Timeline of the war in Donbass (April–June 2014)

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This is a timeline of the War in Donbass from April–June 2014.

April[edit]

7 April[edit]

At 3:30 am, a group of pro-Russian activists stormed the SBU offices in Donetsk and Luhansk.[1] They did not make any clear demands.[2] The militants took control of the SBU armoury and armed themselves with automatic weapons, and other supporters brought bricks and other debris to erect barricades. Their numbers were initially at 1,000 but subsequently thinned.[3]

The protesters in Donetsk declared a People's Republic of Donetsk and unification with Russia.[4] Ukrainian news agency UNIAN reported gunmen then tried to storm a Donetsk TV building, but were deterred by the police.[1]

At night, Ukrainian Special forces stormed a Security Service office in Donetsk that had been taken by pro-Russian militants. No casualties were reported. In Luhansk, members of a self-styled "Army of the Southeast" asked for support to preserve "our rights and values." They also claim to be ready to send a "reserve" to Donetsk to assist separatists there.[5]

In an address on national TV (Ukrainian) interim President Oleksandr Turchynov stated that the current unrest in eastern Ukraine was "the second wave" of a Russian operation to destabilise Ukraine, overthrow the government and disrupt planned elections and an attempt by Russia to "dismember" Ukraine.[1] He also vowed to launch a major "counter-terrorism" operation against separatist movements in the country's eastern regions.[6]

8 April[edit]

The referendum and declaration of independence in Donetsk was reportedly put on hold and protesters there reportedly gave up some weapons.[7]

In Luhansk, separatists occupying the SBU building declared themselves the "Lugansk Parliamentary Republic".[8] According to Ukrainian security officials, The separatists planted mines in the building and have taken 60 people hostage.[9][10]

On the morning of 8 April, the 'Patriotic Forces of Donbass', a rival group unrelated to Donetsk Republic organisation who proclaimed independence and seized the council,[11] issued a statement to counter the Donetsk Republic's declaration of independence, citing complaints from locals. Their announcement stated that they would quash the potential state's establishment, cancel the referendum, and, on their part, stated that the declaration is illegal.[12] Protesters reportedly gave up some weapons too.[7] Despite this, the Donetsk Republic organisation continued to occupy the RSA and declared themselves the legitimate authority, and upheld all previous calls for a referendum and the release of their leader Pavel Gubarev.[13] In the afternoon of 8 April, about a thousand people rallied in front of the RSA listening to speeches about the Donetsk People's Republic and to Soviet and Russian music.[14]

9 April[edit]

At least 51 hostages were released by separatist forces who occupied the Security Service building in Luhansk.[15] Later, a column of Ukrainian armoured personnel carriers from Dnipropetrovsk arrived in Luhansk, just to be used as a 'last resort', according to official sources.[16]

10 April[edit]

On 10 April, the number of protesters outside the Donetsk RSA was in the hundreds. The separatists in the building voted to establish ties with Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and international institutions like the United Nations to break away from Ukraine.[17] Separatists attacked Belarusian journalists for speaking the Belarusian language, and not Russian; Ukrainian journalists have been forced to speak Russian to avoid angering pro-Russian protesters. They also attacked reporters from RT, but RT did not carry the story.[18]

11 April[edit]

In Mariupol, a pro-Ukrainian flashmob of 100 took place outside the police department. Protesters were attacked by men with bats and the police did not react.[19]

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk visited Donetsk in the last attempt to defuse separatist tensions in eastern Ukraine. He met with governors and mayors from Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv oblasts and with local industrialists. Yatsenyuk promised new constitution that would increase local governance and legislation that would provide for local referendums.[20]

