Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 29.07.2018
Russia has been waging war against Ukraine in Crimea and Donbas since February 2014. Since the start of 2015, the battlefront in Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine has seen few dramatic fluctuations. The invaders from Muscovy are always shelling, shooting, and launching small armoured infantry assaults against Ukrainian defenders and civilians. On 28 July 2018, a battle was fought at Krymske that demonstrates that Putin’s War is a hot war in the heart of Europe that cannot be ignored.
Throughout the day of July 28 Russian occupation troops violated the “harvest ceasefire” repeatedly, in every sector of the battlefront. The “harvest ceasefire” was supposed to have taken effect on July 1, but the Russians open fire a couple dozen times at least every day. Russia violating the Minsk Agreement is routine.
For weeks the Russians have been hammering the fortified defensive positions of the Ukrainian army that lie outside Krymske, Luhansk region. Krymske lies on the Siverskyi Donets River and is key to the defence of the Bakhmut Road, which is the direct route to the Russian-occupied city of Luhansk. On July 28, a sabotage and reconnaissance group of up to 15 Russian soldiers attempted to capture the positions of one of the units in the district of the Krymske settlement.
An outnumbered group of Ukrainian defenders at an observation post put up a stiff resistance to the sudden assault. The firefight that ensued thwarted the intentions of the Russian sabotage and reconnaissance group, and bought time for the Ukrainians to bring up a reserve group of soldiers, headed by a company commander.
The Ukrainians held their position and deflected the Russian assault. The Russians then commenced an artillery bombardment to cover the retreat of its assault team. Their withdrawal from the battlefield was cut off by the fire of a mortar unit of the Ukrainian forces. Ukrainian military intelligence assesses that the Russians suffered significant losses in the retreat – up to 4 soldiers killed and 6 wounded.
Unfortunately, during the nearly two-hour battle, 2 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 2 others were wounded.
The Joint Forces Operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine pointed out that the Minsk Agreement ceasefire violation was committed by Russia – Ukraine only fires when the lives of its troops or of civilians are threatened, as happened on July 28 at Krymske. A Joint Forces Operation press statement declared: “The Joint forces adhere to the Minsk accords and the cease-fire regime, but today once again reminded Russian-occupation troops that, in case of a threat to the lives of our troops, we are ready to give a tough and inevitable rebuff.”
Eternal memory to the two Ukrainian soldiers who were killed in the battle. Speedy recovery to the two Ukrainian soldiers who suffered injuries. To perdition with the Russian soldiers who are waging war against the Ukrainian people on Ukrainian land.