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Escalation in Donbas: 201 attacks on Ukrainian positions over 2 days, 2 KIA, 4 WIA #DonbasReports

February 28, OSCE SMM vehicle in the background of the crater caused by a 122mm artillery shell in Talakivka. Credit: FB
Escalation in Donbas: 201 attacks on Ukrainian positions over 2 days, 2 KIA, 4 WIA #DonbasReports
In this series, we are teaming up with the tireless social media activist who goes by English Luhansk on twitter to produce open source updates about the military situation in Donbas. We analyze reports from Donbas local twitter accounts and translate it into a comprehensive overview of what’s going on on the ground. Yesterday’s digest can be found here: Avdiivka again without electricity amid shelling. Donbas blockade continues #DonbasReports

February 27 and 28 were the days of the ongoing escalation of fighting along the entire frontline in the Donbas amid the “nationalization” of Ukrainian enterprises located in occupied areas. Local residents posted more reports describing armed hostilities, the Ukrainian military reported more attacks, the OSCE recorded more ceasefire violations.

February 27

An artillery attack from Kadiivka started before midnight ceases before 1 a.m.:

00:36 Kadiivka: Several single outgoing rounds. Loud. From the city’s north – from ettle’s (Sentyanivka) direction, rocket sound too
00:44 Kadiivka: The same dying away rocket sound for about 3 seconds
01:17 Makiivka Gvardeyka: They seem to be silent. But single booms or short series of them sometimes occur

At 6:00 artillery starts its “usual” morning wake-up for the residents of Donetsk, Yasynuvata, Makiivka and Avdiivka:

06:06 [Yasynuvata]: Mortars or tanks have started to shell from Yakovlivka direction [north of Donetsk] 06:15 Makiivka Vostochnyi: [Since] 6:00 heavy single launches, not far away – Vodopad or closer Yahidka.
06:16 Donetsk: “Not a good morning, a cannonade of orcs’ artillery in the north
06:19 [Donetsk]: Not a single [round] anymore. As I get it, nobody keeps the fast [=orthodox Lent begins on February 27]
06:25 Krasnohorivka: Quiet 10:15 a strong boom 15:25 quiet 19:50 booms are heard
06:45 Donetsk: “They fought tough in the north for more than 40 minutes. Artillery worked. Now ceased. P.S. Good morning”
06:45 Makiivka: “Yasynuvata direction sounds loud” “Gvardeyka is listening to heavy [guns], vibrating”
07:09 Makiivka: “I woke up and orcs’ artillery is working, several barrels simultaneously in the Yahidka area or closer to Kordon
09:43 Avdiivka: As of 07:00, Avdiivka is still without centralized power supply; Avdiivka coke plant provides heat

Occupied Novoazovsk (east of Mariupol) reports a cannonade since morning:

10:38 Novoazovsk: Since early morning heavy outgoing rounds of RU heavy artillery are heard

Occupied Khartsyzk spots a military column on move:

10:47 Khartsyzk: A column from Donetsk. They must be reaching Shakhtarsk now. Communication, some blue modules, wheeled APC

Another series of sporadic salvos in Donetsk:

11:23 Donetsk: At Putilovka a battle is heard ongoing in PromkaYaBP direction

And another bombardment starts at 14:30:

14:30 Donetsk Scheglovka: Salvos have started from YakovlivkaMineralne direction
 Snizhne: What is the “humanitarian aid” arrived yesterday? About 40 vehicles with hidden number plates
14:37 Donetsk: At 14:30 a cannonade has started in north Donetsk, probably a tank or other Russian thing
14:37 Donetsk: What are those 18-wheelers along Illicha from Botanic garden to Elevatorna? Parked since morning. Lots of them
14:38 Avdiivka: One can hear hits in the area of Pisky. Heavy strikes. Still no electricity, water in the town
14:38 Donetsk: “[RU] enraged, have started with small arms, now artillery is shelling from the area between VolvoCenter car dealership and Putilovka bus terminal”

The silence has been broken in Dokuchaevsk (south of Donetsk):

14:44 Dokuchaevsk: It’s like 82mm mortars, all day was quiet before

Some explosions are heard by Yenakiieve residents:

14:45 Yenakiieve: It rumbles by times

And the afternoon cannonade continues in Donetsk:

