Today, February 1, from 8 a.m. SSES started the evacuation of civilians from Avdeevka, where earlier declared a state of emergency. Massive shelling by Pro-Russian militants led to the fact that the city was on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe due to the lack of heat, light and water in 20-degree cold. Despite promises by Russia to allow repair crews to damaged power lines yesterday, working to restore electricity supply has not begun.
Avdiivka coke managed to raise the temperature of heating to 44 degrees so that people will be able to survive the night. But if the attacks will not stop and repair crews will not be allowed to damaged power lines, evacuation of the civilian population and the humanitarian disaster is inevitable.
The government is ready to any turn of events yesterday during the meeting of the President with heads of law enforcement agencies worked the possible scenarios of an exit from the stalemate. In the EU, USA, OSCE and the UN condemned the escalation and violation of the Minsk agreements. Meanwhile, Ukrainian politicians and experts build version and causes the deterioration of the situation in the town: some call it the next large-scale escalation, others test in the U.S. and Europe from Russia, and others – struggle for the strategic route Donetsk — Gorlovka.
Fighting in Avdeevka worsened as the time after the first telephone conversation of the President of the United States Donald trump with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. From 29 January, the militants do not stop shelling Ukrainian positions of the Minsk agreements prohibited artillery systems, tanks and rocket systems. Hardened fighting on Monday 30 January during the stay of Petro Poroshenko on a working visit to Berlin. Before the talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel , Ukrainian President said that as a result of night and morning shelling our positions, 7 Ukrainian servicemen were killed, 17 were injured.
«Wounded and they died as a result of artillery fire from artillery, artillery systems, which were installed by Russian militants in residential areas of Donetsk and Yasinovataya in order that the Ukrainian military had no opportunity to open fire. It’s barbaric methods,» – said the President.
After the militants began to hit the suburbs of the Town from artillery and «Gradov», the result of which was broken the last line of supply, and the city remained without water, light and heat, extra Poroshenko cut short his visit to Berlin and returned to Ukraine. Even during the day the positions of Ukrainian military in the Donbass were fired 71 times, killed three Ukrainian soldiers, 20 injured and four injured.
On the morning of 31 January, one of the divisions of the militants opened fire and went on the offensive, although they themselves asked for a ceasefire (which was confirmed by the Russian side), to allow repair crews to the damaged power lines. According to the head of the Donetsk regional military-civil administration Pavlo Zhebrivskyi, to repair power lines yesterday, didn’t start due to the incessant massive attacks. The evening at the Donetsk Department gschs declared that preparing for the evacuation of civilians today at 8 am.
According to local residents, all day yesterday the town was shaken by the volleys of MLRS «Grad», almost without a pause he worked the grenade launchers and mortars. According to reports, artillery militants are also located in Yasinovataya and was firing from residential areas. The situation is complicated by the fact that in the course of the fighting these days are corrupted by the last two lines, which harbored the Avdiivka coke and chemical plant (AKHZ) is a city-forming enterprise, whose facilities, including those serving heat in the house Avdeevka. The plant was forced to begin to «hot conservation». According to Director Musa Magomedov, the current frosts stop and the cooling units of the plant will lead not only to cease supplying heat to the houses of the residents of the Town, but actually to death city-forming enterprise.
The international community responded to the tragic events in the town only after the «war Cabinet» meeting of Peter Poroshenko with heads of law enforcement agencies. The first concern was expressed by the ambassadors of the United States and Britain in Ukraine. The cease-fire also called on the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland and the head of EU diplomacy Federica Mogherini. The evening after the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna, the participating countries voted a resolution which sharply condemned the actions of Pro-Russian militants in the town and urged the need to set the silent mode to prevent a humanitarian disaster. The resolution is not supported only by Russia. Discussed the sharp aggravation of hostilities and the tragic events in the plant and at a closed meeting of the UN security Council, which convened at the initiative of Ukraine.
