Update on the situation in Ukraine. 5-6 May

30 militants have been killed as the result of the anti-terrorism operation in the east of Ukraine. Pro-Russian activists keep seizing buildings in Lugansk and Donetsk Region.

At least 8 people were killed in Slov’yansk on 6 May as the result of the anti-terrorism operation, 16 more were hospitalised with gunshot wounds.  According to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), during the last several days 30 heavily-armed separatists were killed. There have been casualties among Ukrainian army as well.

Pro-Russian militants prepare a breakthrough from Slov’yansk that is blocked by Ukrainian law enforcements. Dmitry Tymchuk, the head of Centre for Military and Political Studies, wrote in his Facebooк account that “the breakthrough is planned in private sector districts in suburbs of Slov’yansk.”

Reports from the neighbouring Kramatorsk say pro-Russian militants put boxes with unidentified content in manholes across the town. Ukrainian Ministry of Defence say it can be explosives.

The body of Yury Diakovskiy, 25, a local of Lviv Region, was transferred from Slov’yansk to Donetsk. He became the third victim whose body had been found with signs of torture in the river Torets together with a student Yury Popravka and a member of Horlivka city council Vladimir Rybak. All three men were allegedly captured, tortured and killed by pro-Russian militants.

Alexander Vovk, a miner from Donetsk, told the press about his time as hostage of pro-Russian militants. He was one of five friends of a member of city council Konstantin Museyko, who had been captured by armed terrorists on 4 May. 10 people armed with machine guns entered Museyko’s house, shot his dogs, wounded the host himself and took him and his five friends hostage. They were taken to the headquarters of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic”, where they were tortured to demand Myseyko to switch profits from his business to support the separatists. Three of the hostages were released on 5 May.

In Donetsk pro-Russian activists block a military base and a military school, but do not attempt to attack them or seize weapons.

The head of one of district police departments Sergiy Chernyshev was attacked in Horlivka on 6 May. He was wounded by a gunshot, captured by pro-Russian militants and taken to the building of the city police that had previously been seized by separatists.

In the evening of 6 May the central street of Mariupol (Donetsk Region) was blocked, pro-Russian militants set the fire to tyres gathered in front of the building of the city council they had seized earlier. Reports from the ground say people in black and camouflage shot at several cars. According to some reports, pro-Russian militants leave the seized building as the anti-terrorists operation is in place.

 

Diversionists destroyed a radio location station in Lugansk Region. According to the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine, “a group of 20 well-trained men armed with automatic weapons attacked a radio unit of a Ukrainian military base.” The diversionists that had the advantage in numbers subdued resistance of Ukrainian soldiers, took away several items of weapons, burnt the radio location station and left.

Crime situation in Lugansk Region is out of control of the police, as a significant number of arms got in the hands of general population. According to local police, during the last several days there has been a significant increase of the number of robberies, murders and car thefts in the region.

Lugansk city council called on all local political parties and NGOs not to participate in meetings and rallies, “in order to avoid clashes, further escalation of conflict and victims”.

 

NATO's top military commander in Europe Philip Breedlove said he no longer thought regular Russian troops would enter eastern Ukraine, predicting Moscow could achieve its goals through the unconventional forces stirring up trouble there. “I think now that Putin may be able to accomplish his objectives in eastern Ukraine and never go across the border with his forces. Now I think probably the most likely course of action is that he will continue doing what he's doing - discrediting the government, creating unrest, trying to set the stage for a separatist movement," Breedlove said.