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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Live Day 672
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
OSCE Confirms Grad Use By Russian-Backed Fighters Last Week
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The last two weeks have seen repeated claims from Ukrainian officials that Russian-backed fighters had resumed regular use of Grad rockets near both Donetsk and Gorlovka. 

On Saturday, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) reported that their monitors had witnessed outbound salvoes of Grad rockets in separatist-held areas of Donetsk and Lugansk on December 18:

The SMM recorded ceasefire violations, including the use of multiple-launch rockets systems (MLRS; BM-21Grad, 122mm) and mortars in both Donetsk and Luhansk regions[1]. From a position at “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Donetsk railway station (6km north-west of Donetsk city centre), between 8:02 and 14:00hrs[2], the SMM heard six explosions, two airbursts and small-arms fire at locations 3-4km north-west of its position. In Staromykhailivka (“DPR”-controlled, 16km west of Donetsk), between 9:09 and 9:18hrs, the SMM heard six undetermined detonations as well as two outgoing salvos of MLRS (BM21 Grad, 122mm) 2-3km west of its position. Whilst in Petrovskyi district (“DPR”-controlled, 12km south-west of Donetsk), the SMM heard three undetermined explosions 8-10km north-north-west of its position (in the direction of Staromykhailivka).

Whilst approximately 4km south of the “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”)-controlled town of Kalynove (58km west of Luhansk), the SMM heard six MLRS rockets (BM-21 Grad 122mm) being fired approximately 3-5km north from its position. The SMM assessed the location of the firing to be near Kalynove. In Bashtevych (“LPR”-controlled, 39km SW of Luhansk), the SMM heard numerous explosions assessed as live-fire exercise involving the use of artillery and mortars 5-6km north of its position.

This corresponds with the Ukrainian military's report from December 19, which said that seven Grad rockets had been fired at positions near Troitskoye, around 10 kilometres southwest of Kalinovo (Kalynove):


The Ukrainian report also claimed that Russian-backed fighters had twice used Grad-P single-tube launchers. The OSCE report of "salvoes" suggests that the larger, conventional Grad launchers were in fact used.

-- Pierre Vaux