June events in Donbass and Lugansk

June events in Donbass and Lugansk

On June 19 the meeting of the contact group on settling the situation in Donbass was held in Minsk backgrounding the general aggravation of the situation along the entire 500km separation line.

The morning of the meeting in Minsk started with shelling in the Donetsk Petrovskiy district. People were awoken by heavy artillery fire at around 4 am. More than 10 private houses were reported damaged in Kozlov and Petrovskogo Streets. Children’s hospital No.4 in Karamzin Street was reportedly hit and its medical equipment destroyed. There were no human casualties because the trees in the yard served as a shield. A swimming pool is reported to have been damaged. In addition, the air fan of the Cheluskintsy mine was damaged. The mine continues to operate. There were people there, and fortunately, the shift managed to start the elevator and they all got out in time.

OSCE SMM reports from the period from June 9 to June 19 indicate that the number of ceasefire violations reached 480 in the Lugansk region on a number of days. On average the number of ceasefire violations remains high, up to 100 per day. As for the direction of the fire, according to the OSCE reports, the majority of ceasefire violations during this period occurred in easterly and southerly directions of government-controlled areas  in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The report from June 10 indicates a north-westerly direction in the non-government-controlled area.

The OSCE SMM reports on the obvious exchange of fire between the opposing sides occurring on June 18. According to the report, most explosions of the 125 registered by the SMM OSCE in the Donetsk region on June 18 occurred in easterly direction of government-controlled Svitlodarsk and westerly direction of non-government-controlled Yasinuvata while in the Lugansk region the observers counted 120 explosions, both in the easterly direction of government-controlled areas and the westerly direction of the non-government-controlled part of the region. The same report fixes civilian targets in Donetsk.  On June 16 the SMM OSCE observers inspected a residential house with its roof missing which was partly burnt down. The damage was caused by weapons firing from the north-westerly direction. Fortunately, an elderly woman living there was away from the house at the time of the attack.

One of the most problematic spots is the village of Zolote in the Lugansk region. The opposing forces are located at a close distance. Most of the village was by seized the UAF despite the fact it was supposed to be a neutral zone while Zolote-5 is outside government control. The OSCE SMM in their report from June 18 indicates that early in the morning of June 17 a functioning school in the non-government-controlled part of the village was damaged by gunfire coming from the north-west. The Mission emphasizes that since the beginning of the year the school has been damaged ten times.

The OSCE SMM report from June 17 confirms the story of a family in government-controlled Maryinka who were trapped in their house by shelling in the early hours of June 14. The Peace Committee has been in direct communication with Alexander P., a 61-year-old man, also wounded during that shelling. The tragedy occurred in Shevchenko Street, which, according to the OSCE SMM report, is less than one km away from the contact line. The OSCE SMM reports a 2.5m hole in the main house wall facing south and multiple signs of the blast wave, including shattered east windows as well as completely a destroyed west wall of the summer kitchen located five meters away from the house. Five members of the family were injured, including a young girl. According to information from direct contact with the family, the child needs psychological help due to the stress she suffered.

The OSCE SMM reports on the damage to civilian infrastructure in non-government-controlled parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in their reports from June 19, June 18 (7 spots), June 17 (2 spots), June 15 (5 spots), June 14 (2 spots).

The OSCE SMM reports on fresh craters they observed in the vicinity of the gas pipeline in the government-controlled area caused by the fire from the south-easterly direction.


The mine hazard remains very high in the area. Thus, on June 7 a civilian tractor hit an object in a field south of government-controlled Popasna. The explosion injured two men. The OSCE SMM identified the crater at the site that was caused by the explosion of an anti-tank mine.

There was a report from June 10 from the non-government-controlled Gorlovka that Antsiferov Alexander, born 15.11.2002, a resident of Golma settlement, was injured picking up some explosive device. The teenager suffered multiple wounds. On June 15, there was a report from Gorlovka of a man born in 1980 who was killed stepping on an explosive device in the area of Pyatovsky Pond, a popular rest place for residents of the city. The last two reports have not been reflected in the OSCE SMM reports. The information has been sent for verification.

Ukrainian media reported that on June 17, John Herbst together with David Petraeus, the US Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center and former CIA director, visited the positions of the Ukraine’s armed forces in the area of conflict. The next day, June 18, John Herbst testified before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee calling for increase military support, not only by Javelins but also providing speed boats, anti-ship missiles, etc.

On June 17 UAF positions were visited by the governmental delegation from Lithuania, according to Ukrainian media. On June 12, Lithuanian Defence Ministry announced that they had transferred almost a million Soviet-era bullets and other ammunition worth 256 000 euro.