15:40 Donetsk Tekstilschik: Something heavy pounds somewhere…
15:48 Donetsk: Booms further north of Donetsk, medium intensity
15:55 Donetsk: Again salvos have started in north Donetsk
16:02 Donetsk: “Butovka can hear booms single, heavy” “Shakhtarska: far single booms”
16:15 Donetsk: It rumbles somewhere in the north, seldom, like incoming
16:20 Dokuchaevsk: “It’s SPG” “From Promka[=northwest] they launch it, or being closer to the town”
16:34 Horlivka Stroitel: Southwest: seldom salvos

The Donetsk “warm-up” cannonade has finished. And about 17:00 the power supply has been finally restored to Avdiivka after 4 days of blackout:

17:08 Avdiivka: “Electricity!”
17:10 Avdiivka: “Lights!”
17:23 Avdiivka: [officially:] After 4 days without electricity, the power supply has been restored in Avdiivka

Two hours later a usual harassing evening cannonade begins in Donetsk:

19:17 Makiivka: [RU] artillery has started to work, pretty far off
19:22 Makiivka Gvardeyka: Booms continue closer to the #Airport
19:35 Makiivka Gvardeyka: For about an hour we’re listening to heavy [guns]. west and northwest: flashes
19:36 Makiivka Gvardeyka: Outdoors, artillery [is heard] shelling, it’s heard with closed windows with TV set on
19:40 Donetsk Petrovskyi: Strong wave has passed, a window “crunched” 19:49 one more boom…
19:50 Donetsk: “Orcs’ artillery is shelling at positions of UA forces in the north”
19:52 Donetsk Kirovskyi district: Amid the silence, 2 loud powerful “ka-boom!” at 1-2 interval in the west
20:20 Donetsk Ploschadka1: Listening to Pisky-VolvoCenter direction, so far a skirmish with heavy machine guns

Mariupol can hear Shyrokyne, Ukrainian-held front-line village razed to the ground in earlier battles, being hit by artillery:

21:01 Mariupol: Strong impacts somewhere
21:03 Mariupol: Shyrokyne is under artillery shelling

The lazy battle is still ongoing in Donetsk, later, sounds of battles are heard in the areas of Svitlodarsk and Mariupol:

21:13 Makiivka Gvardeyka: 2 series of hits occurred in a triangle YasynuvataGvardeykaPutilovka
21:30 Donetsk: “What is shelling so beautiful. tank or what?”
21:33 Donetsk Shakhtarska square: Loud outgoing [rounds]. #Ekonomichna? Putilovka?
21:33 Svitlodarsk bulge: They are firing
21:38 Donetsk Butovka: Singles, loud, heavy, close hits
22:33 Mariupol: Heavy artillery is working, pylons suffer. Lights blonked in the city, temporary outage has been at Vostochnyi

In government-held Marinka village, southwest of Donetsk, it was almost quiet on February 27:

06:18 Marinka: Quiet 12:34 quiet, booms before 15:37 sporadic booms 17:00 quiet

February 28
Restless night and far cannonade in the morning has been reported:

06:20 Donetsk: “Bastards managed ‘privatization’ all night [=sounds of a battle], [shootout at airport] at 03:30, now far booms”

Avdiivka can hear a shootout:

08:40 Avdiivka old town: It’s been noisy very much since early morning, they are shooting non-stop

Toretsk suburb reports a morning battle:

10:42 Novhorodske: “As I woke up at 6 for some time, I caught the sounds of a light battle in Skotuvata direction”

Sporadic artillery salvos from a position northwest of occupied Kadiivka:

10:58 Kadiivka: “From the area of the meat-processing plant, it is heard as lonesome bored militants tenderly fire artillery”
11:06 Kadiivka: Short bursts of small arms are heard

Minor activity until noon:

11:26 Donetsk : I can hear distinct shooting and salvos of big something. Drills?
11:31 Donetsk: It booms
11:32 Donetsk: 2 hours ago, a an assault-rifle skirmish was heard in Marinka area

The area of Avdiivka-Yasynuvata activates:

