Rocket strike kills dozens of Ukrainian soldiers near Russian border



War in the Donbas

Zelenopillia is 9km from the Russian border

A rocket strike has killed dozens of Ukrainian servicemen in the Armed Forces and State Border Guards in an attack that took place on the morning of July 11 near the Russian border in the southern Luhansk region.

At 4:30 am, Russian-backed militants unleashed a rocket salvo on Ukrainian forces, targeting a motorized brigade from Lviv near the town of Zelenopillia, located on a highway south of Luhansk city. The attack is said to have been conducted using BM-21 Grad multiple-rocket launcher vehicles.

According to preliminary reports, the militants unleashed the attack from a distance 15 km – Zelenopillia is located 9km from the Russian border. Ukrainian forces are said to have responded with an airstrike.

Conflicting death toll

The press service of the Ministry of Defense had initially reported that 19 were killed, while a Ministry of Internal Affairs advisor earlier stated that up to 30 had been killed in the attack. Vladislav Seleznev, spokesperson for the ongoing Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO), responded to these reports on Facebook, clarifying that that instead 23 had died and 93 remained wounded.

“For every life of our soldiers the rebels will pay with tens and hundreds of their own. Not a single terrorist will escape responsibility, each will get his comeuppance,” said President Poroshenko in response to the incident.

Russian-backed militants concentrated in Luhansk and Donetsk have shown an increasing display of armored vehicles, including tanks and surface to air missile systems in recent days as they prepare for the Ukrainian military advance to liberate occupied cities.

A view of the damage
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  • Robert Drake

    … and to direct ordinance so precisely and with such destruction… you think the DNR suddenly developed its own satellite network? This is at the feet of Russia. Only with Russian assistance could this happen. Do they really need Ukraine this much, is the lesson they are teaching the maidan about power and choice and weakness in the face of less free though stronger arms really necessary. Are they this much wed to a domastroi past that they must kill anyone who speaks up to be free of the corruption? Maybe there will be no comments here because everyone who sees this is too horrified, or knows someone brave who decided to fight for peace in the east…

  • Sundra Tanakoh

    Russians need to pay for this. The world can’t let Putin get away with this crap any longer. We can’t defend ourselves against the Russian military. I say bring back napalm and go on a snipe hunt over the Russian border.

    • sandy miller

      Do you read about the new EU sanctions all 11 of them against the pro-seperatist! Why haven’t they sanctioned Putin. EU scum greedy cowardly. Ukraine has no friends what are they to do again. This repeats history again and again. When will it end. As far as I’m concernced Ukraine should give up Lughanst and donbass, kharkviv and dnepoprotsvk…that’s ancient Ukrainian land.

    • Jacks Channel

      An eye for an eye, thats what I say. Fight fire with fire. Putin and the separatists need to be taught a lesson. Fight and win.

  • Jacks Channel

    What makes mad is now that it is a proven fact that no facists ever existed in Kiev like Putin said there was, the seperatists are conducting a completely baseless war without meaning, against an enemy that literally DOES NOT EXIST. There is no enemy. There is no threat to Russian speakers in the East. So, why are Putin and the seperatists doing this? I hold Putin and the Russian government personally responsible for all of the deaths on both sides.

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