"[581] The German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported that more than 100 German citizens were fighting alongside pro-Russian militias in eastern Ukraine. Now They're Stuck in No Man's Land", "Russia demands condemnation of mercenaries' activity in eastern Ukraine", "Russia demands investigation into claims Finns joined fighting in Ukraine", "We like partisan warfare.'  Russia – The Russian Foreign Ministry accused Ukrainian authorities of "blaming" the Russian government for all its troubles and stated "Ukrainian people want to get a clear answer from Kiev to all their questions. !7", "Ukraine's rebels in crisis after Donetsk 'coup, "I Was Held at Gunpoint by Ukraine Rebels", "Ukraine: pro-Russia rebels killed attempting to storm border guard base", "Fog of war falls heavy after violence in eastern Ukraine region", "At least two killed in Ukraine explosion", "Two Ukrainian troops killed in battles with insurgents on 3 June; OSCE says Luhansk blast on June 2 likely caused by airstrike (UPDATES, VIDEO)", "Despite Denials, All Evidence For Deadly Explosion Points To Kyiv", "Болотов объявил в Луганске трехдневный траур по погибшим (Bolotov declared a three-day mourning over the killed in Luhansk)", "Northern Donetsk region cleared of insurgents, part of Luhansk region border closed", "Conflicting accounts in heightened eastern Ukraine fighting", "Ukrainian troops kill more than 25 people in Krasny Liman hospital", "Rebels Seize 3 Government Bases in Eastern Ukraine", "6 militants killed, 3 Ukrainian troops injured in Luhansk", "Separatists kill member of Ukrainian special forces", "Ukraine says 15 rebels killed in border clash – Europe", "У Донецьку застрелили помічника головного місцевого терориста. [505] Despite this, President Zelensky stated on 7 November 2020 that since the July 2020 ceasefire was established, deaths of Ukrainian soldiers in combat had decreased tenfold, and the number of attacks on soldiers decreased by five-and-a-half-fold. [194] The president of the DPR, Denis Pushilin, stated that the three tanks would be stationed in Donetsk city, and that they gave his forces "at least some hope of defending [Donetsk] because heavy weapons are already being used against us. ", "Give us back our houses, our homes are broken! [625] On the following day, the Russian Defence Ministry said these soldiers had crossed the border "by accident". The legislation granted President Poroshenko "the right to use military force inside the country, without consent from the Ukrainian parliament", which would include the reclaiming of Donbass. [584] From late 2014 until late 2017 Serbia has opened 45 cases against Serbian mercenaries who had been fighting in the War in Donbass and in other military conflicts abroad. The separatist forces of the War in Donbass, or the United Armed Forces of Novorossiya ( Russian: Объединённые Вооруженные Силы Новороссии; acronym NAF ), is the umbrella name for the militias and armed volunteer groups affiliated with the unrecognized political union called Novorossiya (New Russia). [307] Further skirmishes between insurgents and the Armed Forces took place in Mnohopillia, Stepanivka, Hryhorivka, Krasny Yar, Pobeda, Shyshkove, Komyshne, Novohannivka, Krasna Talivka, Dmytrivka, Sabivka, and Luhansk airport. DPR commander Igor Girkin also said "The time has come when Russia must take a final decision – to really support Donbas's Russians or abandon them forever". [432] The plan, similar in content to the failed Minsk Protocol, called for an unconditional ceasefire, to begin on 15 February, amongst many other measures. [439][440][441] Fighting flared up again on 3 June 2015, when DPR insurgents launched an attack on government-controlled Marinka. [384] Intermittent shelling of Donetsk renewed on 5 November. [100] The Ukrainian government claimed to have "liberated" the building on 24 April, but this was denied by locals interviewed by the BBC near the building. [386] Ukrainian government spokesmen said that these were movements of Russian troops, but this could not be independently verified. Shelling damaged or destroyed many buildings, including a hospital, greengrocer's, and energy company office. An oil refinery in Lysychansk was also set alight. [657] By early January 2015, the number of deaths caused by the war had risen to 4,707, despite the signing of the Minsk Protocol in early September 2014. [539], In May 2014, then Ukrainian president Oleksandr Turchynov stated that numerous Ukrainian military and security personnel had joined the separatists, alongside stolen Ukrainian military equipment. [372] Scattered violations of the ceasefire continued, nonetheless. [415] The bridge, which is strategically important, was destroyed during the fighting. [354] Heavy fighting was observed by OSCE monitors near the villages of Shyrokyne and Bezimenne on 4 September. [637], The United Nations observed an "alarming deterioration" in human rights in territory held by insurgents affiliated with the Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic. ", "Russia Moves Artillery Units into Ukraine, NATO Says", "Ukraine Reports Russian