12 April[edit]

Fifty two armed militants led by Igor Girkin (retired colonel of Russia's military intelligence GRU) attacked the executive committee building, the police department, and the Security Service of Ukraine offices in Sloviansk.[21][22] His militia was formed in Crimea and consisted of volunteers from Russia, Crimea, but also from other regions of Ukraine (Vinnitsa, Zhitomir, Kiev) and many people from Donetsk and the Lugansk region. Two thirds were Ukrainian citizens. The majority of men in the unit had combat experience. Many of those with Ukrainian citizenship have fought in the Russian Armed Forces in Chechnya and Central Asia. Others fought in Iraq and former Yugoslavia with the Ukrainian Armed Forces.[21][23][24] The original intention of Igor Girkin and his men was the repetition of the Crimean scenario (the seizure of the territory by Russian army). According to Girkin, nobody fought for the Donetsk People's Republic or the Lugansk People's Republic, everybody initially wanted to join Russia. Girkin flew Russian flag at his headquarters and his men were perceived as Russian forces by the local population. Girkin believed that the Russian Armed Forces and the Russian state would quickly follow and the Donbass would become another republic within Russia.[22]

The mayor of the town Nelya Shtepa engaged in talks with the militants. After talks the mayor of the city declared that the citizens feel safe, aren't threatened, and the police station was taken over by "People's Militia of Donbas" which opposes the authorities in Kiev.[25] Kiev authorities pledged "tough response" to these events.[26]

Girkin's unit has been joined by 150-200 locals from Sloviansk who participated in the storming of the Security Service of Ukraine office, from which they took almost 100 automatic rifles and 100-150 pistols. The weapons were immediately distributed to local protesters.[27][28] About a third of the locals left the ranks of the militia when the first serious fighting began.[29]

In Kramatorsk, in the course of a Pro-Russian rally, protestors overpowered a police line and took over the building of the local executive committee, where they hoisted the flag of the new-proclaimed republic.[30] At evening, the local police station was captured by armed men in camouflage fatigues after a protracted firefight.[31][32] Russian-language media claim that the police station at Krasnyi Lyman was occupied by men in combat uniform and Cossacks. The towns of Druzhkivka and Krasnoarmiisk were allegedly also under rebel control.[33][34] Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs denied the capture of the police stations of Krasny Lyman and Kramatorsk and the occupation of Krasnoarmiisk.[35] In Artemivsk, Pro-Russian militias and activists attempted to break into the local police station, but after talks, they withdrew and occupied instead the city council, where the Russian flag was raised.[36]

13 April[edit]

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry, in response to pro-Russian riots and separatism, created a special police unit to deal with the activities of separatists. Each south-eastern oblast would receive its own response units.[37]

In Mariupol, 150 armed pro-Russians attacked a pro-Ukraine unity rally, leaving nine injured, six of them in intensive care.[38]

An 'anti-terror' mission was launched by the Ukrainian government to reclaim buildings occupied by separatists in Donetsk Oblast.[39] Ukraine's Security Service troops clashed with pro-Russian militias near Sloviansk. One Ukraine officer was killed and five wounded, while the pro-Russian militants suffered one dead and two wounded.[40] The Ministry of Internal Affairs claim that two rebel checkpoints -one on the road to Kramatorsk, the other on the road to Kharkiv- were destroyed.[41] According to witnesses, the Ukrainian forces used helicopters and rocket launchers.[42] The attempt to dislodge the militants was not successful,[43] and the rebels remained in control.[44] Elsewhere, Pro-Russian demonstrators occupied the town councils in Mariupol, Yenakiieve and Makiivka. Rebel forces established checkpoints in the villages of Myrne, Bylbasivka, Mayakovsky and Rayhorodok, in the area adjacent to Sloviansk.[45] A truck carrying Grad rocket was stopped at one of the checkpoints and its cargo was confiscated by the militiamen.[46] At evening, the city council of Khartsyzk was occupied by rebel militants. Apparently, local authorities cooperated with the separatists.[47][48]

14 April[edit]

The police station in Horlivka was stormed by 150 pro-Russian activists.[49] The Ukrainian government implicated Russia in the deployment of civilian agents with military weapons to cause unrest, and called on the United Nations to send in peacekeeping troops. This would however require approval by the UN Security Council, where Russia holds a veto there.[50] In Zhdanivka 20 activists took over the city council, and hoisted the flag of the Republic of Donetsk.[51] The rebels set up a number of checkpoints around the city.[52]

