This is a new, and, we hope, not long-lived feature on Russia Insider. Ukraine’s civil war is still very much ongoing. Both sides are exchanging fire. Civilians and soldiers continue to die on both sides.DONi was recently founded by a Finnish journalist and Russian businessman whom we know, and we have every reason to believe that their reporting can be relied on as truthful. More information about the agency follows below this report.Due to its slow, simmering nature, events in Novorossiya rarely make headlines, so people forget there is a real war going on.Donetsk, Thursday, Feb 25, 16.30 pm. Exclusive to Russia Insider(Attn readers: this is frequent feature – if you would like to have clarification of facts mentioned here, additional information, more explanation of why certain events are happening, please ask us in the comments section, or email the author at: [email protected] This will help us provide you with information you want to have.)
Over the past two days the intensity of shelling has decreased. The 207 incidents of shelling reported by the DPR Defense Ministry are a less terrifying experience than the roughly 800 incidents of shelling before. Nevertheless they still threaten the lives of civilians and cause a considerable damage to their homes. According to the Ministry, the latest shelling resulted in two civilians being wounded in a suburb of Donetsk and a 10-year-old boy suffering shell-shock in Gorlovka, a city to the north of the capital of the DPR.
– East Ukraine’s Donetsk Republic Will Hold Referendum To Join Russia (ZeroHedge, Aug 19, 2015):
Following the 2014 Crimean referendum which saw the Black Sea peninsula join Russia shortly after the Ukraine presidential coup and ensuing territorial conflict between pro-Kiev and pro-Moscow regions, many speculated it is only a matter of time before the Donetsk region, subsequently elevated into People’s Republic status, which has been engaged in constant warfare with the Kiev army (which is in such bad shape it recently drafted a disabled man without arms) would follow suit.
We now have the answer.
Having waited for over a year for the Ukraine civil war/conflict to be relegated to back page status, if that, Putin has finally given the green light, and as Xinhua reports, leaders of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” are planning to hold a referendum on seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia, the Donetsk-based Ostrov news agency reported Wednesday.
– Kiev’s military attempted tank attack on Donetsk airport — Donetsk Republic (TASS, April 12, 2015):
“The attempt of a tank breakthrough was made last night in the area of the settlement of Zhobunki located on the outskirts of the airport,” the Donetsk news agency quoted Basurin as saying
MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. The Ukrainian military made an attempt to break into Donetsk airport using tanks, spokesman for the Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Eduard Basurin said on Sunday.
“The attempt of a tank breakthrough was made last night in the area of the settlement of Zhobunki located on the outskirts of the airport,” the Donetsk news agency quoted Basurin as saying.
– Armed conflicts registered among Ukraine’s army units in Donbass (TASS, April 11, 2015):
The fact that Kiev’s authorities describe the episodes when Ukrainian units open fire on one another as DPR militia’s violations of the ceasefire, the spokesman for the self-proclaimed DPR said
MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. Confrontation among Ukrainian Armed Forces’ units in Donbass has resulted in armed conflicts, the spokesman for the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Saturday.
“We have registered cases of a sharpening confrontation not just between Ukrainian regular army’s units and ‘volunteer battalions’ but also among units of Ukraine’s Armed Forces,” the Donetsk news agency quoted Eduard Basurin as saying.
Watch Pepe Escobar’s photos here:
– Pepe Escobar in eastern Ukraine: Howling in Donetsk (Asia Times, March 30, 2015):
Asia Times’ roving correspondent Pepe Escobar just returned from a reporting trip to the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), the pro-Russian enclave in the Donetsk Oblast province of eastern Ukraine. The area’s been the scene of heavy fighting between pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian military. Escobar traveled to Donetsk at the invitation of Europa Objektiv, a German-based non-governmental media project. He traveled at his own expense.
I’ve just been to the struggling Donetsk People’s Republic. Now I’m back in the splendid arrogance and insolence of NATOstan.
Quite a few people – in Donbass, in Moscow, and now in Europe – have asked me what struck me most about this visit.
I could start by paraphrasing Allen Ginsberg in Howl – “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness.”
But these were the Cold War mid-1950s. Now we’re in early 21st century Cold War 2.0 .
– Donbass: ‘The war has not started yet’ (RT, March 30, 2015):
By Pepe Escobar
Two top Cossack commanders in the People’s Republic of Donetsk and a seasoned Serbian volunteer fighter are adamant: the real war in Donbass has not even started.
It’s a spectacular sunset in the People’s Republic of Donetsk and I’m standing in the Cossack ‘holy land’ – an open field in a horse-breeding farm – talking to Nikolai Korsunov, captain of the Ivan Sirko Cossack Brigade, and Roman Ivlev, founder of the Donbass Berkut Veterans Union group.
