Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 03.06.2018
Russia continues to attack civilians in Donbas. On Saturday, June 2, Russian invader-occupiers of Ukraine attacked residences in Pivdenne and the Donetsk water filtration station (on photo).
Pivdenne is a village immediately to the north-west of the city of Horlivka. Horlivka is occupied by Russia. Pivdenne was liberated by the Ukrainian army in May. A part of Pivdenne village called Chyhyri is closest to the battlefront, and that is the district the Russians attacked on June 2.
Ukraine’s Ministry for the Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons reported that nine houses in the district of Chyhyri were set on fire by shellfire which came from Russian-occupied Horlivka. Because the road is under fire by the enemy there is no means to bring in equipment to put out the fires. The Ministry believes that the Russian occupation forces are shelling Chyhyri because they want the villagers to leave. The villagers are provided with humanitarian assistance, though, and do not want to be evacuated and become refugees. Of course,Russia’s shelling of Pivdenne (Chyhyri) is a war crime.
The Joint Forces Operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that on June 2 Russian occupation forces once again prevented repair work at the Donetsk water filtration station. The enemy fired mortars all around Avdiivka, which is two kilometres to the west of the Donetsk filtration station. Russian troops also fired directly from small arms at the Donetsk filtration station. They directed this fire from nearby Yasynuvata, which is occupied by Russia. Mortar fire and shooting prevented repairs crews from reaching the site and starting the work necessary to restore safe drinking water to approximately 300,000 people who live north and north-east of the city of Donetsk.
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine is supposed to be supervising the much-needed repairs to the Donetsk filtration station. OSCE members refuse to monitor the site because of the shooting coming from the so-called “DPR” side. But the OSCE SMM also refuses to say that it is those illegal armed formations of the Russian military that are violently breaking the agreement to allow repairs to commence.
Given unrelenting attacks by Russia against civilian infrastructure, it is imperative that Ukraine consolidate its defensive positions on the battlefront to safeguard Pivdenne (Chyhyri) and the Donetsk water filtration station, and many other places besides. The OSCE SMM should do its job and monitor faithfully, which means reporting who is doing the shooting: Russia. Ultimately, the real solution to the war in Ukraine is for Russia to stop attacking and to leave Donbas and Crimea.