In Luhansk, 300 held a pro-Ukraine rally peacefully.[53] Locals began forming self-defence groups to protect from the separatists.[54]

Ukrainian self-defence volunteers working with police set up roadblocks on Kharkiv-Donetsk roads to stop separatist movement from reaching Kharkiv.[55]

15 April[edit]

In accordance with the Ukrainian law on fighting the terrorism[56] Ukraine's acting President Olexander Turchynov announced the start of "anti-terrorist operation" (Ukrainian: Антитерористична операція, abbreviation: ATO) against pro-Russian separatists.[57]

An armoured column sent by Ukraine established a checkpoint 40 km from Sloviansk. The SBU claimed that the rebels there had been reinforced by several hundred soldiers from Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate.[58] Ukrainian special forces retook Kramatorsk airfield from pro-Russian troops. According to Ukrainian officials there were no fatalities on either side,[59] while rebel reports varies from two militiamen wounded to eleven dead.[60] Pro-Russian militants in the city of Horlivka in Donetsk Oblast stormed the municipal police station and detained the police. After the storming and ransacking of the building and a mob beating of the police chief, a video surfaced on YouTube of an alleged Russian army officer, in Russian regular army uniform, addressing the Ukrainian police with "new orders." The city is currently occupied by Russian irregular forces who are believed to be coordinated with the Russian army.[61]

16 April[edit]

Six BMD-2 armoured vehicles were captured by Pro-Russian militias after being stopped at a rebel checkpoint near Kramatorsk. They were later seen driven by masked Pro-Russian troops to Sloviansk. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence confirmed the loss.[62][63] Two Ukrainian soldiers, one of them an officer, were abducted by armed men while driving a vehicle on a road near Krasny Luch, Luhansk Oblast.[64] Fourteen Ukrainian armoured personnel carriers carrying a hundred soldiers were surrounded[65] by a large crowd in Pchyolkino, but were able to leave after surrendering their ammunition. The commander of Ukraine's airborne troops, Colonel Alexander Sveths, another officer and a civilian contractor were abducted after refusing to lay down the weapons. They were released on 18 April.[66] During the preceding stand-off, Ukrainian troops fired upon Pro-Russian militants, injuring three.[67]

In Mariupol, 300 pro-Russian insurgents attempted to take a military base and demanded soldiers turn over their weapons.[68] They threw petrol bombs at base guards. After firing warning shots, police together with the national guard and Omega units returned fire. According to Interior Minister Arsen Avakov,[69] three insurgents were killed and 13 wounded, while 63 were arrested; no Ukrainian officers were killed in the battle.[70][71]

17 April[edit]

Flyers distributed in the pro-Russian-controlled Donetsk instructed Jews over 16 to register with the insurgents and pay a $50 tax.[72][73] Ukrainian paratroopers, supported by helicopters, destroyed a rebel checkpoint at Serhiivka, west of Kramatorsk. One civilian was wounded.[74]

The outcome of quadrilateral meeting in Geneva (as agreed on 10 April 2014[75]) with Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union to negotiate an end to the crisis in Ukraine was that all sides agreed to steps to "de-escalate" the crisis.[76] All four parties agreed that all "illegal military formations in Ukraine" must be dissolved, and that everyone occupying buildings must be disarmed and leave them but that there would be an amnesty for all anti-government protesters under the agreement. These steps will be overseen by monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).[76]

