Fierce fighting between Ukrainian army and insurgents for the cities of Donetsk, Gorlovka and Mariupol. The ceasefire is only paper
Since Sunday, both sides have been fighting again with heavy artillery around several towns and villages in eastern Ukraine. It is the fiercest fighting since the ceasefire in September.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared on Monday that a "further deterioration of the situation" must "at any price" be prevented. The chairman of the OSCE, Serbian Auben Minister Ivica DaCic, appealed to both sides of the conflict to refrain from "provocative actions" to renounce.
Moscow declared that in Kiev the "Party to the war" Took the helm. On Sunday evening, Ukraine’s National Security Council spokesman Andrei Lysenko said Ukrainian forces had opened massive fire on the separatists. The Ukrainian forces, however, planned to "no offensive activity". The ceasefire strips agreed to in the Minsk agreement would be "not exceeded".
When it became clear in recent days that the Boryeviks (fighters) were not complying with the Minsk agreement, the decision was made, in particular, to liberate the part of the Donetsk airport territory occupied by the Boryeviks.
Ukrainian artillery shelled Donetsk districts as well. Among others, the Petrov, Kirov and Kuybishev districts were affected.
Moscow and Kiev both profess peaceful intentions, yet talk past each other. The press spokesman of the Russian presidents, Dmitry Peskov, expressed himself "extremely concerned" about the "Resumption of hostilities". Vladimir Putin had sent a letter to the Ukrainian president on Thursday with the proposal to withdraw heavy artillery on both sides. Kiev has rejected the proposal. The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday called on Russia to negotiate the implementation of the Minsk Agreement.
Alleged use of 500-kilogram bombs
On Monday night, nine people were killed and forty injured in Donetsk as a result of the Ukrainian attacks, the reporter of the Russian television channel Rossiya 1 reported. In two districts of the city, a total of 26 small power plants producing district heating for residential areas were destroyed.
Also those used in the Donetsk-"Republic" Gorlovka and Avdeyevka have been shelled. The prime minister of the Donetsk-"Republic", Zakharchenko, declared that a 500 kg bomb had been dropped over Gorlovka. In the Donetsk republic there were 30 deaths. There was no confirmation from independent sources of the 500-kilogram bomb. Such crude bombs were designed for blowing up mujahideen nests in the mountains of Afghanistan in the 1980s and have now been used in eastern Ukraine, Russian security experts claim.
Heavy artillery fire of the Ukrainian army is also fired at the territory of the LNR ("People’s Republic" Lugansk). Artillery fire could be heard in the city of Lugansk on Monday. For excitement in Kiev caused television pictures, on which a shower airplane the "LNR Air Force" with the engine running could be seen. The L-29 aircraft is of Czech production and belonged to a military flight school in Lugansk. It had been repaired with parts of other planes to protect the citizens of the city, explained a "LNR"-Spokesman.
Near Debaltseve. ATO blames separatists. Photo: ATO
While many civilians in the villages and small towns of the "People’s Republics" die without the international media taking notice of them, international media attention is focused on Donetsk airport. The symbolically important object has been fought over almost continuously since May. The entire airport, which was modernized in 2011 for the European soccer championship at a cost of 875 million euros, now resembles a garbage dump.
To which zone of influence the airport belongs after the Minsk agreement is disputed. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kiev believes that the airport belongs to the Ukrainian zone of influence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow believes that the airport belongs to Donetsk-"Republic".
What will happen to our "Heroes" at the Donetsk airport? This seems to be one of the most important questions in the Ukrainian media at the moment. Last Thursday, the Prime Minister of Donetsk announced that the-"Republic", Aleksandr Zakharchenko, solemnly announced the recapture of the airport. In front of TV cameras, he showed a blue and yellow flag that Ukrainian soldiers had left behind and declared: "If they want to come to die with us, they will come! If they want to make friends with us, let’s make friends with them."
Zakharchenko visited Donetsk airport last week. Image: dnr.today
Late last week, Zakharchenko visited the destroyed airport building (DNR video of 17. January). He made love with members of the Donetsk special forces "Motorola" and "Somali" He was filming, laughed, spoke a few words of appreciation and shook the hands of the bearded conquerors. However, the visit had to be ended prematurely because the Ukrainian side was again shooting and allegedly also using gas. A similar member of the Donetsk special forces explained that five Ukrainians are still hiding in the airport compound. They did not want to give up. "They are not fighting for money, but for an idea. They’ve been at it since the beginning." Then on Monday, the spokesman for the Ukrainian Security Council, Andrei Lysenko, declared that they had been "control of the airport restored". Details were not disclosed.
The Ukrainian prasidial administration is constantly facing accusations that it does not care enough about its own soldiers. Yuri Biryukov, advisor to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, came forward via Facebook on Monday, field mail style: "Good morning. In the deep night all wounded were evacuated from the new terminal and a new rotation (of soldiers) was carried out. We do not abandon ours, no one has forgotten them, no one was betrayed. Everything will come, but not immediately. We learn."
The Facebook entry was followed by partly biting comments like: "Learning must be done on the troop training ground". In another posting, the presidential adviser reported that he had been insulted 17 times by parents of soldiers who were in the airport terminal. Parents are probably afraid that their sons will be used as a symbol for "Donetsk airport" burned.
After three army call-ups in 2014, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry last week announced the fourth partial mobilization for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. 50.000 men are to be drafted in the next few months. Both conscripts and reservists are affected.
Willingness to go to war was low last year. In eleven areas of north-western Ukraine alone (including Kiev) there were 10.000 deserters. How the "Operational High Command North" to the Internet portal Korrespondent.net in mid-September 2014, 9 of the participants evaded.969 people of mobilization. Many young conscripts hid with relatives, in forests or abandoned villages. Who has money, buys himself free from military service.
Russian talk show drummed for Donbass volunteers
In the Russian media the attacks on Donetsk provoked strong reactions. In the talk show "Vladimir Soloviev" On Sunday, several participants reiterated that there was now a "massive mobilization" Russian volunteers needed. Several talk show participants gave the impression that a "Rough war" had already begun. The talk show host asked whether the male refugees from eastern Ukraine who now live in Russia should not be asked to go to Russia with guns in their hands "their earth" to fight in eastern Ukraine.
In Kiev on Sunday 5.000 people on the Square of Independence at a "March of peace". Participants of the rally held signs with the inscription "I am Volnovacha". The demonstrators, who were joined by President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, thus reminded of the twelve people who were killed on the 13th of March. January were killed in a minibus near a Ukrainian road checkpoint. Kiev says bus hit by Grad rocket launcher of insurgents. The rioters explained that the bus had been destroyed by a mine. For both versions there are "Proof"-Videos, however, insufficient for clear root cause analysis.
The head of Ukrainian intelligence, Valentin Nalivaychenko, said on Sunday that the order for the Grad shelling had been given by the prime minister of Donetsk-"Republic" Personally given, "in order to intimidate the peaceful population". There were recordings "Corresponding telephone conversations". But this was not published. According to the OSCE, the degree of displacement is said to have been from the north-east. But there the front line is unclear.