In Digest, Ukraine

Jan 27, 2015–Enclosed are two news articles as well as weblinks to additional articles.

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Kiev introduces state of emergency in Donbass, high alert across Ukraine

RT.com, January 26, 2015

The Ukrainian government has introduced a state of emergency in the war-torn south-eastern Donetsk and Lugansk Regions, and put all other territories on high alert, Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk announced. “In accordance with the Ukrainian Code of Civil Protection, the Cabinet of Ministers has adopted a decision to recognize an emergency situation at a state level. The Ukrainian government has decided to impose the state of emergency in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions,” Yatsenyuk is cited as saying by Interfax-Ukraine.

According to the PM, the move is aimed at providing the most efficient coordination of all government agencies in order to ensure civil protection and the safety of the population. The statement was made after the field meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, which took place at the headquarters of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Kiev on Monday.

Yatsenyuk also said that the state of emergency in the southeast will be overseen by a special government commission. It will be headed by the PM himself, with Deputy-PM Gennady Zubko and Emergencies Minister Sergey Bochkovsky being his deputies.

Kiev’s troops and Donbass militia forces are locked in renewed hostilities in southeastern Ukraine after a shaky ceasefire reached by the sides in September utterly collapsed. Ukrainian forces launched a massive offensive in mid-January, but failed to gain any ground despite employing tanks, artillery and aviation.

On Saturday, a residential area in the port city of Mariupol, which has remained relatively insulated from violence throughout the majority of the conflict, was shelled. The Kiev forces and the militias have been trading blame for the incident, which took the lives of at least 30 people and saw another 100 injured.

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, has blamed Kiev for trying to “derail the peace process” in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions. “Time and time again, we’re seeing attempts by the Kiev authorities to solve the problem by violent suppression of the southeast. These are blind-alley attempts, leading to even more casualties among the civilian population,” he said.

Lavrov gave a reminder of an agreement to start withdrawing heavy weaponry reached at a meeting of the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine on January 21. Several days later President Poroshenko announced the renewal of warfare.

“It would have been naive to expect that the militia forces will remain idle when on the Ukrainian president’s orders populated areas are being shelled … and come to term with the fact that they’ll be bombed out,” Lavrov noted.

The foreign minister said that according to his understanding the rebels began acting “in order to eliminate those positions of the Ukrainian military from where their towns and villages were being shelled with heavy weaponry.”

The Ukrainian conflict began last April when Kiev launched a military operation in the southeastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions after they refused to recognize the country’s new, coup-imposed authorities. The death toll has exceeded 5,000 people. Over 10,000 have been injured, according to UN estimates

Related news:

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DPR Ministry of Defense Report for January 25, 2015

Original in Russia here, translated from Russian by J.Hawk for Fort Russ website

Ukrainian active offensive operations stopped after the enemy’s shelling of civilian areas of Mariupol, which caused numerous casualties.

Ukrainian forces are regrouping, bringing up reserves, and conducting harassing artillery fire of DPR army positions. We are noting active enemy reconnaissance aimed at determining DPR military positions in order to strike them with artillery fire. DPR forces remain in defensive positions.

Over the last day enemy losses included 2 tanks, 4 other armored vehicles, and up to 20 killed and wounded.

The most operationally complex situation is on the Debaltsevo sector, where over the course of the day the enemy undertook attempts to break our defensive lines and seize Gorlovka and Novoorlovka, using massed artillery fire and mechanized attacks. All these attempts were defeated by DPR and LPR forces conducting a mobile defense.

Six Ukrainian service members surrendered today. In spite of the difficult situation, all Ukrainian military personnel who surrender receive medical aid. Our investigators also work with them.

Over the course of the day, we noted 30 incidents of shelling of populated areas in DPR. There were three civilian casualties (one woman and two men) in the Kuybyshev region of Donetsk.

Shells struck: Dagestanskaya street (boiler plant damaged), Shakhterov Donbassa street, Engelsa, Mikhaylovskogo, Sobolevskogo, Krasnolesnaya, Slavina (also a boiler plant damaged).

Shells also struck Makeevka: streets Truskavetskaya, Tychiny (Technical School No. 87). The vicinity of Dokuchaevsk and Elenovka was also shelled.

An explosive object fell into Hospital No. 21 in Donetsk at 13:26.

Ukrainian forces attempted to break through and seize the town of Elenovka, during which two enemy tanks and two BMPs were destroyed. Elenovka remains under our control, the enemy failed to carry out his mission.

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