At least four civilians were killed by Ukrainian army shelling during the night of April 27 while they were sleeping in their cars waiting to pass through a Ukrainian army checkpoint at the village of Elenovka (Yelenovka) in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. The checkpoint lies on the demarcation line separating the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) from Ukraine.
Western media is giving only perfunctory reporting of the slaughter. It provides no background or explanation of events, saying only that deaths were a result of “fighting” between opposing sides.
The Ministry of Defense of the DPR has been reporting for many weeks an escalation of Ukrainian shelling against its territory. Daily reporting by the defense ministry’s of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics is posted to the website of the Donetsk International News Agency, here.
The daily reports of the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine of the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are acknowledging the increases in shelling and other attacks against the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, though the OSCE is heavily biased against the pro-autonomy rebellion in eastern Ukraine and therefore it routinely leaves crucial information out of its reports.
Below is the ‘Spot Report’ of the OSCE on the latest killings. The OSCE observers arrived at the scene of the killings on April 27 approximately eight hours afterward.
Crucially, as the DPR officials have been reporting, Ukraine has recently been delaying crossings of the demarcation line in order that waiting civilians can serve as human shields to inhibit return fire from the DPR when its territory is shelled. One can only guess at the circumstances which led Ukrainian military or paramilitary forces to shell the checkpoint at Elenovka.
A report of the attack at Elenovka checkpoint is published on Rusvesna.ru (‘Russian Spring’) news website and contains photos of the aftermath. The report is here, WARNING: the photos show very disturbing images of the deceased: http://rusvesna.su/news/1461746789.
Spot Report by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, April 27, 2016
[Note by New Cold War.org: The OSCE mission in Ukraine does not recognize the legitimacy of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. Hence, it places quotation marks around any mention by name of the republics.]
Summary: Four civilians were killed close to a “DPR” checkpoint near Olenivka when shelling occurred in the early hours of 27 April.
Detail: At 10:01 on 27 April, the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) arrived on Lenina Street on the southern edge of “DPR”-controlled Olenivka (23km south-west of Donetsk), 650m north of a “DPR” checkpoint, and approximately 4km east of the contact line.
The SMM observed a cordoned-off, 50 sq meter incident scene with two craters and three damaged cars.
Laid out beside one of the cars – which was an upside-down, split-in-two, burnt-out wreck facing north-east – were two bodies, one identified as male. A deceased male with severe head trauma was in the driver’s seat of the second car, 10m from the first one and facing south. The rear windshield of the vehicle had been blown out, and there was shrapnel damage to the front and interior of the vehicle, and crush damage to the driver’s side of the car consistent with a shock wave. A deceased woman – evidently struck in the face by shrapnel – was in the rear passenger seat of the third car, which was approximately 20m from the second vehicle. The vehicle’s hood, windshield, roof and interior had suffered impact damage, with the metal siding of the vehicle torn and bent towards the back of the car, indicating that the blast damage had been caused by an explosion in front of the vehicle.
Fencing and the roof of an adjacent building – 8-10m southeast of the first impact and 11-12m east of the second impact – were visibly impacted, with grape-fruit sized holes caused by shrapnel. Its window panes were shattered. Downed power lines lay across the first vehicle.
The SMM conducted analysis on the two craters – and on two others in nearby residential areas. Based on that, the SMM assessed that the direction of fire was west-south-west, and that the type of weapon used in the attack was likely 122mm artillery.
Further north on Moskovskaya Street, the SMM observed some slightly damaged residences and demolished outhouses. Having conducted analysis on three craters there, the SMM assessed that the direction of fire was likely west-south-west and that the caliber of weapon used was not less than 120mm.
Both an armed “DPR” member and two residents told the SMM that the shelling had occurred at 02:45 that morning.
The head of a morgue in Donetsk city told the SMM that they had received four bodies from Olenivka that day, three men and one woman. A hospital in the city reported that one man had been admitted with shrapnel injuries.
Ukrainian and Western media cover up murderous shelling attack of April 27, 2016, commentaries by Ivan Katchanovski, May 2, 2016