13:12 Novhorodske: It has boomed a bit in Yasynuvata direction
14:00 Yasynuvata: PromkaYaBP: pretty tough battle, heavy rolls
14:10 Avdiivka: Heavy impacts between south and southeast
14:12 Yenakiieve: Makiivka direction sounds loud as hell
14:15 Donetsk: “Butovka: strong, loud, heavy with hum” “Donskoy: frequent dull heavies, northwest”
14:15 Donetsk: They’ve started to pound with powerful ones. Like the airport
14:15 Donetsk: North Donetsk: very loud beginning of “nationalization” by “effective managers” [=artillery]
14:17 Yenakiieve: It falls at Avdiivka, Butovka_airshaft
14:20 Makiivka: Salvos, Russian artillery [is shelling from positions] behind the bypass, from Hryhorivka ettles direction
14:21 Yasynuvata [pro-RU source]: “Active fighting. It rumbles as hell
14:25 Avdiivka: They uninterruptedly shell with heavy ones at the same places
14:26 Avdiivka: A serious battle, at least 120mm [shells] are falling

Fuels and lubricants from Russia are being unloaded in occupied Rovenki:

14:46 Rovenki: For about 2 weeks, there are armed guards at the oil depot. Tank wagons have been unloaded by now.

Another battle in the area between Novhorodske and Horlivka:

15:07 Novhorodske: Constant rumbling for about 2 hours. At Fenolna, where I have been, it’s heard too
15:34 Horlivka Stroitel: Southwest: for a long time, distant ka-booms are heard

And the usual evening begins in Donetsk:

16:05 Makiivka Vostochnyi: Not frequent booms are heard from the west
16:46 Donetsk Kalinina mine: Separate salvos are heard

Cannonades in the areas of Horlivka, Kadiivka, northwest Donetsk:

17:16 Horlivka: One single salvo
17:21 Kadiivka: One can hear single [rounds] here from the direction of Kalynove-Irmino
17:43 Avdiivka: Looks like the battle’s hotspot is still in the direction of Butovka airshaft [=south] and a bit further east
17:57 Yasynuvata: The  120+mm artillery is heard working towards Avdiivka from positions at Mineralne/Yakovlivka

A Ukrainian-controlled southwest suburb of Donetsk reports minor military activity:

17:58 Marinka: For 10-15 they were shooting and boomed light, now ceased

Battles near Avdiivka (north Donetsk, Yasynuvata can hear it too), Popasna (outgoing fire from the area of Kadiivka), Novhorodske (reports from Horlivka and Yenakiieve), Marinka:

18:05 Avdiivka: An artillery duel in full swing. Sometimes, machine guns work. By sounds, Tsarska_Okhota, Butovka airshaft
18:07 Kadiivka Irmino: Listening [to salvos] 18:11 Avdiivka: It’s very loud
18:17 Avdiivka: Another artillery duel
18:25 Novhorodske: It rumbles non-stop
18:37 Marinka: Sporadic booms
19:10 Donetsk: Along Kyviskyi avenue a car and BMP-2 went towards airport, with some covered thing atop BMP
20:43 Novhorodske: In the 4ground of continuous distant booms, a close intense battle has flared up, to my right, Garden area
20:45 Toretsk: All day the booms were distant, and now somewhat close. Windows tremble
20:46 Yenakiieve: One can hear Ozeryanivka – all types from assault rifle to artillery
20:52 Horlivka: There has been a short-lasting yet intense battle in southwest Horlivka. Calmed down soon, now mortars
20:58 Novhorodske: A couple of heavy impacts have been very close, just hardcore sometimes
21:06 Kadiivka: It has started to rumble
21:08 Popasna: It has rumbled again. The 2nd time over this evening. Sounds like incoming
21:10 Kadiivka: “Who knows what’s happening? Something serious has started”
21:10 Horlivka: Bright white flashes in Ozeryanivka direction, then one or several explosions heard. Not an AA-gun. Like82mm
21:25 Novhorodske: Explosions have some tripple sound, the 3rd sounds as hell
21:37 Horlivka: “That’s it, all militants have been alarmed, equipment comes into the battle positions…”
21:38 Novhorodske: “Clusterf*ck, it hasn’t happened since 2015 when a stronghold passed from hand to hand there”
21:38 Yenakiieve: “Regime of privatization [=battle] from Shyroka_Balka to YaBP continues for ~1hr, all types of weapons…”
21:40 Horlivka Stroitel: Southwest: heavy artillery, out’s and in’s, hardware is heard moving
21:48 Hirske: However, it sounds loud [=cannonade]
21:56 Kadiivka: It goes on here. Very loud. Both artillery and small arms are heard. Outgoing. And smth with strange hum
21:57 Horlivka: Equipment is roaring in the direction of the knitting factory
21:59 Yenakiieve: artillery range: tracked vehicles are heard moving
22:00 Yasynuvata: Vasylivka direction: noisy
22:02 Horlivka [pro-RU source]: The rumble doesn’t calm down, block no. 245 jumps
22:04 Toretsk: Tough battle has started

