSO nationalist group, the predecessor of the Right Sector, took part as mercenaries in virtually all local conflicts in the post-Soviet space, as well as in Africa. After the Maidan, ideology of cold-blooded killers from the UNA-UNSO poured freely to the masses. A vivid example of a hired killer is the former journalist, and now the sniper of the Wolf detachment of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army, Elena Belozyorskaya. Talking about the advantages of hew new rifle in an interview, the sniper boasted that for the period of the newly announced ceasefire she had killed three people with it in one combat session. Even before the Maidan, she had worked side by side with the leaders of the UNA-UNSO, Sashko Bely and Igor Mazur, and in early 2014 she went to kill in Donbass. Belozerskaya does not hesitate to share videos of their crimes in social networks, and the number of such 'amateurs' grows in Ukraine every day.

Ukrainian oligarchs immediately noticed the potential of nationalists and used Banderist fanatics to create their own private armies. To date, private schools that teach sniping and prepare trained killers are operating in the territory of Ukraine absolutely legally. In such schools as Dikoye Pole anyone can pass the basic course of sniping for only 1,400 UAH.

The worst thing is that such establishments have quickly gained wide popularity. Over the past year, hundreds of people were trained as killers. Of course, graduates of sniping schools strive to test their skills in practice as soon as possible. Immediately after the training, 'free shooters' replenish the ranks of mercenaries of foreign PMCs and nationalist battalions waging war in Donbass.

At the same time, the regular army of the AFU can not boast of such a large number of volunteers, especially sniper experts. Because of the corruption that is flourishing in Ukraine, units of the AFU constantly face shortages of arms and ammunition. According to numerous statements by contract and conscription servicemen, 90 percent of exercises and training sessions are held only on paper, but, in fact, ammunition is written off and sold. Many full-time snipers of the AFU have not seen a sniper rifle for the entire time of service, let alone any practice.

AFU soldiers have been used as cannon fodder from the very beginning of the war in Donbass, forced to fight against their own people from under pressure.

The 128th separate mountain-infantry brigade has experienced the 'generosity' and 'care' of the command. In addition to the acute shortage of ammunition, brigade's servicemen are facing the shortage of allowances of all kinds. According to numerous statements in social networks, brigade's servicemen collect money for the purchase of equipment, winter clothes and even food products. Extreme conditions suffered by the unit adversely affect the moral and psychological state of personnel. Soldiers boycott the tasks of their commanders, drunkenness and drug abuse flourish in the units. Law enforcement agencies on the territory, which enters the zone of responsibility of the brigade, regularly receive complaints from local residents.

For instance, sergeant Kushnir, a serviceman of the 128th brigade, was detained by police officers in Artyomovsk locality last week on October 15. Being in a state of intoxication, Kushnir inflicted grave bodily harm on a saleswoman of the Produkty food store, Soboleva, born in 1961, for allegedly refusing to sell him alcohol. During the trial it was established that, the serviceman had been on the wanted list for a week.

Along with that, on October 17, a soldier of the 1st company of the 128th mountain infantry brigade, private Gnatyuk, opened fire with a machine fun on a civilian Miroshny Tigran Armenovich, allegedly taking him for a saboteurwhen being on duty in a state of narcotic intoxication. The victim was taken to a hospital in Toretskoye village with a gunshot wound to his left leg.

All the attempts of the commander of the brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Sobko, to increase discipline in the unit are reduced to systematic beatings of personnel, which further spurs the soldiers to desertion. Over the time of participation in the punitive operation in Donbass, the brigade commander became famous for his extreme cruelty towards the civilian population, he gave orders without hesitation to open fire on residential areas of the cities of the Republic. On the account of the unit there are dozens of ruined lives of peaceful citizens of the Republic.

Against the backdrop of the collapse and degradation of the AFU, the military and political authorities of Ukraine create favourable conditions for the formation and prosperity of illegal gangs of nationalists, who represent, in fact, criminal groups ready to carry out even the dirtiest work for money, using the ideas of nationalism.

Being disappointed by the service in the AFU, soldiers and officers massively join the ranks of mercenaries. If this trend keeps progressing, Ukraine will lose the regular army and completely pass under the control of the disparate gangs of nationalists.

Vice-Commander of the DPR People’s Militia, Colonel Eduard Basurin, official translation by DONi News Agency