Invasion on a New Front", "Ukraine accuses Russia of invasion after aid convoy crosses border", "Putin Claims Russia Was 'Forced To Defend Russian-Speaking Population in Donbass, "Vladimir Putin admits: Russian troops 'were in Ukraine, "Ukraine rebels: a disunited front run by warlords", "Ceasefire brings limited respite for east Ukrainians", "The Daily Vertical: Ukraine's Forgotten War (Transcript)", In Ukraine It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, and a Lot Less Like Russia, "Kyiv says there are about 6,000 Russian soldiers, 40,000 separatists in Donbas", "Anxious Ukraine Risks Escalation In 'Creeping Offensive, "Response to Chief Observer of the Observer Mission at the Russian Border Checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk | Statement to the PC", "The Routes Used by the Russian Army to Cross into Ukraine", The longest truce in Donbass. [38] Russia's official position on the presence of Russian forces in Donbass has been vague: while official bodies have denied presence of "regular armed forces" in Ukraine, it has on numerous occasions confirmed presence of "military specialists", along with other euphemisms, usually accompanied by an argument that Russia "was forced" to deploy them to "defend the Russian-speaking population". The Minsk talks are much more active than they were in 2017 through early 2019. Reuters correspondents confirmed the presence of three tanks in Donetsk city, and the US State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research also said that Russia had indeed sent tanks, along with other heavy weapons, to the separatists in Ukraine. In May 2020 his appeal against extradition was denied by a court in Rostov-on-Don based on the fact that Chirich does not have Russian citizenship and so called "DPR passports" are not recognized legally even in Russia. [717], This article is about the ongoing armed conflict in the Donbass region of Ukraine. Guardsmen managed to repel the attack, and forced the insurgents back to Stepanivka, where fighting continued. [241] Attempts to form a "contact group" between the insurgents and the Ukrainian government, part of President Poroshenko's "15-point peace plan", failed, leaving little hope of a renewed ceasefire. [698] On the same day, the Defence Department also proposed a $19 million aid package to help train the National Guard of Ukraine. Specifically, protesters demanded that the separatists cease firing rocket attacks from residential areas on the outskirts of Donetsk. [349] However, two days later, Ukrainian forces retreated from the city, and Komsomolske was once again taken by the DPR forces. [414] According to Ukrainian NSDC representative Andriy Lysenko, the operation restored the lines of control established by the Minsk Protocol, and therefore did not constitute a violation of it. The war has ebbed and flowed in the months since Minsk II was signed but this is of little solace to the civilians of Donbass who have been denied their right to peaceful self-determination by the international community. [158] During the same day, two pro-Russian separatists were killed during an assault by the pro-government "Ukraine Battalion" paramilitary on an occupied local government building in Torez. The press centre for the government military operation said that situation remained "most complex" in the areas around "Donetsk city, Luhansk city, Krasnodon and Popasna". [359][360] DPR and LPR leaders said that they retained their desire for full independence from Ukraine, despite these concessions. Minor skirmishes occurred in Vasylivka and Zhovtneve. [655][656] The New York Times reported that the high rate of civilian deaths had "left the population in eastern Ukraine embittered toward Ukraine's pro-Western government", and that this sentiment helped to "spur recruitment" for the insurgents. [644] The UN reported growing lawlessness in the region, documenting cases of targeted killings, torture, and abduction, primarily carried out by the forces of the Donetsk People's Republic. Government forces, however, were unsuccessful in forcing out the pro-Russians, and only further inflamed tensions in Mariupol. However, he went on to state "that doesn't mean there are regular Russian troops there." [364] Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said on 10 September that "70% of Russian troops have been moved back across the border", and also added that this action gave him "hope that the peace initiatives have good prospects". The Ukrainian government and separatists blamed each other for the attack.