Here’s some events over the last few days.
Front Line News.
First some good news.
Despite Russia’s best efforts, over Sunday and Monday, they only managed to injure one Ukrainian soldier. There’s been a drop off in the use of mortars by Russia’s forces, which has contributed towards the lower casualty rate and damage to civilian buildings.
Now the bad news.
April has been a bloody month for Ukraine’s sons and daughters holding the line.
April 1st to 14th: 8 soldiers have been killed and 25 wounded. Russia’s forces launched a total of 183 firing attacks, with heavy use of mortar and anti-tank rockets. These rockets are used to target Ukrainian positions, specifically front line dugout/bunkers.
Always a sad sight seeing children getting taught how to stay alive. But on the flip side, it’s good to see people teaching children how to stay alive. With eastern Ukraine having become one of the most mine contaminated regions of the world, the importance of mine and ordnance awareness is vital.
Over the last week, the OSCE has again been visiting schools close to the front line. With an impressive array of (not live) large vehicle mines, anti-personnel mines and shells, children are taught about their dangers and how to recognise them. The smaller anti-personal mines, many of which use trip wires, are placed on paths and woods along the front line. Last year 3 young boys out playing were killed by an anti-personnel mine near a Russia’s forces checkpoint at Horlivka.
The OSCE in a Luhansk region school.
Seen below, Ukraine’s Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross has been looking at fun and stimulating ways of highlighting the dangers of mines. Using the schools playground, they used stencils of children, mine warning signs and shells which pupils could colour in.
With 5 years of conflict, the risk of injuries from unexploded ordnance is a major concern. Children are naturally curious about unusual looking objects. With larger artillery shells, down to a myriad of smaller mortar shells and rifle grenades coming in all shapes and sizes, the potential for picking one up or disturbing an unexploded piece of munitions is all too high. Pics here are from a school in Stanytsia Luhanska – on the front line region of Luhansk.
Made in Russia.
As a rule of thumb, it’s probably not a good idea to produce a military video in occupied Ukraine featuring a Russian army P-419A radio relay (transmission) system. And it’s also not advisable to stick a big Russian poster on it telling everyone it was made in Omsk Russia.
Images below are taken from a April 8th video posted by Russia’s puppet Luhansk people’s republic. These short promo videos are all part of the Kremlin’s image propaganda campaign. They want to convince us their forces in Ukraine are highly trained, with professional soldiers capable of using all manor of technical equipment. Their rather less keen to tell us where these sham “separatists” acquired this abundance of technical hardware, but the poster gives us a bit of clue.
Radio relay systems are designed for rapid and mobile deployment of self-contained communications. This makes them ideal for use as mobile command centres and in eastern Ukraine, they’ve been seen working alongside electronic warfare systems.
On Russia’s Ministry of Defence website, a newer version of the R-419 system can be seen.
Seen positioned alongside Russian jamming electronic warfare systems, a radio relay system was spotted last month by the OSCE on March 16th. The radio truck will probably be used for communicating with front line units reporting on any Ukrainian UAV activity.
Shots Fired Close to OSCE Monitors.
April 11th, whilst talking to a Russia’s forces soldier, several shots were fired close to OSCE monitors. Upon seeing a tank inside a compound, monitors has been unsuccessfully trying to gain permission to access it. Shots were then fired landing “approximately 20m” from them. It’s obvious these were warning shots, designed to scare off the unarmed monitors. Incident location in the village of Smile, near the front line in the Luhansk region. The OSCE report.
Map showing location.