The MH17 airplane crash

On July 19, the search and rescue work where the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777-200 crashed continued in Shakhtarsk County. As of 07:00 July 20, the bodies of 196 victims have been found. The head of the search team designated the search area, which has been expanded to 34 sq km. This area includes the villages of Moskovske, Rozsypne, Hrabove, Striukove, and the Hrabove water reservoir. Nearly 32 sq km have been searched already. In the Main Administration of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Kharkiv Oblast, an office has been set up for the State Commission investigating the causes of the catastrophe. Search work is hampered by the presence of armed terrorists who are obstructing rescue units. So far, 380 individuals and 20 units of specialized equipment are involved in the search and rescue mission, Andriy Lysenko, spokesperson for the National Security Council’s News & Analysis Center, reported at the Center’s noon briefing, July 20, 2014.

Military action in the conflict zone

Coordinated efforts among UAF units have made it possible to expand the territory controlled by them near Luhansk and Donetsk Airports and to reinforce new positions.

As of July 20, the situation where the Anti-Terrorist Operation is being carried out remains tense. Over the last 24 hours, illegal armed groups attacked UAF checkpoints and positions 25 times near Luhansk, Marynivka, Chervona Zoria, Spirne, Chervonopartyzansk, Oleksandrivka, Shyshkove, Avdiyivka, Donetsk, Ilyinka, Oleksandrivka, and Tarany. Some of the gunfire originated from Russian Federation territory. Ukraine’s military rebuffed their attackers effectively, held onto their positions and prepared for a further offensive.

Despite the downing of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777-200, Russia continues to supply heavy artillery and other weapons to the terrorists on the territory of Ukraine. For instance, 4 tanks, 3 infantry military vehicles, 3 Grad rocket launching systems, 4 APCs and a number of open Ural cars with ammunition crossed into Ukraine from the Russian Federation side near the village of Bilenke, Krasnodon Oblast, into Luhansk Oblast. 

During the last 24 hours, ATO forces positions were also fired on from Russian Federation territory. In particular, 8 shells from mobile artillery units from positions near the village of Avilo-Uspenka in Rostov Oblast came in the direction of the village of Manych in Donetsk Oblast, where the National Guard of Ukaine maintains a stronghold. At 11:30, a volley of rockets came from a Grad launcher near the village of Leninska, Rostov Oblast, to strongholds of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Ukrainian territory in the area of the village of Kamyshevakha, Donetsk Oblast. At 16:45, 3 Grad launchers fired from outside the village of Novaya Nadezhda in Rostov Oblast towards positions of the ATO forces.

Battles during the last 24 hours have resulted in 8 casualties among Ukrainian servicemen and 50 injuries. All the injured servicemen have been moved to medical facilities where they are being treated.

The President of Ukraine posthumously awarded Lieutenant Bohdan Zavada the Golden Star and the title Hero of Ukraine for his sacrifice in the line of duty as a commander of a company of the National Guard of Ukraine. A native of Zaporizhzhia, Lt. Bohdan Zavada was killed by terrorists as he covered the men in his command during an attack on his company’s checkpoint near Marynivka in Donetsk Oblast. Zavada was awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine for his exceptional bravery, heroism and self-sacrifice in the course of defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and is faithfulness to the oath of military service.

President Poroshenko also signed a decree to award state honors “for exceptional bravery and heroism in the defense of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine” to an additional 160 servicemen from the Armed Forces and the Interior Ministry, 20 of them posthumously. Glory to the heroes!

The border area

The Russian Federation continues to increase its military presence on the state border with Ukraine. It is known that 9 units of the separate motorized gunners brigade and 288 units of the artillery brigade of the Russian Armed Forces are currently stationed in the border counties of Rostov and Byelgorod Oblasts of the RF. The movement of 30 tanks has been reported in Briansk Oblast not far from the border with Ukraine as well as a serious accumulation of military equipment near Novoshakhtynsk in Rostov Oblast. 

On July 19, Russian forces set up units in battle formation involving 4 tanks, 3 APCs and around 100 fighters at the Ukrainian gas distribution station not far from Strilkove in Kherson Oblast. Also on the territory of Russian occupied Crimea, 2 artillery units from Simferopol were seen moving in the direction of Dzhankoy, enroute to Perekop.

Population centers in the conflict zone

In Luhansk, militants have been attempting to force residents to join forces against the ATO. Using lists of residents in the oblast from the pseudo-referendum, armed groups of 5-7 militants are breaking into private homes and forcing the men to join their gangs.

In addition to this, terrorists are forcing residents to evacuate their apartments in high-rises in Severodonetsk, Luhansk Oblast, so that they can set up firing positions in them. Militants are also actively using cars with women at the wheel reconnaissance.

In Horlivka, Donetsk Oblast, militants have mined the vehicular bridge on vul. B. Makukhy, which runs above the railway line, as well as bridges near the Fifth Mine.

Militants have also kidnapped a student at Luhansk State Medical University, V. Adigibenem, a citizen of Nigeria. So far, not demands for releasing this man have been presented by his abductors.

The latest information is that the terrorists continue to hold 396 individuals whose fate remains unknown. These include 3 journalists, 6 political activists, a lawyer, a judge, and 321 civilians. During the entire conflict period, the terrorists have kidnapped 842 hostages, of which 446 have been released so far.

The latest news from Luhansk and Donetsk suggests that a resistance movement is growing among local residence against the terrorists. The men have lost patience with seeing how the bandits keep robbing, terrorizing and murdering the local population. The men have been grouping into still small companies and are using trophy weapons to venge themselves against the bandits for harming their wives and children.

With the active offensive actions of Ukrainian forces and the growing activeness of local resistance, a sense of panic is beginning to grow among the terrorists. This is only being reinforced by word that some of their leaders are abandoning them.

Population centers freed of terrorists

In Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, servicemen continue efforts to restore these towns to normal everyday life. Approaches to damaged power lines have been de-mined. These efforts are making serious use of engineering equipment and specialists from the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

International support

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called on the international community and world leaders to condemn the actions of the terrorists and to recognize the two self-declared “republics” as terrorist organizations. He specifically raised this point in a conversation with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Poroshenko explained to the UN Sec-Gen that the terrorists continue to shoot and attack Ukrainian military units and to obstruct access to the crash site for experts. Ban Ki-moon noted that the President of Ukraine had the full right to defend his country’s territory and to protect his citizens.

President Poroshenko also spoke with French President François Hollande. Hollande noted that after it was proved that Russian weapons was being delivered to the militants, including the system that shot down the airliner, an emergency session of the European Council would be called.

President Poroshenko pointed that the terrorists continue to interfere in investigative activity, are not allowing experts to work, and are removing evidence, including the black boxes. “But this will not save them as we have satellite imagery of the location of the missile launch, photo and video evidence of Zenit rocket systems that testify to the movement of weaponry from Russia, intercepted telephone conversations between terrorists, and other undeniable evidence.” The President also invited French experts to join the investigation.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan announced that Russia had shot down the Malaysian Boeing 777 airliner.

Source NSC

Translated by Lidia Wolanskyj, EMPR 

#English   #euromaidanpr   #EMP   #Ukraine   #NSC   #ATO   #MH17   #Donetsk   #Luhansk   #Russia   #terrorism  
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