Russian cross-border artillery shelling of Ukraine (2014)

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Russian cross-border artillery shelling of Ukraine happened in July–September 2014 amidst the War in Donbass to prevent DNR and LNR defeat. Russian military performed series of artillery strikes targeting Ukrainian troops.

Background[edit]

In late June 2014, Ukrainian forces launched a major operation to restore the control of Russo-Ukrainian border. The success of this operation threatened the very existence of Russian-supported DNR and LNR statelets.[1]

History[edit]

On 11 July 2014, a Ukrainian camp in Zelenopillya village near Ukrainian-Russian border was shelled by modern Russian MLRS system 9K51M "Tornado-G", Ukrainian forces suffered heavy casualties. A massive and unexpected artillery attack killed 37 and wounded over 100 soldiers.[2][3]

On 13 July 2014, Russia claimed mortar shells fired from Ukrainian territory landed in the courtyard of a private home in the border town of Donetsk in the Rostov Oblast of Russia.[4] The shelling killed one civilian and injured two others.[5] Russia said it would be considering "surgical strikes" that target Ukrainian military positions near the border, but there would not be a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.[6]

Shelling of Ukraine repeated the following days.[7] Live videos had captured Grad rockets fired from inside Russia.[8] According to Bellingcat's investigation, only three of the attacks locations in Amvrosiivka city (14 July 2014), location between Dolzhanskaya-Capital mine and the village of Panchenkove (16 July to 8 August 2014), and Khmelnytskyi (25 July 2014) had at least 1,353 artillery craters.[9]

On 24 July 2014, the American government stated that it had evidence that the Russian military was firing on Ukrainian territory from across the border. A spokesman for the US Department of Defence stated that there was "no question" as to Russia's involvement in the attacks on Ukrainian Armed Forces.[10] On 27 July, U.S. officials confirmed Russia had shelled Ukrainian territory.[11] At the time, Russian government spokesman denied these allegations.[12] On 28 July, US State Department published satellite photos showing heavy artillery shelling Ukrainian positions from Russian territory.[13]

The shelling had escalated at least one week prior to a large-scale Russian invasion in August 2014.[14] According to NATO reports, Russian military shelled Ukrainian positions across the border from mid-August, and by 22 August, Russian artillery and personnel had crossed the border into Ukraine itself.[15][16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Igor Sutyagin (March 2015). "Russian Forces in Ukraine" (PDF). Royal United Services Institute.
  2. ^ Censor.NET. "Ukrainian Troops Were Likely Shelled from Russian MRLS Tornado in Zelenopillia". EN.Censor.net. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  3. ^ "Солдати в Зеленопіллі загинули від новітнього російського "Торнадо-Г" - ЗМІ". Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  4. ^ "Ukraine's shelling could have irreversible consequences, says Russia". The Guardian. 2014-07-13. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
  5. ^ "Moscow 'considering targeted strikes' on Ukraine: report". The Deccan Chronicle. 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
  6. ^ "Russia Considering 'Surgical Strike' on Ukraine - Report". RIA NOVOSTI. 14 July 2014.
  7. ^ Babiak, Mat (17 July 2014). "Provallia in flames, details on Russian rocket strike". Euromaidan Press. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Videos Reportedly Show GRAD Rockets Fired From Inside Russia". Pressimus. 17 August 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  9. ^ "Bellingcat Report - Origin of Artillery Attacks on Ukrainian Military Positions in Eastern Ukraine Between 14 July 2014 and 8 August 2014 - bellingcat". bellingcat. 2015-02-17. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  10. ^ "Obama administration: Russia firing artillery at Ukraine military targets | Fox News". foxnews.com. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  11. ^ Frizell, Sam (27 July 2014). "U.S.: Satellite Imagery Shows Russians Shelling Eastern Ukraine". TIME. Satellite imagery shows evidence of Russian artillery attacks against the Ukrainian military, U.S. officials say
  12. ^ Barnes, Julian E.; Mauldin, William (25 July 2014). "U.S. Says Russia Firing Across Border into Ukraine — WSJ". online.wsj.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  13. ^ "US: Photos show Russia fired into Ukraine – Videos – CBS News". cbsnews.com. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  14. ^ Demirjian, Karoun; Birnbaum, Michael (22 August 2014). "Russia escalates tensions with aid convoy, reported firing of artillery inside Ukraine". washingtonpost.com. The Washington Post. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  15. ^ Michael R. Gordon (22 August 2014). "Russia Moves Artillery Units Into Ukraine, NATO Says". nytimes.com. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  16. ^ Denver Nicks (22 August 2014). "NATO: Russia Artillery Fires on Ukraine Forces". TIME. Retrieved 26 August 2014.