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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Day 1359: November 7, 2017

Publication: Ukraine Liveblogs
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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
DNR Claims Children Killed, Injured from Ukrainian Shelling; OSCE SMM Reports They Played with UXO

Photo by Aleksandr Kravchenko/Interfax

One child was killed and two were injured in the Trudovskiye settlement in the Petrovsky Rayon of Donetsk as a result of an explosion in Donetsk on November 5.

According to an Interfax report, a representative of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" (DNR) said the children were hurt due to Ukrainian forces shelling in the area. Interfax was checking the report.

One child died of shrapnel wounds and two were hospitalized at Hospital Number 17.

The DNR spokesman said Ukrainian forces had shelled Spartak, Zhabichevo, Yakovlevka, and Vesyoloye with heavy artillery, and also hitting residential areas in the Kiev District and Donetsk Airport. They said there were six self-propelled artillery systems on the western outskirts of Avdeyevka firing at DNR territory.

But on November 7, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) released its report for November 6, saying it had investigated the reports of the children's casualties and found they were playing with unexploded ordnance on a school playground, according to a Russian officer:

The SMM followed up on reports of civilian casualties – four injured and one killed – in “DPR”-controlled Donetsk city. Staff at the Kalinina morgue in Donetsk city told the SMM that on 5 November, they had received the body of a nine-year-old boy who had died from shrapnel injuries to his head and neck.

At the Donetsk Trauma Hospital, medical staff told the SMM that two boys (aged nine and ten) had been admitted to the hospital on 5 November with shrapnel injuries. They said that the two boys had been together with the abovementioned fatality, when a piece of unexploded ordnance (UXO) exploded – killing one, and injuring the others. They told the SMM that one of the boys had injuries to his right elbow, while the other had sustained extensive damage to his hip and remained in critical condition after having undergone surgery. Medical staff from the children’s department told the SMM that one of the boys was still suffering from shock after having seen his friend killed in front of him. According to a Russian Federation Armed Forces officer of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) and media reports, the three boys had found a piece of UXO in the playground of school no. 110 in Donetsk city’s Petrovskyi district.

It was not clear from which side the UXO came.

OSCE SMM also spoke two men also injured from explosions.

At the same hospital, the SMM spoke with a 65-year-old man who had bandages over his left eye. He told the SMM that on 5 November at around 18:15, he had been in his kitchen at 84 Partyzanskyi Avenue in Kyivskyi district of Donetsk city (5km north-west of the city centre) when he had heard two explosions in rapid succession and had been thrown to the floor by the blast of the second one. He said he had subsequently noticed that his head was bleeding and had called an ambulance.

A fourth casualty at the hospital, a 35-year-old man, who had bandages on his right arm, told the SMM that at 21:20 on 5 November, he had been at 12 Kedrina Street in the Kyivskyi district of Donetsk city when he had heard several explosions and was subsequently struck on his right arm by shattered glass.

The SMM also inspected the area of the Donetsk Filtration Station, where Ukrainian forces have accused DNR fighters of shelling the area. Shells have come dangerous close to chlroine tanks which could poison the area.

The SMM observed damage in residential areas and to essential infrastructure from shelling. At the Verkhnokalmiuska reservoir, about 2km south of Yasynuvata (16km north-east of Donetsk), accompanied by Russian Federation Armed Forces officers of the JCCC, the SMM saw a fresh crater in a concrete slab on the bank of the reservoir, assessed as caused by a rocket from a multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) (BM-21 Grad, 122mm) fired from a north-westerly direction. About 150m south-west of the first impact, the Mission saw four fresh craters on soft ground; however, the Mission could not assess the type of weapon used or the direction of fire. Workers from the Voda Donbassa water company told the SMM that the impacts had occurred at 18:40 on 5 November.

The SMM observed four impact sites at Donetsk Filtration Station (15km north of Donetsk), accompanied by Russian Federation Armed Forces officers of the JCCC. The SMM saw a hole (60cm in diameter) in an 7-8cm thick outer layer of an aboveground pipeline (which the head of the facility said was used to transport chlorine) and, 10m south of the pipeline, next to an asphalt road, the SMM saw two small fresh craters, 15m apart. About 30m north of the pipeline, the SMM also saw an impact to the bottom of the south-facing wall of a building, three broken windows and glass on the floor. The Mission assessed that all impacts were caused by an automatic or under-barrel grenade launcher round; however the SMM could not assess the direction of fire. While at the site, the head of the facility showed the SMM a building where he said that chlorine was stored, located about 70-80m west of the impacts. He told the SMM that all damage had occurred early in the morning between 3 and 5 November.

Fighting has stepped up on the front line, the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] reported.

On the Maritime line, Russia-backed militants fired 82-mm mortars and an armed BMP at Ukrainian positions at Gnutovo. An armed BMP was also used on the approaches of Nikolayevka, Vodyanoye and Beryozova. As a result of a grenade shelling, one Ukrainian soldier was wounded at Novotroitskoye.

On the Lugansk line, Novotoshkovskoye was shelled. 

After 18:00, the area of Krymskoye was attacked. Heavy machine guns and 82-mm mortars were fired, and then 120-mm artillery. Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed, one was wounded, and another was concussed in this battle.

In addition, militants fired anti-tank grenades at Ukrainian positions in Butovka.

In total, militants made 17 violations of the ceasefire and the ATO fired back 12 times. A total of 2 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and three wounded.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick 

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