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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Liveblog Day 199
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Shelling Heard In Mariupol, Eastern Defences Reportedly Abandoned
7 years
John McCain Says Putin Does Not Want a Successful Ukraine

Wojciech Bojanowski, a correspondent for Poland's TVN24 brings worrying news from the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol:

Others report and photograph explosions coming from the east, where Russian forces are advancing from the direction of Novoazovsk.

Large fire beyond the eastern checkpoint towards Novoazovsk. Sounds like Grads are firing in the distance.

Mariupol, hearing artillery and Grads. NATO, USA, EU - all loudly voicing their concenrs about Putin. The truth is: Ukraine is completely on its own.

Mariupol news site spoke to Andriy Biletsky, the commander of the Azov volunteer battalion, who are defending the city.

They report (translated by The Interpreter):

As the commander of the Azov battalion told us, battalion task forces were on the attack. "On the attack were a tank company, a BMP company with Grads, mortar batteries and conventional artillery," he said. "In terms of heavy weaponry, Azov had only mortars, a rocket launcher and a Fagot anti-tank missile system."

Biletsky said that the fortifications constructed with the help of volunteer residents had been crucial to the defence of the city.

According to the commander, 2 enemy tanks and a Ural truck were knocked out before Russian forces retreated and began an artillery bombardment.

Biletsky said that the fighting today has destroyed almost half the village of Shirokino, with both tanks and Grads firing on the area.

Fortunately, the Azov fighters managed to withdraw. The invaders destroyed all of Azov's heavy equipment and knocked out their BTRs. "There were many wounded and there are missing," said Biletsky. "We really hope that they are missing, because the trenches they were in have been completely churned up."

Nevertheless, Biletsky assured that the enemy had been repelled and that Shirokino remains a Ukrainian village. 

However Azov fighters have still not received artillery support.

The OSCE has published the following report on the situation in Mariupol today:

The situation in Mariupol and the surrounding area raises concern due to increased military activity, primarily to the east of Mariupol city. Reportedly, heavy fighting in the area of Shyrokyne (24km east of Mariupol city) and Bezimenne (34km east of Mariupol city) is taking place. Local residents are nervous and fear that Mariupol may be attacked soon.

Ukrainian authorities informed the SMM early on 4 September that the situation in Mariupol was worsening by the hour and that there was a danger that irregular armed groups could move into the city tonight.

On 4 September the SMM visited the checkpoint (CP) in the eastern part of Mariupol city on the E58 road towards Novoazovsk. The SMM noticed approximately 16 units of military hardware there (eight trucks and eight armoured personnel carriers) leaving the CP and moving in the direction of the city. The SMM observed 100-150 Ukrainian forces, possibly from the National Guard. The governor of Donetsk, Serhiy Taruta, was also present at the CP and gave a press conference.

Shelling began at 12:40 on 4 September in the area of Shyrokyne and Bezimenne. The SMM was informed by local inhabitants that they heard 50-60 explosions and that at 17:15 four explosions were heard from the direction of Shyrokyne. In Berdyansk village the SMM was told by local inhabitants that Shyrokyne was shelled and that there had been casualties. In Shyrokyne the SMM saw at the entrance of the village burning fields on both sides of the road. Local inhabitants told the SMM that fighting between Ukrainian army and irregular armed groups had been ongoing during the entire day. The electric power station in Shyrokyne was destroyed and subsequently the village was left without electricity. It appeared that neither Ukrainian army nor irregular armed groups were in control of the village. On the way out of Shyrokyne the SMM could hear five to six artillery shelling from the direction of Bezimenne towards Mariupol.