Russia’s Forces Kill 2nd Ukrainian Soldier in 2021

Thus far, 2021 is mirroring the start of 2020. Back then we saw the routine use of mortar fire and artillery with a predictable increased loss of life. A year on and Russia’s forces are again sending their shells westward. As we’ve witnessed over the last few years, I expect this year will follow the routine of increased fire one day, then a moderately quite day, then heavier firing the following day. Then, a few months down the line, we’ll get another short-lived ceasefire agreement.

Last year Ukrainian forces tried hard to adhere to the July 27th ceasefire agreement and largely resisted the obvious temptation of returning fire. However in January, they’ve reported as having returned fire on a number of occasions, usually when Russian mortar and sniper fire is used. Naturally with more lead whizzing about, you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce civilians casualties will increase and houses will start getting hit; it’s elementary. Russia’s firing is purely carried out for propaganda purposes, with the added benefit of keeping its largely poorly trained cannon fodder forces on their toes. Should Ukrainian return fire hit anyone or anything, then we can be sure the Kremlin’s propaganda machine will scream – LOOK UKRAINE’S BROKEN THE CEASEFIRE, bla, bla.

Sadly, Jan 21st saw the death of the second Ukrainian soldier this year. Defending the southern Azov Sea coastline, 28-year-old Marine Oleksandr Otriepiev was killed by a Russia’s forces sniper (see header & below pic). Oleksandr served as senior marine & gunner in the 36th Marine Brigade – our hearts go out to his family, comrades and friends. Along with the two killed this year, a number of Ukrainian soldiers have also been wounded.

Olexsandr in happier times with 2 new recruits.

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