What is most interesting, than any other supported Ukraine United Kingdom, and the head of the Ukrainian foreign Ministry Pavlo Klimkin agreed with his British counterpart Boris Johnson to coordinate further action. Close to midnight, Kyiv time, followed by the reaction of the White house, called for a complete cease-fire and adherence to the Minsk agreements. It is noteworthy that the worsening situation in the Donbass occurred just after the first telephone conversation trump with Putin. Some experts and analysts believe that the worsening situation in the Donbas, the Russian President is trying to persuade his American counterpart to the original transaction. Supposedly responsible for resolving the conflict in Donbass, Europe can not cope, and Russia — will cope for sure.
According to political expert Taras Berezovets and the political scientist Vladimir Fesenko, the escalation of military action in Avdiivka is, on the one hand, the reaction of Vladimir Putin on the negotiations of Petro Poroshenko with Angela Merkel, and on the other hand – a reaction to the sluggish response from the White House.
«This is connected primarily with the fact that on Monday the President met with Angela Merkel, they discussed the issues of implementation of the Minsk agreements and Russia fail and are blamed on militants, Russian troops. And forcing the situation (in Avdeevka. – Ed.) is the answer to this. Also this is obvious due to the current level of relations between Moscow and Washington. Putin was convinced that the administration trump the issue of Ukraine and Donbas issue is not something that is not a priority, and it all basically no. And we see today complete silence from Washington and the very weak statement of our European partners, although it is a full-scale breach,» said Taras Berezovets before the release of the review of U.S. officials on the situation in Avdeevka.
«With a trip to Berlin Poroshenko is practically identical. The aggravation began before and continued on Monday around the same time as negotiations. So wanted to spoil, to break the background, although it seems to me that the effect was the opposite. Previously, it was during major exacerbations in 2014, and winter 2015. During the Minsk talks is just such a large-scale attack on the Ukrainian position was an instrument of pressure on the negotiation process. And Ukraine, and to the West and the West immediately began to fuss, to meet, to force Ukraine to make concessions, and of Ukraine to stop the offensive had to go to some flexible solutions. Of course, there is a suspicion that now, it might be a provocation to accuse Ukraine, judging by how it serves the Russian media», – said Volodymyr Fesenko.
People’s deputies from BPP and «Samopomichi», members of the parliamentary Committee on national security Irene Frieze and semen Semenchenko agreed that Putin wants to make Donbass a kind of «Aleppo». To show the world that Ukraine has brought the situation of the country to a humanitarian catastrophe.
«Unfortunately, many of our policies and Russia is now putting pressure on the people of Ukraine, trying to drive him to accept the inevitability of Minsk. It is an attempt to transfer Ukraine under the «effective control» of Russia. So people are convinced that there may not be misery, suffering, suffering… And look — that people resist, they freeze, they starve, here are the horrors. In fact, from Avdeevka in the television space you are trying to make the second «Aleppo», – said Semyon Semenchenko.
The opinion of the MPs shared political scientist, head of the Center «Eidos» Viktor Taran: «I Have the impression that they want (Russia and the militants – Ed.) to make such a demonstration «Aleppo» on the territory of Ukraine, to show some humanitarian disaster and the failure of the authorities to react. Because actually the situation is very ambiguous: we can’t attack, and can not be silent. That is, a certain helplessness. I have the impression that this is a deliberate provocation, when the government deliberately driven into the trap and doing a humanitarian catastrophe».
There is a perception among the Ukrainian MPs and experts also of the opinion that this is a purely local scale military conflict type that was last year in Marinka.
«I don’t think it has to do with the meeting Poroshenko with Merkel. I think the answer is to give the military. Because, in my opinion, it is a question of military considerations on both sides. On the one hand, the Ukrainian military demonstrate dexterity and use of provocations of the Russian occupation forces in its favor, and on the other hand there is the desire of terrorists to justify their existence to their bosses in Moscow and thus by provocation to create the impression of activity. I don’t think here it is due to some external factors, this is a purely local military events», – said the MP from the «Batkivshchyna», ex-Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine Boris Tarasyuk.
«Putin is using the situation at the front, then periodically pumping, it weakening for some sort of foreign policy in their hands. Therefore, periodically escalating, periodically fading. The other thing is that now we probably have the most recent escalation. For comparison — this was probably about a year ago in Marinka. That is, periodically Putin — he tries: I can here to do something or not? The main thing that he occasionally does it and will do, and we need to be ready,» said the Professor of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, scientific Director of the «deminitsiativy» Oleksiy Haran.
