Shelling in Donetsk has become routine: shattered windows, broken walls and roofs

23.12.2017, DPR.

The tension of the civil war in Donbass never de-escalates even for a day, despite the regularly announced ceasefires, a source in the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic told a correspondent of the Rossa Primavera Information Agency on 21 December.

Daily summaries issued by the DPR’s mission to the Joint Control and Coordination Center for Ceasefire (JCCC) reporting up to 50 violations of the Minsk agreements committed by the Ukrainian side have long become routine.

The Ukrainian side uses all available weapon types available to attack, from small arms to heavy artillery. The number of shells launched by the Ukrainian dogs of war against the residents of the Republic runs in the hundreds.

In contrast to 2014, the frontline area receives the brunt of the shelling, while Grad MLRSs are used very rarely. Occasionally, Donetsk is also hit, mostly Kuybyshevsky district. The frontline towns and villages suffer badly; people have no electricity or gas for hours; more residential buildings are damaged every day: roofs are broken, windows are shattered, and walls are broken. Every day more civilians are wounded, often killed.

From time to time, the Donetsk water filtration plant is damaged, which supplies water to Donetsk, Yasinovataya, and a number of settlements nearby, including Avdeevka, which is under Kiev’s control.

In late November, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Arsen Avakov, said that the Minsk agreements were dead; his assistant, Gerashchenko, went a step further. On the air of the Ukrainian Channel 5 he admitted that Kiev never intended to fulfil these agreements, and that Poroshenko, when he signed them, “simply deceived the Russian Federation”. Gerashchenko did not explain whether the Ukrainian President was doing this in collusion with the leaders of France and Germany.

Noteworthy is also the strange relations between the Ukrainian side and the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. Oftentimes, the Ukrainian military does not allow the Mission’s patrols to enter objects of interest, as it happened in the settlements of Gladosovo and Travnevoe, which militants from the Aidar battalion occupied in the early hours of November 22. The very fact of deploying armed forces to these settlements was a gross violation of the agreements, because they are located in the “gray” zone (the area that separates the warring parties which must be clear of any armed people). According to witness reports, these settlements are now close to a humanitarian crisis. Aidar blocked not only the SMM’s patrol but also the Red Cross with humanitarian aid. It is telling that both the Red Cross and the SMM demonstrated inappropriate patience, and they did not make noise over this fact.

OSCE patrols have demonstrated a surprising ability to ignore Ukrainian heavy weapons in places where they must not be located, and to remain unaware of the direction of fire when towns and villages are shelled. The Russian and DPR missions to the JCCC have repeatedly forced the OSCE patrol to rewrite the expert findings on episodes of shelling to make them consistent with the actual situation.

Editorial comment

People who have become accustomed to regular shelling often just ignore the sounds of shells exploding. A situation when explosions and shooting sound afar while old ladies keep tattling at their door next to playing kids, which seems absolutely bizarre to anyone living in Russia, has become common in Donbass.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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