[235]. [271] Government forces broke through the insurgent blockade around Donetsk airport on 23 July, and then advanced into the northwestern corner of Donetsk city. Between 22 and 25 August, Russian artillery, personnel, and a "humanitarian convoy" crossed the border into Ukrainian territory. Fighting between insurgents and government forces across the Donbass region continued "constantly" over the course of the day. [672], The separatists reported that they had lost 1,400 men at most as of the beginning of February 2015. They also said that there were "command and control issues" amongst both parties to the conflict. [58] On 6 September 2020, the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported its first combat loss since the 27 July 2020 truce, when a soldier was killed by shelling. [92] Despite this, Ukrainian troops quickly withdrew from the city for unknown reasons, and the separatists quickly regained control. [378] The report also said that the majority of civilian deaths were caused by both insurgent and Ukrainian shelling. [589][590] Other volunteers help the injured soldiers or search captives and the killed ones. The area around Mariupol, including Shyrokyne, saw no fighting. [488] The 29 August 2018 ceasefire also failed. Whilst no new peace talks took place following the "Day of Silence", fighting between Ukrainian and separatist forces lessened significantly over the course of December. [66] The Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) was declared on 27 April. [38] They evacuated the town of Starobesheve, among other areas in the 75-kilometre (47 mi) stretch of borderland from the Sea of Azov to the existing insurgent-held territories. Following the withdrawals, and a successful Russian–Ukrainian prisoner swap, Russian president Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel met in Paris on 9 December 2019 in a resumption of the Normandy format talks. This proposal required congressional approval, and would come into effect in 2015. [30][31][32] The First Battle of Donetsk Airport in late May 2014 marked a turning point in conflict; it was the first battle between the separatists and the Ukrainian government that involved large amounts of Russian volunteers. [25] While the initial protests were largely native expressions of discontent with the new Ukrainian government, Russia took advantage of them to launch a co-ordinated political and military campaign against Ukraine. [588] Amidst the Crimean Crisis on 11 March 2014, then Defence Minister Ihor Tenyukh said that "de facto only 6,000 [soldiers] are in combat readiness". [267] On the same day, DPR prime minister Alexander Borodai said that he wanted to resume ceasefire talks. [715] According to Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, the war will be known in history of Ukraine as the "Patriotic War". Несите следующего", "Why is Ukraine's Army So Appallingly Bad? [260] Donetsk was rocked by explosions, and heavy weapons fire caused smoke to rise over the city. The Ukrainians also retook Kramatorsk on 5 July, although the separatists would capture Horlivka. [306] By 9 August, insurgent commander Igor Girkin said that Donetsk had been "completely encircled" by government forces. [35][36] Between 22 and 25 August 2014, Russian artillery, personnel, and what Russia called a "humanitarian convoy" crossed the Ukraine-Russia border. Such volunteer centres work in all large cities and many small settlements of Ukraine, except those which aren't controlled by government. [642] This would establish a Russian "strategic hook" within Ukraine that could be used to prevent future integration of that country with the European Union or NATO. The survey results showed that 80% of Ukrainians nationally and 73% of people living in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts supported that the separatist-controlled areas should remain part of Ukraine. In April, the separatists overran Mariupol, but, on 13 June, Ukrainian forces reclaimed the city. Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh vowed his group would avenge the deaths. [38][344][345] NATO commander Brig. [677], An image of a reported separatist graveyard in Donetsk in late February 2015,[678] showed number plates running up to at least 2,213. [526] According to The Guardian, their personnel include former members of the disbanded Berkut special police. [308] Overnight and into 10 August, government forces launched an artillery barrage on Donetsk city, causing "massive damage" across it. The US withdrawal energized the Islamic State of Iraq insurgent group, led by the "Invisible Sheikh" Abu Dua, which carried out a spate of suicide bombings targeting Iraqi government targets and Iraqi civilians. For the broader Russian military intervention, see, Ongoing armed conflict in the Donbass region of Ukraine, Expansion of separatist territorial control, Government counter-offensive: the "Anti-Terrorist Operation", July 2014: post-ceasefire government offensive, Fighting worsens in eastern Donetsk Oblast, Government push into Donetsk and Luhansk cities, November 2014 separatist elections and aftermath, January 2017 eruption of heavy fighting and failed ceasefires, October 2019 Steinmeier formula agreement and July 2020 ceasefire, Police and military defectors and deserters, The number of Ukrainian soldiers killed includes the deaths of two servicemen during the. Crossings occurred both in areas under the control of pro-Russian forces and in areas that were not under their control, such as the south-eastern part of Donetsk Oblast, near Novoazovsk. [491] This was confirmed the following day by Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko. [19], Pro-Russian sources claimed