A few days ago we had some guests. One guest brought a friend with them, a person from a village near Gorlovka. At first the person was quite reticent about speaking of anything in front of me when the person understood very quickly that I was not Russian, I was from ‘the other side’. However, after I spoke to this person with VCO translating so nothing was misunderstood this person understood from my specific questions about certain areas in and around Gorlovka that I knew more of the real situation than most.
To be blunt the situation in and around Gorlovka is very bad. All day and all night, every day and every night, the Ukrainian artillery fires at random but specific targets. This fire is 24/7, day in and day out. The fire is not a true barrage of artillery like an all out attack would have, it is a shot or two at one village, than 10 or 20 or 30 minutes later a shot or two at another village near or far from the first target. This random artillery fire goes on from Sanzharivka on the extreme east of the Donetsk Peoples Republic (hereafter referred to as DNR) lines at the Lughansk Peoples Republic (hereafter referred to as LNR) western border all the way down to Sakhanka within 3 km. of the Sea of Azov coast. Look at this map: and you will see how long that line is and you will see how thin the DNR lines are compared to the Ukrainian lines.
The Ukrainian fire is directed at specific houses in each village, moving to another house after the targeted house is destroyed. They can, and do, go from house to house in a particular street and when all the houses on that street are severely damaged or destroyed they move to another street and start the process over again. Primary targets in a village at the start of the fire is infrastructure, gas lines, water pumping stations, electric transformers and in the case of flats buildings the above ground, as is normal, hot water pipes for heating of the flats buildings. Next is every shop, store, kiosk, petrol station, heating plant, government facility no matter what the size or function, electric substations and gas substations and pumping plants. Water purification facilities are of particular interest to the Ukrainians and these facilities get special attention.
Drones supplied by The United States of America and the Federal Republic of Germany are used as spotters to correct and direct this continuous artillery fire. Some are shot down by DNR forces and armed locals. This act is almost guaranteed to bring an immediate visit from OSCE, those worthies who are supposedly monitoring both sides to make sure they comply with the Minsk 1 and Minsk 2 agreements. More on OSCE later.
This person left their village near Gorlovka in summer of last year. This person has lost a bother, an uncle and a 17 year old niece. The brother and uncle fell the first summer of the war defending a village near Gorlovka after Strelkov retreated on 05 July 2014. The niece was killed in summer of 2015 in Donetsk City Proper, cut down by a random artillery shot directed at a large bus stop on the northeast side of the city. This person said the niece had to be identified via DNA analysis, there was not enough left of the child to recognize.
Many of the citizens of DNR have relatives on the other side of the lines and more than a few travel back and forth through the few open checkpoints to visit relatives and bring what food for them that they can spare. More often than not the Ukrainians take the food at the checkpoint and this person has witnessed personally incidents of citizen’s cars and trucks being summarily confiscated ‘for the war effort’ at the checkpoint. This person has also personally witnessed random civilians being arrested by the Ukrainians at the checkpoint on accusation of ‘assisting and abetting terrorists’. There is not a thing any of the civilians at the checkpoints can do, it’s like swimming in the ocean among a crowd of swimmers and the sharks take random victims at their whim. Some of the civilians seized at the check points, including very aged men and women, are eventually returned to DNR as captured soldiers in exchange for Ukrainian soldiers captured by DNR. Many of the seized civilians are never heard from or of again. At this time, 3 years in to the war, their fates are unknown.
This person has personally witnessed OSCE cadre at the checkpoints who say not a word as food, money and people are stolen by the Ukrainians. This person has witnessed, as this person said ‘much too often for it to be coincidence’, OSCE cadre visit a village or small town and within 10 minutes of OSCE departure Ukrainian artillery fire falls exactly where OSCE was in the village or town. No one trusts OSCE and almost everyone despises them with a deep passion. It is actually dangerous now for OSCE to visit certain virtually destroyed villages, the locals, who have often and vehemently complained to these OSCE cadre about the artillery fire, are firmly convinced that OSCE is simply a recon section of the Ukraine Army. This person spent 15 minutes telling me of incidents that this person personally witnessed of Ukrainian artillery fire hitting specific houses and flats that OSCE had just visited. This person’s own village is totally destroyed, every structure including the little dacha cabins at the private vegetable patches have been hit by Ukrainian artillery fire. Every street is destroyed, paved or dirt. Every electric line is destroyed. Every gas line is destroyed. Both of the water pumping stations are destroyed. The sewage treatment facility is flattened. Since the last house was destroyed OSCE has not been seen anywhere near this village, they are now visiting a village about 5 klicks from this village and the new visiting point is in process of being destroyed. A few people still live in this village, existing in the cold cellars most old houses have and a few have built rudimentary ‘structures’ from scrap wood salvaged from burned or blasted buildings and houses.
