I say evening, but it’s now Monday morning.
Bit of a picture post today.
A welcome modest reduction in Russia’s forces use of mortars yesterday. Saturday they launched 15 firing attacks, two of which used heavy mortars banned by the Minsk agreement. 1 Ukrainian soldier was reported wounded. The 7am report stated a small amount of firing had continued into today. With no 6pm update report posted today, we’ll have to wait till tomorrow to see what’s occurred today.
Video below gives an insight into the difficulty Ukrainian soldiers face in defending the town of Avdiivka. Stuck in-between both Ukrainian and Russia’s forces positions, is the Donetsk water filtration plant. Serving both Ukraine held and occupied areas with water, it has around 7 tons of chlorine stored within it. Any damage to the plant might cause the release of chlorine into the atmosphere and local water supplies, thereby potentially killing many people and causing a massive environmental disaster.
Donetsk City International Airport (what’s left of it).
Edging towards five years on, here’s some May 2019 pictures of the airport.
Posted by Russia’s Donetsk puppet republic, they show the Armageddon style damage inflicted upon it. Although some earlier lighter fighting had taken place, it was from Sept 2014 to Jan 22nd 2015 which saw it change from a recently built, brand new airport, to one looking like a nuclear bomb hit it. Unable to capture it from the small detachment of Ukrainian soldiers heroically defending it, Russian artillery, tanks and all manor of shells and rockets reduced it to rubble.
The tourist information desk is closed.
St Iversky Monastery.
During the unrelenting attacks on the nearby Ukraine held Donetsk city airport, Russia’s forces occupied and fortified the monastery. From this dominating position, month after month those occupying it fired across the cemetery at the airport and surrounding Ukrainian positions. Using it as a firing position, they did so in the full knowledge Ukrainian forces would be forced to return fire. The below pictures show the tragic result of that return fire. To me the monastery and airport are kinsmen. They share a special bond of desolate destruction. Russian shells destroyed the airport. Russian shells forced the destruction of the monastery. Nothing was gained by their destruction. Nothing other than stopping people go to church, tending the graves of their loved ones and flying.
Part of the cemetery and airport seen from inside the monastery’s building occupied by Russia’s forces. They helped inflict the shocking damage seen in this picture.
The airport seen beyond the graves. Within the vast, sprawling cemetery, thousands of graves have been damaged, with many ripped open. With the monastery still very much on the front line, most graves have been left untended since 2015.
Nature is slowly claiming the cemetery. A blanket of green tries hard to hide wars horrors. The monastery building seen above, was occupied by Russia’s forces.
It appears Russia’s Luhansk republic has done nothing to maintain its stock of vital farming equipment. In the below post (translated from Russian), their neighboring Donetsk republic tells us that 93% of their tractor and combine harvesters are unusable. Now they’re forced to lease machinery, which ironically Russian tax payers will indirectly have to pay for. With much of occupied eastern Ukraine taken up with farming and agriculture, to neglect, or fail to replace such important machinery is extremely telling. I note they’ve taken out a 5 year lease on the harvesters.
Curfew changes in occupied Ukraine.
I say changes tongue in cheek. Russia’s Donetsk republic has had a 11pm to 5am, curfew in place for several years now. This week they tell us they’ve “shortened it.” For those who have a desperate need to get out of bed at 4am it is great news. Cue drum roll… because now it’s 11pm to 4am. As you can imagine, the curfew has dramatically impacted on the already widespread lack of employment opportunities in Russia’s republics. With no bars, garages, clubs, cafe’s, shops and restaurants allowed to stay open late, tens of thousands of jobs have been lost.