Ukrainian forces had: 10,000 killed, 20,000 wounded and 13,500 deserted or missing, by late June 2015. The law on the reintegration of Donbass labeled the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as "temporarily-occupied territories", while Russia was labeled as an "aggressor". Such a soldier’s wisdom seems to have been learned by all participants in … [342] They said these vehicles were marked with "white circles or triangles", similar to the white armbands seen on the captured Russian paratroopers earlier in the week. [553] To date, reports and interviews have shown the presence of Chechen, Ossetian, Tajik, Afghan, Armenian, and various Russian paramilitary forces operating in Ukraine. [507][508] On 17 December 2015 President Vladimir Putin stated in a response to a question about the detained Russian GRU agents held in Ukraine that Russia had "people (in Ukraine) who work on resolving various issues there, including in the military sphere." 28% said that such a conflict could happen in the future. [430] In addition, the pro-government Azov Battalion launched an offensive to recapture separatist-controlled areas on the outskirts of Mariupol, centred on the village of Shyrokyne. The Museum of Military History also lists separately 139 currently unidentified soldiers who were killed: 66 at Krasnopolye cemetery, Registered Cossacks of the Russian Federation, Historical background of the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine § Donbass, referendums on the status of Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Ukrainian Air Force Ilyushin Il-76 shoot-down, National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, held parliamentary and executive elections, centred on the Ukrainian-controlled city of Avdiivka, independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, recaptured Mariupol from pro-Russian separatists forces, Instances of cross-border shelling from Russia, Humanitarian situation during the war in Donbass, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, International reactions to the war in Donbass, December 2015 Ukraine power grid cyberattack, List of rebel groups that control territory, Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, "UPDATE: PACE officially recognizes occupied areas in Donbas as 'effectively controlled' by Russia", "Ukraine vs Russia: The ICJ's Court Decision, Examined", "Ukraine: Breaking Bodies: Torture and Summary Killings in Eastern Ukraine", "Ukraine and pro-Russia rebels sign ceasefire deal", "Three-day-old ceasefire in Ukraine broken as fighting resumes in some areas", "Wagner mercenaries: what we know about Putin's private army in Donbas", "Ukraine names over 150 mercenaries from "Putin's private army" fighting in Ukraine and Syria", "Meet the Cossack 'Wolves' Doing Russia's Dirty Work in Ukraine", "Suspicions abound as Chechen fighters make mysterious exit from Donbas battlefield", "Serbian mercenaries fighting in eastern Ukraine", "Probability of full-scale Russian invasion remains high – Ukrainian army general", "Pro-Russian rebels have 40,000-strong army, sufficient for 'mid-sized European state': Ukraine defence minister", Around 3–4 thousand Russian volunteers fighting for Donetsk People's Republic militia, "Kyiv Says 42,500 Rebels, Russian Soldiers Stationed in East Ukraine", "Some 1,000 Russian soldiers in Ukraine supporting rebels - U.S. commander", "UNIAN: 70 missing soldiers officially reported over years of war in Donbas", "Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine 16 November 2019 to 15 February 2020", "The overview of the current social and humanitarian situation in the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic as a result of hostilities between 8 and 14 February 2020", "The overview of the current social and humanitarian situation in the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic as a result of hostilities between 22 and 28 August 2020", REPORT ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN UKRAINE 16 FEBRUARY – 31 JULY 2020, "Armed pro-Russian insurgents in Luhansk say they are ready for police raid", Lessons from Russia's Operations in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, Strelkov/Girkin Demoted, Transnistrian Siloviki Strengthened in 'Donetsk People's Republic', "Pushing locals aside, Russians take top rebel posts in east Ukraine", "Lessons Learned" from the Russo-Ukrainian War, "The Separatist War in Donbas: A Violent Break-up of Ukraine? [533], Khodakovsky said that the "overwhelming majority" of his men came from eastern Ukraine. [434] DPR forces said that ceasefire did not apply to Debaltseve, and continued their offensive. [82][83] He offered amnesty to any separatists who laid down their arms and surrendered. [200] The aircraft was preparing to land at Luhansk International Airport, and was carrying troops and equipment from an undisclosed location. More than 3.5 million people in eastern Ukraine are in need of aid, according to UN figures. [532] Khodakovsky is the chief of the DPR's security service, and of the Patriotic Forces of Donbass, an insurgent battalion. [370] They said that the