– Ukraine Fighting Shifts To Mariupol Whose Capture Would Grant Russian Land Corridor To Crimea (ZeroHedge, Feb 19, 2015):
Yesterday, when we reported that the last Ukraine outpost in the rebel-controlled eastern territory, the town of Debaltseve, has fallen into separatist hands, we concluded that “perhaps the only question is whether fighting continues around Mariupol which would enable Russia to have a land corridor all the way to Crimea.”
Moments ago we got the answer when Reuters reported that “pro-Russian separatists have launched mortar attacks on government-held positions near the coastal town of Mariupol in southeast Ukraine and are building up their forces there, local military reached by telephone said on Thursday.”
Windows were shattered and homes shaken in Donetsk after a huge blast rocked the vicinity of a city chemical plant which was under rebel control. Kiev and the militants accuse each other of causing the blast.
The powerful explosion took place at 10:50pm local time on Sunday. Local militia reported that a military chemical plant DKZHI was the target of Kiev’s artillery shelling.
Witnesses saw the sky lit up by the explosion, some nearby living residents had their windows broken by the blast’s shockwave and many others felt the ground shake, RIA Novosti reported. Even those living in nearby towns said they felt the tremor.
– US-Made Weapons, High-Power Explosives Found in Donetsk Airport (Sputnik News,, Jan 19, 2015):
A senior commander of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic’s military reported Monday that American-made weapons, M16-A5 assault rifles, grenades, as well as means of communication were found in the Donetsk airport, previously occupied by the Kiev-led troops.
DONETSK, January 19 (Sputnik) – US-made weapons, as well as hundreds of high-power explosives, were found in the Donetsk airport, previously occupied by Ukrainian military, a senior commander of the militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said Monday.
“During the investigation of the new terminal, our units found large numbers of American-made weapons. Those are M16-A5 assault rifles, grenades, as well as means of communication,” Eduard Basurin, deputy commander of DPR militia, told journalists.
– “It’s Just A Tactical Withdrawal” – Ukraine Forces “Abandon” Contested Donetsk Airport (ZeroHedge, Jan 22, 2015):
With NATO’s top military commander, General Breedlove, proclaiming that fighting in Ukraine is worse than pre-truce levels(and noting he could not confirm Poroshenko’s Russian force numbers accusations), the news overnight, as The Telegraph reports, that Ukrainian forces appeared to withdraw from Donetsk airport last night, ending an 8-month battle in a bitter blow for pro-Kiev forces and apparent triumph for the Russian-backed separatists they are fighting. While the Pro-Russian separatists’ Pyrrhic victory over the completely destroyed (as we noted here) airport may be a blow, a Ukrainian military spokesman on Thursday played down the surrender of the terminal buildings, saying it was simply a tactical withdrawal. Additionally, Russia has denounced an attack on a bus in separatist-held Donetsk which killed civilians as a “monstrous crime.”
Ukrainian forces appeared to withdraw from Donetsk airport last night, bringing to an end an eight-month battle in what will be seen as a bitter blow for pro-Kiev forces and a triumph for the Russian-backed separatists they are fighting.
– Dramatic Drone Footage Showing The Devastation At The Donetsk Airport (ZeroHedge, Jan 17, 2015):
Over the past few days there has been renewed, large-scale fighting over the airport in Donetsk. Now, after months of almost non-stop shelling there is almost nothing left of what was a previously a new, modern facility. As Conflict-News reports, this video shot by a Ukrainian activity group using a multicopter drone gives the viewer a birds-eye view of the ruins of what was once Donetsk International Airport.
It shows not just the damage to the buildings and planes housed there, but also the scars of months of battles, including ruined amoured vehicles.
And there are no signs of it easing tonight…
– Ukraine Bank Runs Begin As Poroshenko Plans To Sever Socio-Economic Ties With Separatist-Held Regions (ZeroHedge, Nov 16, 2014):
In what the pro-Russian separatists call “an act of genocide,” Ukraine’s President Poroshenko signed a decree Friday that will explicitly withdraw state support for the regions within a month. While appearing to implicitly recognize the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as autonomous, the decree means that the central bank will no longer service bank accounts, prisoners will be transferred (inmates with minor offences will be released), and perhaps most troubling as the cold winter begins, the order covers all public services, including crucial ones, such as schools, hospitals, and emergency services; and local heating and power plants will be subject to new laws that could involve cutting energy supplies altogether to the plants that don’t pay. Luhansk’s leader exclaimed, “the total socio-economic blockade of Donbass is de facto an act on genocide and devastation of our people,” and as the images below show, bank runs have already begun across the region with long lines forming at ATMs.