This destruction has been ongoing since late April of 2014. No matter what President Putin or Secretary of State Lavrov says to the signors of the Minsk 1 and Minsk 2 agreements, no matter what the elected leaders of DNR and LNR say publicly or privately, no matter what the citizens of DNR and LNR say, nothing stops this ongoing destruction. Nothing. Why is this?
I watched with both sorrow and disgust the aftermath of the terror bombing in Manchester, England last week. The entire world was pouring sympathy on the British citizens, mostly children, who were killed by the senseless act. World leaders sent their condolences to England, the ‘world’ news is still full of articles about the attack. Yet, this same tragedy is played out daily in DNR and LNR, in a week or two or three the numbers of innocent civilians killed and maimed in both republics amount to the numbers of dead at the Manchester concert bombing. No one says a word, no west media reports anything about this daily, weekly and monthly carnage. Why is this? Was my friend Juan correct in his assessment in summer of 2014 after the air attack in Lughansk when he stated that ‘europe’ and ‘us’ consider the citizens of DNR and LNR as untermenschen, subhuman?
As a result of these daily murders, and that is what the deaths of innocent civilians in cities, towns and villages that have precisely zero DNR and/or LNR soldiers or positions on location are, they are murders, here is a report from the person who spoke to me at length.
Citizens are becoming more strong, more determined, more angry with each day of the arty. Those who are faint of heart have already left long ago, running to safe haven either in Russia Proper or to Krim and Sevastopol, albeit most saying they will return when the war is over and take up life where they left it. Those who stayed say in essence ‘fat chance, you ran, you left us to do the fighting and dying and you think you will come back and your life will be as it was?’. Those who stayed are almost as angry at those who ran, especially the young men and women who can serve at least in some capacity even if it’s not in the line, as they are at the Ukrainians. What ‘the west’ has done is assure for a generation if not longer the undying enmity of the citizens of DNR and LNR and huge numbers of citizens of Russia and eastern Europe directed towards ‘the west’ with ‘the west’s’ open and blatant support of those very animals who are killing, wounding and maiming the innocent civilians of both republics.
Factual evidence of the Ukrainian Armed forces shelling the civilian areas of Donetsk and Lugansk republics
If the Ukrainians choose to attack either republic, and the reality is Ukraine has no choice but to do so, the soldiers, highly trained and equipped solders, of both republics will counter attack and will not stop until they have liberated all of both republics and I would not be surprised if they seize a significant buffer zone outside the borders of Novorossiya to assure that the Ukrainians can not bombard them again.
June 7, 2017 – A session of the Contact Group on peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbass has started in Minsk. According to the Press-Secretary, issues of prisoners exchange, ceasefire violations, disengagement of forces and facilities in Stanitsa Luganskaya (on the contact line between Ukraine and the Lugansk People’s Republic) were put on the agenda along with a disengagement of prohibited heavy weapons from the contact line.
The attack came in the wake of an attempt to get on the territory by a reconnaissance and sabotage squad, reported by LPR People’s Army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andrey Marochko. According to his official statement:
“Ukrainian armed forces continue reconnaissance and sabotage activity along the line of contact. One of such raids took place outside of village Kalinovka, when unprofessional and ill-considered actions by the Ukrainian Armed Forces led to 10 enemy soldiers approaching our positions; People’s Army reacted immediately and suppressed the squad with retaliatory fire. Enemy’s losses amounted to two killed and six injured, who were left on the battlefield. The unit’s command tried to conceal this episode from its command. We call the so called ‘ATO’ command to show good will, to stick to international humanitarian norms, and to permit volunteers to take away the bodies and pass them to their families.”
DPR Ministry of Information released a film dedicated to the 3rd anniversary of Ukrainian air raid on Donetsk residential quarters and airport which marked the beginning of war.
In May, prior to the Ukrainian Armed Forces escalated their attacks on the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics, Gorlovka was getting ready for school summer break, preparing the summer camps for kinds as was reported by the local TV station: video produced by the Gorlovka TV station
Gorlovka TV channel broadcasted a celebration of the International Children Day on June 1st in Gorlovka.
the head of the school administration congratulates children and parents with the start of a summer break.
At 3:20, the Elastomer , a chemical rubber processing plant, located in Gorlovka has started operations, after being hit by 12 Grad missiles. Using the raw material from Russia, the plant distributes its products to the coal manufacturers in Donetsk and Lugansk Republics and Russia. The Elastomer manufacturer works at 30% its capability. Currently they are looking for investments and customers.
AT 6:45. The Gorlovka Institute of Foreign Languages HSEE (Donbass State Pedagogical University hosted the annual conference of the students labor union. The conference was attainted by the representatives of all institutions of the higher education of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
At 9:05 Summer camps have started their work. The kids summer camps are free of charge for all children. The director of one of the summer camps says that their workshop building was destroyed by Ukrainian military in 2014, and that with Russia’s help they were able to rebuild and renovate their school buildings. She says that they wish for a good weather and peaceful skies.