On September 4, 2016, the Lugansk People's Republic celebrated the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of the Lugansk region from the Nazis. With the liberation of this, the easternmost, region of the Ukrainian SSR, began the liberation of entire Ukraine.
During the years of the Great Patriotic War, about 100,000 people were killed in the Lugansk region and over 70,000 residents were driven to forced labor in Germany. More than 400,000 Lugansk residents went to the front, and 286 of them received the highest award of the Soviet Union, the «Soviet Union Hero».
Now, for more than two years, as in the days of the Great Patriotic War, the residents of Donbass have been fighting not only for their freedom, but for life itself.
Only in the last month of summer 2016, according to the DPR Defense Ministry, the Ukrainian side made over 15,000 rounds on the territory of the Republic, with more than 13,000 of them from heavy weapons.
During this time, there was damaged or destroyed over 400 homes and civilian infrastructure objects, including two schools and two kindergartens. More than half of the devastation occurred in the Donetsk area.
In August 2016, 8 civilians were killed and 46 wounded. The DPR army losses amounted to 6 soldiers killed and 10 wounded.
On August 31, after the negotiations in Minsk, there was announced another complete and permanent cease-fire that ended barely begun.
While, according to the authorities of the Republic, in the first days the cease-fire was generally respected, with the exception of individual skirmishes in some segments of the front, at the end of the week Kiev opened fire on the territory of the Republic about 40 times, including with grenade launchers and infantry fighting vehicles.
Yesterday morning, the Ukrainian military shelled the locality of Sakhanovka, in the south of the DPR, with mortars. The local authorities recorded the landing in residential areas of the locality of, at least, 5 mortar shells.
At the same time, Kiev was far from abandoning the sabotage activity, having only changed its tactics.
While prior to the declaration of another ceasefire the DPR army soldiers had to repel the attempts of Ukrainian armed subversive groups to break through almost every night, in recent days, Ukrainian saboteurs have been trying to enter the territory of the Republic secretly and in small groups.
According to the DPR intelligence, Kiev has prepared 7 subversive groups of 5 people each for infiltration into the territory of the Republic. Their aim is allegedly attacks on the vital infrastructure and crowded public places.
In addition, on the Yavoriv training ground, in the Lvov region in the west of Ukraine, snipers are trained by Canadian and American instructors, to be sent afterwards to the ATO area.
In the Lugansk segment of the front, in the town of Schastye, the Ukrainian command have organized a camp where snipers and saboteurs are also prepared. According to the LPR intelligence, there are about 100 men in the camp, including 30 citizens of Poland and Latvia, judging by their language of communication and stripes on their uniforms.
Despite the fact that the current ceasefire was declared permanent at the Minsk negotiations, in which the Ukrainian side also participated, Kiev continues to strengthen its military groups in all segments of the front. Only in four days of the ceasefire, to the frontline were delivered a few dozen of tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, as well as artillery systems and 200 men of the special forces battalion of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine.
The OSCE observers also documented the withdrawal from the storage sites of Ukrainian weapons and equipment of over 60 howitzers and motorized artillery systems, over 50 tanks, about 100 anti-tank cannons, six 220mm MLRS "Uragan" and an air defense missile complex "Strela-10".
In the Lugansk segment of the front, the OSCE representatives found missing at the storage sites, in addition to Ukrainian armored vehicles and artillery, a 203mm motorized howitzer "Peon" and a 135mm guided anti-tank missile «Concourse".
At the same time, according to the Defense Ministry of Ukraine, at the airfield in Lutsk, in western Ukraine, the preparation of an air group is being carried out on SU-25 fighter planes. The air group is practising flying at very low altitudes and a target free search in air strikes in the conditions of zero visibility.
Locals in the Kharkov region reported that the Ukrainian army is repairing an abandoned airfield. According to the DPR intelligence, this airport has the potential to take the NATO transport aircraft in the event of troops transfer from neighboring countries.
In Krasnoarmeysk, on the Ukraine-controlled territory of Donbass, also according to local residents, the Ukrainian military unload containers with chemicals, presumably sarin and mustard gas. The DPR intelligence confirms that the General Staff of Ukraine, led by the Defense Minister Muzhenko, is planning to use chemical weapons in Donbass.
Two days ago, the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced a large-scale gathering of military operational reserve, which would be held in five regions. The gathering will include 8,000 reservists, with 10 percent of them officers.
Yesterday, the Defense Ministry of Lithuania reported on the transfer to Ukraine of 150 tons of ammunition for Kalashnikov assault riffles.
Thus, Ukraine is quite openly preparing for the resumption of full-scale hostilities in Donbass, while preparing, at the same time, the information field to accuse the People's Republics of disrupting Minsk Agreements.
Last week, Kiev sent to the ATO zone several groups of journalists from the Ukrainian mainstream mass media to record return fire from the Army of the Republics and, subsequently, accuse them of violating the ceasefire.
On the first day of the current ceasefire, the OSCE special representative at the Minsk negotiations, Martin Saydik suggested a video conference with the participation of the OSCE, Kiev, the DPR and LPR. The Ukrainian media reported that the videoconference was initiated by Kiev as a result of the ceasefire violation by the DPR.
Two days ago, Kiev sent to the ATO area a group of American journalists accredited at the Defense Ministry of Ukraine, to cover events on the front in the light favorable for Kiev. At one of the checkpoints, radicals of the "Right Sector" took away a camera and all the cash from one of the journalists. According to her, the representatives of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry are having conversations with her now, urging her not to mention the incident in her report.
Two days ago, the Ukrainian military said that the OSCE mission was evacuating its office in Donetsk. Yesterday representatives of the mission denied this statement.
Donbass no longer believes "peaceful intentions" of Kiev. On the second day of the ceasefire, the Head of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko said, during a direct line with foreign journalists, that, according to the intelligence of the Republic, Kiev continued using the cease-fire regime to regroup its forces and prepare for a new round of hostilities. The Head of the Republic officially warned Kiev that any attempt to advance would be the last one for Ukraine.
At the end of the week, the DPR army conducted the next large-scale exercises of all combat arms, during which they worked out an offensive at the enemy’s positions, with a crossing of a water obstacle. In both Republics, there is an active preparation for a competition of tank crews.
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