Svitlodarsk bulge joins the battle:

22:06 Svitlodarsk bulge: It’s very loud, incoming

The cannonade ceases in Horlivka but still continues near Svitlodarsk and in Donetsk-Makiivka-Avdiivka-Yasynuvata area:

22:08 Donetsk Shakhtarska square: Booms with rolls
22:09 Horlivka: So far someone has been bombed with “kettlebells” and it ceased, how long for?
22:13 Horlivka: “Yeah, suddenly it has calmed down”
22:15 Novhorodske [settlement in Toretsk]: As the battle has calmed down it became clear that Yasynuvata direction rumbles as before
22:15 Yenakiieve: Loud salvos in Makiivka direction
22:16 Makiivka: Yes, heavy [artillery] started [to fire]
22:16 Yenakiieve: Now the salvos are there [=south, southwest], like afternoon ones
22:16 Donetsk: Something has boomed 2 times at railway station, windows vibrated
22:16 Horlivka [pro-RU source]: A relative lull. Very much relative
22:17 Avdiivka: “Strong booms, outgoing. But I want to sleep”
22:20 Donetsk: Something heavy is being launched, methodically, not frequent
22:23 Makiivka: All in all, various artillery sounds come from afar. It seems, incoming fire is heard too
22:26 Svitlodarsk bulge UA positions: “Why have they enraged that much? dunno”
22:26 Svitlodarsk: “Doors are shaking, f*ckup”

A short lull in Kadiivka and Popasna, then battle resumes:

22:30 Kadiivka: Calmed down. How long for?
22:31 Makiivka Gvardeyka: North of Donetsk, the noise has activated. Even a couple of distant heavy hits occurred
22:34 Kadiivka: “Nope, it rumbles”
22:43 Donetsk: An illuminating [flare] over Oktyabskyi
22:46 Popasna: The same here [=rumble]
22:57 Kadiivka Irmino: “The house all of a dither”
22:57 Kadiivka: And again the battle continues… In short, outgoing rounds again, loud
22:59 Kadiivka: It’s loud, heavy [guns]

Mariupol, a port city in the south of Donetsk Oblast, cannot hear

23:02 Mariupol: [Quiet]
23:10 Donetsk Putilovka: “It’s heard”
23:24 Mariupol: Allegedly, [it is quiet], but I didn’t hear it yesterday and our guys wrote they have heard it in the center
23:30 Dokuchaevsk: “…loud – Oleksandrinka” “Loud in the center” “Loud everywhere”
23:33 Dokuchaevsk: SPG is shelling just from the city. Hello, 2014-2015, f*cking “protectors”
23:42 Popasna: Wow, it has started so loud
23:43 Kadiivka: Again Kalynove sounds very loud, outgoing fire
23:44 Kadiivka: We can hear it too [=cannonade]

Svitlodarsk can hear machine guns rattling:

23:46 Svitlodarsk: Heavy machine-gun fire from time to time

The inactive battle near Dokuchaevsk is still in progress:

23:48 Dokuchaevsk: “…Explosions are barely heard. And salvos intensified. Small arms joined”

The battle near Popasna is still ongoing towards midnight:

23:48 Holubivka: As of now [=since 22:57] 3 122mm flew out of their area [=from Irmino north of Kadiivka]
23:50 Kadiivka: Oh no, it was just a short pause. Heavy artillery comes into play again

Ukrainian military: 201 attacks over February 27-28, 2 KIA, 4 WIA

On February 27, 84 attacks on Ukrainian positions were recorded, one serviceman was wounded in action.

The ATO Headquarters reported 117 attacks on February 28, 2 soldiers were killed, 2 more wounded, one hurt.

As of 18:00, March 1 ATO HQ recorded 58 attacks, another Ukrainian serviceman has been wounded.