airport was "completely destroyed", and entirely unusable. [569] In his statement, he said that there were "74,000 Chechens who are willing to go to bring order to the territory of Ukraine", and that he would not send them to Donetsk, but to Kyiv. [78] After capturing the broadcasting centre, the militants began to broadcast Russian television channels. [261] The city's water supply was cut off during the fighting, and all railway and bus service was stopped. [86] As a result, an entrenched standoff between pro-Russian forces and the Armed Forces of Ukraine ensued, marking the start of combat in Donbass. [588], To counter equipment shortages, a powerful civil volunteer movement appeared. [152] In response to Akhmetov's refusal to pay taxes to the Donetsk People's Republic, on 20 May the chairman of the State Council of the DPR, Denis Pushilin, announced that the Republic would attempt to nationalise Akhmetov's assets. [336] A spokesman for the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine said that the entrance of the column into Ukraine was an attempt "by the Russian military in the guise of Donbass fighters to open a new area of military confrontation". [403] In one incident, LPR militants said that they had killed Alexander Bednov, the leader of the pro-Russian "Batman Battalion", on 2 January 2015. [295] A number of civilians were killed in fighting in both cities. [290] This was meant to allow international experts to examine the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which is located in Shakhtarsk Raion, where the fiercest battles had been taking place on the previous few days. [448] Whilst the ceasefire continued to hold into November, no final settlement to the conflict was agreed. Fighting across Donetsk Oblast on 19 August resulted in the deaths of 34 civilians. [72] This government counter-offensive began on the morning of 13 April. [35] Igor Girkin urged Russian military intervention, and said that the combat inexperience of his irregular forces, along with recruitment difficulties amongst the local population in Donetsk Oblast had caused the setbacks. [242] The checkpoint was shelled for over an hour, causing significant damage to infrastructure in Marynivka. The thicker you put them around your trench, the longer you will live. [513][514][50], Igor Girkin, a Russian citizen from Moscow[515] who commanded the Donbass People's Militia in Sloviansk, denied Russian involvement in the insurgency. [432][433] Despite the signing of Minsk II, fighting continued around Debaltseve. Russia demanded the agreement's signing before any continuation of the "Normandy format" peace talks. 18 Seeing through the doublethink: Primary evidence on losses of the combatants at Donbass . In light of this continued fighting, Ukrainian and separatist forces agreed to cease all military operations for a "Day of Silence" on 9 December. In the months after the fall of Debaltseve, minor skirmishes continued along the line of contact, but no territorial changes occurred. I came here to pay my dues to them". [339][340] The Russian military confirmed that these men were indeed Russian paratroopers, and that they had been captured. [500] The two sides agreed to exchange all remaining prisoners of war by the end of 2019, work toward new elections in Donbass, and schedule further talks. [294] Government forces closed in on Luhansk and Donetsk cities on 3 August. The Russian Defence Ministry said the men had entered Ukraine "by mistake during an exercise". The intense combat across Shakhtarsk Raion forced a party of Dutch and Australian policemen to call off an attempt to investigate the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. [111] The local administration building in Siversk was similarly captured on 18 April. On a number of occasions, OSCE monitoring drones were downed with electronic warfare units. His body was later found in a river on 22 April. Russian president Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian president Poroshenko discussed the ceasefire on 6 September. [60] The demonstrators stormed the RSA building, and took control of its first two floors. "[557] It was reported that Kadyrov engaged in an aggressive recruitment campaign in Chechnya for this operation, and that there were recruitment centres for it in Grozny, Achkhoy-Martan, Znamenskoye, and Gudermes. [398] The report also raised concerns about the potential for "humanitarian catastrophe" in separatist-controlled Donbass during the cold winter months, saying that the separatists were unable "to provide basic services for the population". [391] In response, the Ukrainian Defence Ministry said that it was preparing for a renewed offensive by pro-Russian forces. [95] By 14 April, however, militants had captured the building after a tense standoff with the police. 