Military expert Oleg Zhdanov and Advisor to the Minister of occupied territories and internally displaced persons and Yury Grymchak believe that fighting for Avdeyevka industrial zone – not that other, as struggle for control over the transportation hub – the road that connects Donetsk and Gorlovka. Also located in the district of the Donetsk filtering station, from which depends the water supply of the occupied Donetsk.
«The struggle is for the industrial Park, to push us from the road, Yasynuvata junction and start on the road of life to Gorlovka garrison,» – says Oleg Zhdanov.
«I think that Russia again tries to escalate the conflict, to improve their negotiating positions. This is the first. The fact that it is unprofitable to Ukraine everything is clear, because in fact the city is on the brink of disaster. A couple of months, the militants are fighting for our position in the industrial area of Avdiivka. Why? Because actually, this allows the APU to control the so-called fire control the route Donetsk — Gorlovka. This strategic route and that’s understandable because these illegal units, illegal formation via this route relocating reinforcements, ammunition…» – said Yury Grymchak, writes Christina Zelenyuk in the article «the deterioration in the plant: the main reasons and version» in the newspaper «Segodnia».
Recall that Sunday 29 January, troops attacked the positions of Ukrainian troops in Avdeevka Donetsk region.
The fighting in the industrial area of Avdiivka: the version of the headquarters ATO
About 5 a.m. the occupants began intensive shelling of the area of Avdiivka (Kamenka and Cool Beam) of the industrial area from small arms, mortars and grenade launchers. Two hours later, they decided to attack in order to capture the positions of forces ATO. It should be noted that exactly the same tactics hybrid units used on the arc Svetlodarsk, when suffered a crushing defeat.
The enemy attacked two groups of 25-30 people. The Ukrainian military launched a counter-attack not only stopped the attack on Avdeevka, and has taken strategically important positions. However, this did not stop the fighters finally: they continued firing, although did not dare to attack.
At 13:45 after the shelling of the Ukrainian positions from rocket-propelled grenades of various calibers all invaders also made a fresh attempt to dislodge Ukrainian forces from positions near Avdeevka («the mine «Butovka» from Spartacus). But again, storming over to the rebels failed. The enemy was forced to retreat.
«It was a diversionary attack in order to disperse the forces of ATO and complicate the management of troops in the fighting for Avdeyevka industrial area», — noted in the defense Ministry.
January 30 by the ATO, we received information that managed to eliminate 9 of the occupiers, one was captured, another 24 were injured, including 7 seriously. Appeared and raw data from fighters about their losses — they reported 10 dead.
In General, the fighting continued for 19 hours, was released a few hundred shells and mines.
The fighting near Avdeevka: unofficial version
Well-known Ukrainian journalist Yury Butusov reported that the opposition in the vicinity of the Town occurred between the so-called 100 brigade «the Republican guard DNR» and 72-th separate mechanized brigade of the armed forces.
According to him, the Yasynuvata interchange (located near Avdeevka) from the evening of 28 January, there were fierce battles. He published the drone fighters photos of enemy positions from where militants regularly shelled the Ukrainian troops and adjust artillery attacks.
Butusov said that evening, the artillery, 72nd brigade strikes on these rear trenches and fortified positions for them (in the woods, covering the approaches to Yasynuvata junction), causing significant damage.
The enemy, according to the journalist, suffered heavy losses and the next morning went reserves «Republican guard», which also came under accurate fire attack artillery APU.
Why militants attacked Avdeevka
At the headquarters of ATO believe that the attack on Avdeevka — this is a provocation and attempt a hybrid of the occupation forces accuse the Ukrainian side of violating the Minsk agreement on a cease-fire. The headquarters of the ATO is convinced: those who send fighters to attack, knew that they did not work, and wanted to have as many victims.
Butusov underlines that Avdeevka is important for control of the Yasynuvata interchange.
«There is a constant war infantry. On the abdomen, behind each cover and fold. Here are our position and the position of the enemy is sometimes closer to 100 meters. There are constantly working snipers, patrols of infantry make forays, is fire of all weapons for any movement. Fighting day and night,» — said Butusov.