18 April[edit]

The Ukrainian Security Service put the 'active phase' of the "anti-terrorist operation" in the east on hold. This was due to the deal reached at Geneva and the Easter celebrations. They will continue, however, to keep the security perimeter around facilities and towns controlled by pro-Russian rebels.[77] The Donbass separatists rejected the agreement.[78] Ukrainian paratroopers recovered two of the six BMD-2 vehicles captured by the rebels at Kramtorsk, according to Ukraine's Ministry of Defence. No casualties were reported.[79] Earlier, one of the BMDs and a truck were driven by 20 Pro-Russian troops to the industrial town of Siversk, where Russian-language sources report that the local population and police pledged allegiance to the Donetsk republic; this was dismissed by local authorities. The rebel column departed for the towns of Zvanivka and Paraskoviyivka.[80] A pro-Government rally at Sloviansk was dispersed by pro-Russian militias.[81]

19 April[edit]

A Ukrainian civilian helicopter was fired at by rebel militants while dropping leaflets explaining the deal reached at Geneva on Sloviansk.[82] A Ukrainian soldier was shot and killed in Donetsk's airport, when a sentry mistook him for an intruder and opened fire.[83]

20 April[edit]

On Easter Sunday there was a deadly shootout at a checkpoint in Bylbasivka, west of Sloviansk, between pro-Russian militias and unknown assailants. Russia-language media describe them as armed members of the Ukrainian ultra-nationalist party 'Right Sector'. The attackers arrived in four civilian vehicles before dawn and opened fire on demonstrators manning the checkpoint. They were later engaged by Pro-Russian militiamen. Three separatists were killed and two wounded, while the assailants suffered three deaths, according to the self-appointed mayor of Sloviansk. The body of one of the alleged attackers was put on display by the rebels, who also showed two charred vehicles belonging to the gunmen, one of them riddled with bullet holes.[84] A 22-year-old man from Vinnitsa, identified as one of the armed persons who raided the checkpoint, was captured by the rebels. They claim he was a member of the 'Right Sector',[85] but this was denied by 'Right Sector' sources in Kiev.[84] Later, a female reporter was detained at Sloviansk under the suspect that she was a Euromaidan activist.[86]

21 April[edit]

In Luhansk, separatists announced two referendums, one on 11 May to decide on whether to gain autonomy or whether to retain the current status of the region and a second on 18 May on whether to join Russia or declare independence.[87] The Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs created a special battalion to fight separatism in the region called 'Timur'.[88] Armed men dressed in camouflage took over the Security Service office in Kramatorsk,[89] where the local police station was also occupied and the superintendent abducted.[90]

22 April[edit]

A body found in the River Seversky Donets, not far from Sloviansk, was identified as Volodymyr Rybak, a member of the Ukrainian parliament for the 'Fatherland' party. The corpse, with signs of torture, had been found on 19 April along with a second unidentified body. Rybak had been kidnapped outside Horlivka's city council on 17 April.[91] An immediate consequence of the assassination was President Turchynov's decision to resume the 'active phase' of the 'counter-terrorism operation' in Eastern Ukraine.[92]

A Ukrainian Air Force An-30 surveillance aircraft was damaged by small-arms fire while flying over the rebel-controlled city of Sloviansk. The crew managed to land the plane safely at Kiev.[93][94]

23 April[edit]

Ukrainian forces took control of the town of Sviatohirsk without casualties on either side.[95] At evening, a Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter from the Ministry of Internal Affairs was lightly damaged by small-arms fire while flying over Kramatorsk.[96] Two more helicopters from the Ukrainian National Guard were fired at by pro-Russian troops over Sloviansk. One of them received some damage.[97] (see Siege of Sloviansk)

Right Sector announced it had created a special 'Donbass' battalion to battle separatists, and that they were co-ordinating with the Defence Council, SBU, and Interior Ministry.[98]

24 April[edit]

Ukrainian forces, with the support of helicopters and armoured vehicles, carried out a large raid on pro-Russian positions around Sloviansk, killing between five[99] to seven[100] militants and destroying three checkpoints.[99] The Ukrainian troops withdrew after the incursion.[97] Earlier, a Ukrainian military base at Artemivsk was attacked with machine guns, grenades and RPGs by 70 militants. The assault was repulsed. One Ukrainian soldier was wounded. The incursion was allegedly commanded by Alexander Mozhaev, a former Russian army officer.[101] The pro- Russian Republic of Donetsk declared 'full mobilisation'.[102]