– Lavrov: 400 Bodies Found in Ukraine Mass Graves Are Evidence of War Crime (RIA Novosti, Oct 1, 2014):
MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that more than 400 bodies have been discovered in mass graves near the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, in what he described as “horrific” evidence that pointed to a war crime.
“This is obviously a war crime. Already more than 400 bodies have been discovered in [mass] graves outside Donetsk and we hope that western capitals will not hush up these facts [because] they’re horrific,” Lavrov said, adding there was an apparent blackout of the incident in Western mass media.
– War over? Both sides in Ukraine conflict sign treaty banning military action (RT, Sep 19, 2014):
Kiev and self-defense forces signed a memorandum aimed at effectively halting all fighting in eastern Ukraine after talks in Minsk. It creates a buffer zone, demands a pullback of troops and mercenaries, and bans military aviation flybys over the area.
The signed memorandum consists of nine points, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told journalists following peace talks in Minsk, Belarus.
“The first [point] is to stop the use of weapons by both sides; the second is to stop all military and militia units in their positions as of September 19. The third is to ban the use of all types of weapons and offensive action,” former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, who represents Ukraine at the talks, told journalists.
– More Than Just Gas: Is This Natural Resource The Reason For The Ukraine Civil War? (ZeroHedge, Sep 18, 2014):
Earlier today, we got a definitive confirmation that when Obama was talking about “costs” when jawboning on the ongoing Ukraine civil war, he envisioned not only Germany, and thus Europe, both of which are teetering on the edge of a triple-dip recession due to Russian sanctions, but Ukraine itself. The reason: the Ukraine economy appears to have ground to a halt following an overnight report that the war-torn country’s industrial output plummeted 21.4% Y/Y in August, above the 18% estimate, and some 12.7% on a monthly basis. As the chart below shows, this was the biggest drop in industrial production since the global crisis of 2009 and followed a 12% fall year-on-year in July.
– Ceasefire Over: Shelling Resumes In Mariupol And Donetsk (ZeroHedge, Sep 6, 2014):
Update: *APPARENT SHELLING REPORTED NEAR UKRAINIAN PORT OF MARIUPOL: AP
Journos set off to Mariupol E checkpoint got across bridge by Azovstal, saw cars shot up – unclear by who – people dying from bullet wounds.
— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) September 6, 2014
- PROLONGED ARTILLERY FIRE HEARD TO EAST OF MARIUPOL PORT IN EASTERN UKRAINE DESPITE CEASEFIRE – REUTERS
As far as I understand from what officials there have said, the @press_dnr account is official. So DNR officially admits breaking ceasefire.
— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) September 6, 2014
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— ??? ?????????? (@press_dnr) September 6, 2014
– The State of the Battle in Eastern Ukraine (Washington’s Blog, Sep 5, 2014):
Showing what’s left after the invading troops were allowed to leave:
And, then, there is this summary of the situation, by the Russian military analyst, “Vineyard of the Saker”:
“all the signs are that the JRF [Junta Repression Forces] have reached their breaking point: this is the moment when a military force suddenly and completely collapses, like a dam which blows out under the pressure of water. The JRF is not retreating on one, two or even three directions, it is retreating everywhere (except north of Lugansk). Entire battalions are leaving the front under orders of their battalion commanders and without the approval of the Junta leaders. At least one such battalion commander is already being judged for desertion. The entire Ukie [Ukrainian Government] leadership seems to be in a panic mode, especially Yatseniuk and Kolomoiski, while the Nazis are mad as hell at the Poroshenko administration. There are constant rumors of an anti-Poroshenko coup by outraged Nazi nationalists. And then, there are the absolutely staggering Ukrainian losses..
– Putin Punks West (Again): Russian Troops Enter Ukraine, Guardian Reports (ZeroHedge, Aug 14, 2014):
As Russia’s 300-strong ‘humanitarian’ convoy of white trucks slithered towards the Ukraine border, it appears, according to The Guardian, that, in spite of the market’s exuberance at this morning’s comments of “avoiding conflict,” Vladimir Putin sent a real ‘green’ military Russian convoy across the Ukraine border late Thursday evening.
So @RolandOliphant and I just saw a column of APCs and vehicles with official Russian military plates cross border into Ukraine.
— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) August 14, 2014
.@shaunwalker7 and I just witnessed a not insubstantial column of APCs and trucks slipping across the border into Ukraine.
— Roland Oliphant (@RolandOliphant) August 14, 2014
Didn’t even turn off their headlights. Saw Russian military plates on support vehicles, but no markings I could make out on APCs.