The situation in Ageevka: implications for civil
Under fire fighters traditionally were not only positions of the Ukrainian military, but also the residential sector of the Town, which the city remained without electricity. At the same time, heating is provided by fully.
In addition, injuring two civilians. At 10:30 in call center of Avdiivka police Department received a report from the physicians that the hospital delivered the man with shrapnel wounds. 40-the summer local got injuries in the explosion of the shells in his yard, located at Sedova street, which is near an industrial area. He was taken to the hospital with shrapnel wounds to the back, face and right thigh.
On this fact openly criminal proceedings under article 258 of the Terrorist act of the Criminal code of Ukraine.
Wounded a local resident in 1959 who went home on the street Factory, and next to mine exploded. The woman has got fragmental wound of a hip and back problems, is in the hospital.
In addition, in the centre of the Town found a shell. It was found by rescuers in the quarter Builders near high-rise buildings.
30 January in the town due to the lack of electricity had paralyzed the maintenance budget.
Ukraine has called for pressure on Russia
The Ministry of foreign Affairs of Ukraine appealed to international partners to strengthen political and diplomatic pressure on the Kremlin to stop the dangerous escalation in the Donbas and to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe in the region.
The foreign Ministry stressed that the Kremlin’s actions can be qualified as a war crime, a gross violation of the Geneva conventions of 12 August 1949, is illegal, wanton and widespread destruction of property not justified by military necessity.
«It is obvious that the current escalation in the Donbas suggests that the Russian Federation continues to boldly ignore their obligations under the Minsk agreements in order to prevent the stabilization of the situation and the achievement of any progress in the field of security and humanitarian spheres», — emphasized in Department.
Permanent representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko addressed a letter to the UN Secretary General in connection with the aggravation of the situation in Avdeevka.
«We demand from Russia to stop fighting in Eastern Ukraine and to respect the ceasefire,» — said in the statement.
The document also notes that the last two days the Russian hybrid occupation troops carried out a massive attack along the line of contact, using «Grad», artillery of calibers 122 mm and 152, as well as tanks.
As a result of attacks without water and electricity can be more than 400 thousand people, according to the text.
In the town declared a state of emergency
In the town declared a state of emergency, the city created a regional coordination center, which included city leaders, law enforcers, rescuers and representatives of enterprises.
At midnight the battery temperature in the apartments is 35-40 degrees, and the temperature in the apartments is 16-17 degrees Celsius.
Avdiivka coke at that time was provided by circulation of coolant in the heating systems. Avdiivka hospital provided a powerful diesel generators and operating normally. For self-heating are also two schools and a kindergarten.
The SSES was urgently transferred to the plant ancillary equipment: power generators, heat gun, large tents, stoves, kitchens, water, food.
At the same time the generals of the Russian Federation in the Joint center for control and coordination are strongly blocked the reconstruction began in Avdeyevka.
As it was reported, was stopped the operation of Avdiivka coke plant for the first time during the conflict in the Donbas.
The situation in the town can be improved
The head of the Donetsk OBLASTNOJ civil-military administration Pavlo zhebrivskyi reported to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, after engagement of all the international pressure on Russia in the town there are the first signs of a ceasefire. According to the General staff, silence is maintained only on Yasinovatskiy direction from Avdeevka, but in the industrial zone of Russian fighters continue attacks.
Zhebrivskyi also noted that the Central city hospital of the Town provided with Autonomous means of power supply and operating normally.
In Avdiivka already organized 11 points heating. On behalf of the President of the tents and field kitchens to citizens was also provided by the military. Residents are provided with hot meals.
The Donetsk regional military-civil administration fulfills the question of voluntary evacuation of residents, primarily children and the disabled. Prepared for this special buses. In addition, maintenance crews prepared for immediate departure to fix systems electro — and gas supply of the Town.
The main condition for the start of the construction work is the establishment of a cease-fire, there is a speech in material «Avdeevka in the fire: What is known about a new aggravation of the Donbas» in the edition «New time».
1 Feb. Press review. Avdeevka in the fire: details, reasons and versions of the escalation in the Donbas 01.02.2017