25 April[edit]

Two Ukrainian aircraft -an Mi-8 helicopter and an An-2 plane- were destroyed in an apparent RPG attack claimed by Pro-Russian militias at the airport of Kramatorsk, where the control tower was also damaged. The explosion injured one Ukrainian officer.[103][104] At evening, Ukrainian special forces raided and destroyed a rebel checkpoint at Cherkasy, west of Sloviansk. No casualties were reported.[105]

Ukraine's Interior Ministry reported that 13 people on an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) inspection trip (seven OSCE members, five Ukrainian military representatives, and the driver) had been taken hostage by pro-Russian militants in Sloviansk and held in the SBU building.[106] Ukrainian authorities also informed that Sloviansk would be blockaded to prevent any reinforcements and supplies from entering the city.[107]

26 April[edit]

Fifteen armed pro-Russian militants broke into the Novokramatorsky Machine Works factory in Kramatorsk, apparently with the goal of stealing two Soviet-era armoured bulldozers to counter the Ukrainian roadblocks around the area of Sloviansk.[108] The rebels left the plant four hours later.[109] Donetsk Republic sources claim that the intruders managed to obtain the heavy vehicles, largely disabled, and that they were working to repair them for minesweeping duties.[110]

Rebel militias captured three Security Service agents in Horlivka. According to Ukrainian reports, they were tracking a Russian citizen suspect in the murder of Ukrainian MP Volodymyr Rybak.[111]

At dusk, a pro-Russian checkpoint at Soledar, near Artemivsk, was attacked by Ukrainian airborne troops landed by helicopter. The checkpoint was located at the entrance of an old salt mine used as a dump for obsolete Soviet-era firearms. Russian-language sources report that one militant manning the outpost was wounded and other two captured, although one of them slipped away from his captors.[112] Ukrainian authorities confirmed the operation, and say that a Donets Cossack was taken prisoner.[113]

27 April[edit]

Separatists in Luhansk proclaimed the "Luhansk People's Republic".[114] Earlier, rebel forces from Luhansk made an incursion in the city of Stakhanov, where they were welcomed by a pro-Russian crowd.[115] The militants established a checkpoint outside the city council with the pretext of preventing "a Right Sector attack" and later fell back to Luhansk.[113][116]

Around 500 pro-Russian activists, some of them in balaclavas and military fatigues, took control of the radio and television broadcasting centre in Donetsk, with the aim of turning off Ukrainian television channels and replacing them with Russian channels.[117]

An unidentified corpse was found in the River Seversky Donets, not far from the site where the bodies of a student and Ukrainian MP Volodymyr Rybak were disposed.[118]

A Swedish member of the OSCE mission, who had been taken hostage by rebel forces at Sloviansk, was released 'for medical reasons'.[119]

28 April[edit]

One Ukrainian soldier was killed and another wounded by an improvised explosive device in Donetsk oblast.[120] There was an exchange of gunfire between pro-Russian militias and Ukrainian security forces at Kramatorsk airport. Two Ukrainian servicemen were injured.[121]

The city of Kostiantynivka was taken over by 20 pro-Russian militants who set up several checkpoints and barricades.[119][122]

Timur Yudashev, the commander of the Ministry of Internal Affairs' special troops in Luhansk, was abducted at the local bus station and taken to the Security Service building, occupied by pro-Russian militants.[123]

Separatists attacked a Ukrainian unity rally in Donetsk, leaving 14 injured.[124] Four were allegedly taken hostage by pro-Russian separatists and held in the former Party of Regions headquarters.[125]