The situation in the Donbas on February 27, 2017, according to reports by local residents on social networks (red), ATO HQ (green), OSCE (blue).
The situation in the Donbas on February 27, 2017, according to reports by local residents on social networks (red), ATO HQ (green), OSCE (blue). High resolution.
The situation in the Donbas on February 28, 2017, according to reports by local residents on social networks (red), ATO HQ (green), OSCE (blue).
The situation in the Donbas on February 28, 2017, according to reports by local residents on social networks (red), ATO HQ (green), OSCE (blue). High resolution.

OSCE reports ongoing escalation

Between the evenings of 26 and 27 February, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) recorded more ceasefire violations in Donetsk Oblast and fewer in Luhansk Oblast compared with the previous 24 hours. In Donetsk Oblast, about 450 explosions were recorded compared with about 200 explosions in the previous 24 hours. In Luhansk Oblast, about 60 explosions against 155 recorded a day before. The monitors observed houses damaged by shelling in Zolote and Pikuzy. The Mission has also reported, that a member of Russian-hybrid army “returned an SMM unmanned aerial vehicle seized by armed men in Yasynuvata on 24 February“.

On the next day, the SMM recorded more ceasefire violations, including twice as many explosions, compared with the previous reporting period in both regions. In Donetsk Oblast about 900 explosions were recorded, and 135 in Luhansk Oblast. The Mission observed damage from gunfire and shelling on both sides of the contact line, in Yasynuvata, Talakivka, Novolaspa and Verhulivka.

Another farm shelled in Donetsk Oblast

One more agricultural enterprise has been attacked in Donetsk Oblast. The premises of agro holding “HarvEast” came under artillery shelling on February 27 at 22:20. The OSCE reports:

[On February 28] At 40 Rokiv Zhovtnia Street in government-controlled Talakivka (17km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM observed 11 fresh impacts, of which three were inside an agricultural compound. The SMM saw a hole in the roof of one storage building for agricultural machines and shrapnel damage on the metal walls. A metal pole outside a covered parking lot had been hit, as had a parked truck which the SMM saw burning. Three other fresh impacts were in a field adjacent to the compound and another five at a nearby abandoned farm where the SMM saw that the outer fence had been hit and two of its metal plates destroyed. The roof, walls and interior of the premises had also been damaged. The SMM assessed all of the above impacts as caused by 122mm artillery rounds fired from an east-north-easterly direction.


Earlier farms were attacked in Taramchuk, Chermalyk, Novobakhmutivka and other settlements in Donetsk Oblast.

Russia sends 61st illegal convoy to occupied Donbas

On February 28 another illegal Russian “humanitarian aid” convoy arrived in Luhansk and Donetsk having illegally crossed the Ukraine’s border.

07:38 Makiivka: At Chaykynske circle, 3 trucks with RU hum.aid went out from Makiivka village to Makiivka route…
08:00 Donetsk Baumana street: the Russians have brought something again, some ambulances and trucks with the inscription “Emergencies Ministry of the Russian Federation”

Russia sends its “humanitarian” convoys to the occupied Donbas since August 2014.  According to TASS, the 61st convoy consisted of 25 trucks, that carried “300 tons of humanitarian freight for the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, the bulk of which is foodstuffs“. Cargoes are not properly inspected by the Ukrainian Border Service, so it is not certain what really is delivered. According to the Ukrainian Border Service, Russia sent a nuclear, biological, chemical reconnaissance vehicle (NBCRV) with its previous convoy.

Donbas “republics” declare “nationalization” of Ukrainian assets

On February 27, Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky, terrorist leaders of the occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, presented an ultimatum, demanding Ukraine to stop the civil trade blockade of the Donbas by March 1, threatening to take control of the companies under Ukrainian jurisdiction operating in the uncontrolled territories of the Donbas. The first seizure took place on February 28. The Akhmetov’s charity foundation has released a statement, saying Donbas Arena stadium has been ceased by gunmen:

Armed people blocked distribution centre at Donbas Arena and issuing points of Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center in temporarily non-government-controlled areas. The Humanitarian Center has no reliable information about the reasons for such action. The premises, equipment and all humanitarian aid are blocked, and the Center’s volunteers have no access to them.


Flooded trenches at the front

Meanwhile, trenches are being flooded by meltwater at the front.





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