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RNBO: News & Analysis Center July 10 Update

Military action in the conflict zone

Militants shot up an ATO forces checkpoint in Sievierodonetsk on July 10. After firing a number of times at the Ukrainian servicemen, the militants turned their mortar in the opposite direction and began to shoot at the residential areas of the city. According to eye-witness reports, there were no casualties among the civilian population, but several of the city’s buildings and other structures were damaged. This treacherous tactic the terrorists clearly used to turn locals against the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Andriy Lysenko, spokesperson for the National Security Council’s News & Analysis Center, reported at the Center’s evening briefing July 10, 2014. 

According to Lysenko, the ATO forces have undertaken a wide range of measures to block and reduce the territory that remains under the control of the terrorists. Specifically, Armed Forces personnel and the National Guard managed to block some of the militant forces at the Siversk-Lysychansk border. 

ATO units have set up a new network of checkpoints and have maximally restricted the movement of the militants, forcing them to reduce their resistance and flee from Siversk Artemivsk County in Donetsk Oblast. At the moment, the ATO operation remains active in this area. As they hurry to get away, many of the militants are dropping their weapons, and leaving artillery and equipment behind. Some are surrendering.

Today, militants also shot with mortar and guns at Donetsk Airport, which is currently under the control of the Ukrainian Army. Their attack was successfully repelled with no casualties on the Ukrainian side.

Population centers in the conflict zone

Military sappers continue to defuse mines in various infrastructure in those settlements abandoned by the terrorists. Working around the clock and at considerable risk to their lives, these men are removing mines from highways, buildings and other vital infrastructure in eastern Ukraine.

So that the residents of liberated towns might return to their homes as soon as possible, engineering brigades are laying down routes for the delivery of humanitarian freight and providing the conditions for repair brigades to work to recover destroyed infrastructure. Just in the last few days, sappers have defused nearly a tonne of TNT, almost 10 hand-made bombs, and 20 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines planted by the terrorists. While de-mining administrative and residential buildings, roadways and bridges, soldiers in sapper units are dealing with  a wide range of modern methods of mining and setting explosives, which again testifies that terrorists have the assistance of professionally trained explosives specialists.

The terrorists appear to be aware that they cannot win against the ATO forces in open battle, so they continue to hide behind “live shields.” Under cover of the local population,  ordinary they set up firing positions in densely-populated areas. For instance, in the town of Snizhne, Donetsk Oblast, a position was set up for an APC near the Furshet supermarket and near the Pension Fund of Ukraine administrative building, as well as caches for weapons and the “command.” The terrorists also took over the local recruitment office and established a base for mortar and trucks. In addition, the militants have used a local church and fire station for their mortar teams and have organized well-camouflaged gun emplacements in the dome of the church. 

News has come that Russia is considering nearly all Ukrainian citizens who cross the Ukrainian-Russian border refugees. Meanwhile, the State Border Service of Ukraine reports that not one citizen of Ukraine expressed the desire to obtain refugee status in Russia while crossing the border. The general flow of passengers and cargo at the Ukrainian-Russian part of the border plunged 50% in recent months and 18% fewer Ukrainian citizens are crossing into Russia.

Still, Russian media and individual RF officials continue to insist that all Ukrainians who head to Russia are refugees. Of course, that upsets Ukrainian citizens who are crossing the border to visit their family, for private and business matters, or to simply travel as tourists.


Translated by Lidia Wolanskyj

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