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Friday, May 23, 2014

Sixteen Ukrainian servicemen killed in a deadliest attack since the beginning of an anti-terrorist operation in Eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian military checkpoint attacked by separatists
(Image: Censor Net)
Ukrainian Armed and Security forces have had one of the most terrible losses since the beginning of a massive anti-terrorist operation launched in Eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions on 13 April and aimed to eliminate pro-Russian separatist and terrorist activities in the regions, to restore security and safety and to ensure holding of the presidential elections, planned for 25 May.

Ukrainian military checkpoint, consisted of the soldiers and fighters of National Guard, was attacked in early hours of Thursday, 22 May, several kilometers from the city of Volnovakha, in Western part of Donetsk region. A column of Ukrainian servicemen and military technique was moving in the direction of the city and stopped for the night on the outskirts of it, where it was reportedly attacked by the pro-Russian separatists and terrorists.

Ukrainian military checkpoint was attacked by the gunmen and by firing mortar grenades. Checkpoint was surrounded by several cars, as the terrorists have opened fire on Ukrainian servicemen. The dawn fight left 16 Ukrainian soldiers dead and more than 30 servicemen injured two of them in critical condition. The wounded soldiers have been transported to the neighboring hospital.

Ukrainian soldiers killed during an attack
(Image: The Guardian)
There were reports that the military column wasn’t allowed by the locals to enter the city, that’s why the fighters have stopped for the night on the outskirts, thus, it means, that the movements of Ukrainian troops were known before, and the attack was planned in advance. There was also a controversial moment, as there were two Ukrainian military helicopters appeared on the stage several minutes after the attack. They’ve opened fire on the terrorists’ cars, but there are no confirmed information till now, could some of the soldiers be killed accidently, by the so called “friendly fire”.

Some military reporters and experts claimed also that the checkpoint was unfortunately organized in a wrong way and without taking any necessary precautions, which are must have during the war times. Thus, the checkpoint wasn’t guarded properly and was organized not on the open space, as it should be in such a situation, but in the bushes and among the trees, so it was more difficult to control the situation during the attack.

Majority of the killed soldiers was serving in the Volyn’ military units.

There is also no information regarding the exact numbers of the killed or injured separatists.

In addition to that fights have been held on Thursday also in several other Eastern Ukrainian cities, located close to the restive Slovyansk (Volnovakha, Rubizhne). Early in the morning terrorists have been storming Ukrainian border checkpoints, but the soldiers repelled an attack. There were also reports from the military journalists that pro-Russian separatist forces prepare the corridor for their leadership to flee Ukraine to Russia, so these border attacks could be possibly carried out in the framework of this task.
Ukrainian military checkpoint attacked by separatist forces
(Image: Chechen News)

Thus, the situation remains tense and difficult, as Ukrainian military and security forces continue anti-terrorist operation, which is officially on its final stage, according to the statements of Andriy Parubiy, Head of the National Security and Defense Council. Western part of Donetsk region is reportedly cleared off the terrorists and is under the governmental control. But the situation is still difficult, as the separatists and terrorists claim to disrupt early presidential elections in the region. The main task of Ukrainian security forces currently is to restore safety and security for Ukrainian citizens in Eastern Ukraine, guarantee the elections and eliminate terrorist activities.

Meanwhile, Russian military troops stationed en masse along the Ukrainian border started some movements and redeployments, according to the NATO and US information. But it’s unclear whether this is withdrawal of the troops or redeployment and changing of dislocation on the eve of the military training, planned by Russia on the day of Ukrainian presidential elections, 25 May.

Ukraine in its turn has initiated on Thursday, 22 May, an emergency UN Security Council meeting over the crisis in Ukraine and continuous Russian aggression. This move was criticized by Russia, whose envoy refused to deliver a speech during the meeting. Though UN have totally supported Ukraine and declared Ukrainian right to defend its borders and territories and noted the importance of the free and fair presidential elections to be held this weekend.