Ukraine ceases. Russia Fires.
Although currently there’s another ceasefire in operation, these are ceasefires agreed with Russia’s sham republics and its forces in Ukraine. The upshot of this dancing with the devil, is a whole lot of firings going on. However the slight upside is, the OSCE report the average level of firing and number of explosions are still down (not by much), from before the July ceasefire start.
OSCE Ceasefire violations and explosions totals from their Tue Oct 1st report.
As you can see, they aren’t down much from 2018.
As I’ve often said, Russia’s forces continued daily use of mortars and artillery, is done in the hope of provoking heavy weapons return fire by the Ukrainian army. Should that return fire injure civilians or damage property, Russia’s propaganda machine will shout HURRAH and yelp – LOOK, the Ukrainian army is deliberately targeting civilians etc.
Now, the Ukrainian army does indeed return fire and after 5 years of fighting, they’re rather good at it. The steady stream of Cargo 200 vans carrying Russia’s dead cannon fodder out of Ukraine bears gruesome witness to this fact (see OSCE report below).
Both sides are using the extended reduction in firing to repair their front line positions and dig new ones. Russia’s forces have been particularly active, especially around the village of Petrivske. This Sept 22nd OSCE report gives a snapshot of their recent activity, inc the construction of a 1,600m trench. Due to this major, on-going construction work, Russia’s forces keep denying OSCE patrols access to Petrivske and haven’t allowed them to view their static camera there. Only way for them to check things out, is by using their UAV.
Over the last few weeks, 9 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and 40 wounded. Sadly, the number of dead can increase, with soldiers subsequently dying from their wounds. During September as a whole, 14 are said to have died. Over the last month, Russia’s forces launched almost 500 firing attacks. Each attack can vary from intense mortar/artillery fire to the use of grenade launchers & heavy/light machine guns.
Dates and Casualty Details.
The Oct 1st OSCE report from the border checkpoints (BCP) of Donetsk & Gukovo.
From the Russian side of the border, the Kremlin only allows the OSCE to monitor 24/7 the Donetsk & Gukovo crossings. These two checkpoints border Ukraine’s Luhansk province. Since Sept 2014, Russia’s had total control over 409km of Ukraine’s eastern border. This means the Russian army is spoilt for choice. They can either use the numerous official Ukrainian border crossings, disused crossing points they’ve reopened & ones they created themselves to enter/exit Ukraine. To avoid OSCE patrols and prying eyes, much of Russia’s hardware, supplies and troops cross the border after dark.
If every week at Donetsk & Gukovo, the OSCE observes people in military uniform entering/exiting Ukraine, along with a steady stream of funeral vehicles criss-crossing the border, it’s not hard to imagine the high levels of Russian military activity happening at all the unobserved crossings.
OSCE report link.
As seen below, this details one van with “Ritual Service” inscription crossing back and forth, along with another marked as “Gruz 200” seen entering Ukraine. The words “Gruz (cargo) 200” normally refers to Russian military code for “military personnel killed in action.” This van has probably been sent to collect dead Russian servicemen.
Note: The Donetsk referred to here, is the Russian border town opposite Ukraine’s Luhansk region and not the occupied city of Donetsk in Ukraine.