This week, Russian mercenaries added more fuel to the fire of the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. Thy enemy not only shelled the emplacements of the Ukrainian military, but also attacked residential neighbourhoods in the government-held territory of Donbas.
One of this week’s fatalities among the Ukrainian military is 22-year-old Bohdan Kolomiyets, the commander of the snipers' squad of 24th Separate Mechanized Brigade. He deceased in combat not far from Zaitseve village.
Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Alexander Hug reported that the Organization checks the information concerning the death of four civilians in Donbas during the last week (May 14-20). ‘Last week, in the period between May 14-20, we confirmed information about two civilian casualties, including a 13-year-old boy in Troitske of Luhansk region as well as three injured. According to the preliminary data, four civilians have died and another six were injured. Our observers are checking the information to establish the facts,’ he said.
One civilian deceased in an attack of Russian militants as Pavlo Zhebryvsky, the Head of Donetsk Civil-Military Administration, reported on Facebook. “A 36-year-old Marinka resident died as a result of militants’ shootings at this populated locality. As Volodymyr Moroz, the Chairman of Marinka City District Administration told me, Myhailo, that was the name of the man, went out in his yard on the edge of Marinka when the militants were firing at the town from small arms. One of the bullets hit him,” Zhebryvsky noted.
On May 21, Ukrainian military got into a number of skirmishes, which resulted in considerable casualties for the enemy. Fifteen hostile soldiers deceased in these fights. Besides, two Ukrainian servicemen died and another nine were injured.
On Wednesday, the UN released a report, which described the situation in the combat areas as ‘worsening’. 'The incidents that involved mortars and heavy artillery use have increased. Over the past 24 hours, 26 inhabited localities on both sides of the division line’, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said. The shelling damaged systems of gas and power supplies in at least three areas along the line. Over 10,000 families are cut off from power and gas supplies, the UN said.
On the same day, Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine opened a criminal case under the article 'Ecocide' due to the decision of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) militants to stop the water pumping from the mine Yunkom in the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk region. The Ukrainian government warned that such kind of action may result in an environmental disaster.
On May 22, Russian militants attacked Ukrainian positions 49 times. As is known, that resulted in the death of a Ukrainian serviceman and injuries of another three. On Tuesday evening, the situation somewhat complicated, as the enemy attacked the residential area in Talakivka and Mariinka. A sniper opened fire in the residential quarter of Mariinka, killing a local resident.
This Saturday, Kyiv, the local football supporters and the municipal authorities are hosting the grand finale of Europe’s most prestigious competition, UEFA Champions League. Thanks to the UEFA Executive Committee’s decision, Kyiv-based National Sports Complex Olimpiysky became the official venue of the great football festival.
As is known, it’s Liverpool and Real Madrid that go toe-to-toe in the final match of the tournament; the winner will get the Cup of European Champions, the main trophy of the competition.
Taking into account huge interest of football supporters from Europe, there’s no wonder things started going crazy even before the match day has come. The main fan zone opened in Kyiv on May 24, the same day when the 20-meters-high installation of the Cup of European Champions appeared in the downtown capital. Hotel administrations got ready to host the foreign guests (with the sky-high suite prices), and Ukraine’s border guards put some paint on their faces – with respective colors of the opposing teams – when meeting the players at the airport. Besides, on Friday morning, it appeared that Boryspil international airport could not host all charter flights from Liverpool for some time; eventually, the problem was solved.
Both teams arrived in Kyiv on Thursday. On May 24, both flights landed in Boryspil International Airport; the British team and their technical support crew arrived first, then the Spaniards followed.
A violent incident occurred just several hours after the fans landed in Kyiv. A group of thugs (about 20 people, the police say) attacked Liverpool supporters at a local bar, throwing tables and chairs at them. The law enforcers detained two assailants and a Liverpool fan. The wounded received medical help. Later, Zoryan Shkiryak, the Interior Minister’s counselor urged the media not to aggravate the concerns over the public safety level in Kyiv, since ‘there’s enough police to keep things tidy. The British ambassador Judith Gough said she was following the situation, with the government ready to assist any consulate assistance whenever necessary.
The investigators of the Netherlands found another proof that MH17 plane was shot down from Russian 'Buk' missile system. Particularly, they got fingerprints from the ammunition. The investigations confirmed that the plane was shot down from 'Buk' transferred from Russia to the uncontrolled territory'. 'Buk' was in the service of Russia's Armed Forces, particularly 53rd Anti-Aircraft Rocket Brigade from Kursk.
At the same time, Vladimir Putin said that Kremlin cannot recognize the conclusions of the Joint Investigation Team in the case of MH17 tragedy unless Russia joins the investigation.
On May 25, the Netherlands and Australia have officially accused Russia of the crash of the MH17 plane. Both countries urged Russia to assume responsibility and cooperate in the investigation.
Following this, Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary-General of the NATO and Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy have urged Russia to take responsibility for the crash of the MH17 plane in 2014 and assist in the investigation of the tragedy. The EU urges Russia to take the responsibility and completely assist in the investigation of the tragedy to establish the final responsibility.
A shooting incident occurred at 'Cherkashchyna' NGO central office in Cherkasy, central Ukraine on May 24. The police got a call about a man that attacked the office in the evening. The attacker had two hand grenades and a pistol with him; he locked himself up inside the room. Later, the local reporters found out that another man was killed in the police operation. The deceased man was Serhiy Gura, the MP and the former deputy mayor of Cherkasy.
Moreover, in the evening, May 24, two unknown, armed with cold weapons, attempted on the life of the former head of Odesa’s Right Sector Serhiy Sternenko. The incident occurred late in the evening on Fontanska Doroha street in Odesa, when Sternenko was returning home. At the scene, the police found the body presumably of an attacker with stab wounds in the abdominal cavity. Police detained the second attacker and identified him. The media reports that he was a military man.
The law enforcers consider several theories of the incident. Ruslan Forostiak, the Adviser of National Police Head of Odesa region said the complex of the necessary investigative actions, including the check of the CCTV cameras takes place. He added that the facts of the infliction of the mortal stab wounds by Serhiy Sternenko require the special attention as well as failure to assist the died.