59% of those polled said that they supported the government military operation in Donbass, whereas 33% said that they opposed it. [159], Following a declaration by Pavel Gubarev establishing the "New Russia Party" on 22 May, representatives of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics signed an agreement creating the confederative state of New Russia. Gen. Nico Tak said on 28 August that "well over" 1,000 Russian soldiers were operating in the Donbass conflict zone. [131] In another incident, several hundred residents of the village of Pchyolkino, south of Sloviansk, surrounded another column of 14 Ukrainian armoured vehicles. "Ukrainian city of Donetsk epitomizes country's crisis", "Ukraine: Pro-Russians storm offices in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv", Ukraine crisis: Protesters declare Donetsk 'republic', "Crisis in east Ukraine: a city-by-city guide to the spreading conflict", "В Луганске выбрали "народного губернатора" | Донбасс | Вести", "У Луганську сепаратисти вирішили провести два референдуми | Українська правда", "ITAR-TASS: World – Federalization supporters in Luhansk proclaim people's republic", "Armed pro-Russian extremists launch coordinated attacks in Donetsk Oblast, seize buildings and set up checkpoints", "Pro-Russia Protesters Seize State Buildings in Eastern Ukraine", "Сепаратисти змусили керівника Донецької облміліції піти у відставку", "Fears of full-scale Russian invasion as eastern Ukraine cities toppled", "Separatists in Ukraine's Donetsk vow to take full control of region", "Another government building in eastern Ukraine attacked by pro-Russia militants", "Activists easily seize local council building in Donetsk region's Zhdanovka", "Ukrainian troop defections escalate tensions in eastern Ukraine", "Separatists seize control of TV HQ in east Ukraine city", "Pro-Russian Group in Donetsk declare independence from Ukraine", "Ukraine unrest will be resolved by force or talks in 48 hours, minister says", "Russian Far-Right Idol: The Man Who Started the War in Ukraine", "Sloviansk's 'People's Mayor' Rumored to Be Detained By Own Forces in Ukraine", "The Russians fighting a 'holy war' in Ukraine", "Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine: 1 December 2014 to 15 February 2015", "Приїжджі загарбники в Краматорську назвалися "народним ополченням, "Pro-Russian attack police HQ in Horlivka as Kyiv's deadline expires", "Pro-Russian separatists seize buildings in east Ukraine's Horlivka", "Ukraine crisis: BBC investigates Mariupol 'liberation' claims", "Ukraine: Pro-Russian insurgents retreat from buildings in Mariupol", "Who's in charge here? [138] The officials said that seven troops were killed during the day's operations. [54] During his 24 August 2020 Ukrainian Independence Day speech, President Zelensky announced the ceasefire had held, leading to 29 days without combat losses. [362][363][364] These violations resulted in the deaths of four Ukrainian soldiers, whilst 29 were injured. [699] On 8 September 2014, The New York Times reported that only a portion of the initial non-lethal aid package had actually arrived in Ukraine. Another border post was captured by the insurgents in Sverdlovsk. "[459] Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Lamberto Zannier stated on 19 February the decree "implies...recognition of those who issue the documents, of course" and that it would make it more difficult to hold a ceasefire. [17][18][note 2] Another 70 Ukrainian soldiers were missing. Separatist forces captured a Ukrainian checkpoint at Krymske, attacked other checkpoints in the area, and shelled villages near Shchastya. [114], 70 to 100 insurgents armed with assault rifles and rocket launchers attacked an armoury in Artemivsk on 24 April. [233] In response to the attack, Ukrainian president Poroshenko said that "For every life of our soldiers, the militants will pay with tens and hundreds of their own". [186], Another border post was attacked on 5 June, in the village of Marynivka. [292] Meanwhile, talks between the separatists, Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE were held in Minsk. [414] DPR authorities said that they halted government forces at Putylivskiy bridge, which connects the airport and the city proper. On 27 April, the Luhansk People's Republic was declared, with Luhansk serving as its capital. [498], In line with the Steinmeier formula, Ukrainian and separatist troops began withdrawing from the town of Zolote on 29 October. An estimated 40 insurgents died in the fighting, with some civilians caught in the crossfire. [408] Such an offensive by separatist forces would signal the complete breakdown of the frequently ignored Minsk Protocol, which established a buffer zone between Ukrainian-controlled and separatist-controlled territories. [385] OSCE chairman Didier Burkhalter said that he was "very concerned" about the "resurgence of violence", and stressed the importance of adhering to the Minsk Protocol. These villages are 24 kilometres ( 12 1⁄2 mi ) east of Mariupol. [ 614 ] were under government. Troops leave the base at his factories to signal the beginning of February 2015 by American personnel. A local police station, business centre, and Australia blamed Russia and the insurgents the! We will either take it back peacefully, or like that '', d. [ 200 ] the number of the front line '', referring to the Minsk Protocol, OSCE to! 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