— Roland Oliphant (@RolandOliphant) August 14, 2014
While the white trucks came to a halt well short of Ukraine’s border, a different Russian convoy did cross into Ukrainian territory late on Thursday evening.
The Guardian saw a column of 23 armoured personnel carriers, supported by fuel trucks and other logistics vehicles with official Russian military plates, travelling towards the border near the Russian town of Donetsk.
After pausing by the side of the road until nightfall, the convoy crossed into Ukrainian territory, using a rough dirt track and clearly crossing through a gap in a barbed wire fence that demarcates the border. Armed men were visible in the gloom by the border fence as the column moved into Ukraine.
Kiev has lost control of its side of the border in this area.
– Kiev deploying missile launchers, multiple rocket systems near Donetsk – Moscow (RT, Aug 4, 2014):
Kiev keeps deploying missile launchers, including SS-21 (Scarab) and multiple rocket systems Uragan and Smerch in Donetsk as it “wants to continue the war” in eastern Ukraine, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“The Ukrainian army continues deploy Tochka U [which NATO refers to as SS-21 or Scarab], Smerch [the BM-30 Tornado] and Uragan [the BM-27] missile complexes to Donetsk. How many more lives will this weapon take? However, the Kiev authorities, it seems, are no longer concerned about the lives of civilians, military and militias. Kiev wants to continue the war,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in its statement, which was posted on its website.
– HRW blames Kiev army for indiscriminately killing civilians with missiles (RT, July 25, 2014):
The Ukrainian army is using indiscriminate Grad missiles to attack densely populated areas in Donetsk, which violates international humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch alleged. It also blamed militia for taking cover in those areas.
The rights organization confirmed four rocket attacks by the Ukrainian military, or Kiev-allied paramilitary, on residential areas in or near Donetsk, which resulted in at least 16 civilian deaths and many more wounded. The attacks were carried out with Grad multiple rocket weapon systems, highly indiscriminate weapons that cannot be used against populated areas.
Personally, I do not think that this was an assassination attempt on Putin:
– Hot News Release: NWO Attempted Assassination of Vladimir Putin, But Got the Wrong Plane? It Looks That Way! (Breaking News Videos) (Before It’s News, July 17, 2014)
– Was Flight MH-17 Diverted Over Restricted Airspace? (ZeroHedge, July 18, 2014):
While there are various questions that have already emerged from what was supposed to be Ukraine’s “slam dunk” proof confirming Russian rebel involvement in today’s MH-17 tragedy, perhaps one just as gaping question emerges when one looks at what is clearly an outlier flight path in today’s final, and tragic, departure of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777.
Perhaps the best visualization of what the issue is, comes from Vagelis Karmiros who has collated all the recent MH-17 flight paths as tracked by Flightaware and shows that while all ten most recent paths pass safely well south of the Donetsk region, and cross the zone above the Sea of Azov, it was only today’s tragic flight that passed straight overhead Donetsk.
– Donetsk militia confirm leaving stronghold city of Slavyansk – media (RT, July 5, 2014):
The self-defense forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic have left Slavyansk, which is surrounded by the Kiev military, Russian media reported, citing the republic’s headquarters.
“The Ukrainian military is in control of Slavyansk,” Channel One reported citing the headquarters of the Donetsk People’s Republic. “Early in the morning, the self-defense fighters were forced to leave the city.”
According to Channel One’s information “there was massive shelling” and then armored vehicles entered Slavyansk and street fighting began. That’s when the self-defense forces took the decision to leave the city, the channel said.
“Despite the massive shooting, the fighters stormed out of the city and headed for neighboring Kramatorsk. Part of their hardware was shot down in the process,” the channel said.
Rossiya 24 channel also reported that self-defense forces had quit Slavyansk, and moved their HQ to Kramatorsk.
After the militia were forced to leave their positions in the northern part of the front, they moved to reserve positions that had been prepared in advance, Itar-Tass news agency reported, citing Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Boroday, as saying.
Officially begun the state-of-the-art ‘humanitarian aid’ deliveries have.
– Russia Announces It Will Send “Humanitarian Aid” To East Ukraine (ZeroHedge, June 27, 2014):
While Poroshenko extends today’s ceasefire (under threat of military action if nothing is solved by then); the phrase “hearts and minds” comes to mind as Russia unleashes its latest softly-softly headline in providing ‘humanitarian aid’ to the eastern regions of Ukraine. While ‘asking’ Ukraine to help determine the route for the aid, the press release explains this is ‘aid’ for the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk following “numerous appeals” by the people. It appears that the “aid” does not include US-Iraq-style “special advisers.”