29 April[edit]

Separatists in Luhansk stormed and seized the RSA building raising Russian and Luhansk Republic flags.[126] Approximately 3,000 were involved in the raid, and police defected to the side of the protesters and adorned St. George ribbons.[127] Lawyer Igor Chudovsky was shot twice by separatists for refusing to make a televised address on their behalf.[128] The city of Pervomaisk, Luhansk Oblast, was also seized by the rebels.[129] Two pro-Russian checkpoints were dismantled by Ukrainian forces, one at Cherkasy and another near Sloviansk.[130]

30 April[edit]

Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said that "security forces are unable to quickly take the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions under control". "The security bodies ... are unable to carry out their duties of protecting citizens. They are helpless in those matters. Moreover, some of those units are either helping or cooperating with terrorist organizations."[131] Rebel militants took over the city councils of Horlivka and Alchevsk, along with other government offices.[132]

May[edit]

1 May[edit]

In Antratsyt, Luhansk, separatists seize buildings and flew over the Russian tri-color, flag of Crimea, and Pan-Slavic flag (mistakenly reported as flag of Netherlands[133]). Separatist forces also seized Amvrosiivka, Donetsk Oblast, where they raised the flag of the Donetsk republic over the town council and ripped out the Ukrainian flag. The city's mayor was snatched from his house and forced to resign.[134] The police station at Krasnoarmiisk was occupied by pro-Russian militias in a bloodless assault.[135]

In the city of Donetsk, a pro-Russian crowd stormed and occupied the prosecutor's office. There were clashes with the security forces, which left 26 wounded, one of them a serviceman.[136][137][138]

Ukraine re-adopted conscription.[139][140]

2 May[edit]

At dawn, Ukrainian forces launched a large-scale operation to retake Sloviansk.[141] There were reports of gunfire, explosions, and a military helicopter opening fire, and separatists said one Mi-24 helicopter had been shot down,[141][142] and one of the pilots captured.[143] Separatist authorities said that three militants and two civilians were killed in the clashes. The Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs reports that up to nine checkpoints around Sloviansk were seized. They also acknowledge the shooting down of two helicopters and the death of two airmen.[113] Seven servicemen were wounded.[144] The fighting died down by afternoon.[145]

3 May[edit]

A Ukrainian military recruiting center in Luhansk was stormed by pro-Russian militants after an initial assault was repelled by the recruits. Two Ukrainian soldiers were injured and a militant was killed in the clashes. The separatists seized weapons and took the recruits to an undisclosed location.[146] Five Ukrainian border guards were kidnapped by armed militants from their outpost in Stanichno, Luhansk Oblast. They were robbed of their weapons and released the following day.[147] Ten people were reported to be killed during intense fighting around Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.[148]

4 May[edit]

At early morning, four Ukrainian armoured vehicles attacked a separatist checkpoint at Kostiantynivka; there was an engagement with snipers who fired from the local television tower.[149] Ukrainian forces withdrew from Kramatorsk's streets to their base at the local airport.[150]

5 May[edit]

Four Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 30 wounded in fresh fighting around Sloviansk. The self-proclaimed mayor of the city stated that seven militants were killed, along with three civilians. The engagement began when an armoured Ukrainian convoy was ambushed by pro-Russian forces at Semeniivka, in the outskirts of Sloviansk. According to witnesses, the local gas station 'exploded in a wall of flame', as result of the clashes. A dozen rebel militiamen were seen heading to the area on two armoured personnel carriers five minutes into the ambush.[151] A Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopter was shot down by a heavy machine gun manned by the rebels and crashed into a river; its crew survived. The Ukrainian government accused the pro-Russian militias of using heavy weapons, including mortars.[152][153]

6 May[edit]

Separatist demonstrators and militants set up barricades and burned tyres in Mariupol downtown as gunfire erupted in the airport area.[154] It was later learned that Ukrainian special forces engaged pro-Russian militants, killing one and capturing two. The rebels had fired upon a Ukrainian military convoy, injuring a bus driver. The Ukrainian government later claimed that the city was cleared of separatists[155] and the barricades around the city council removed.[156]

7 May[edit]

Pro-Russian demonstrators re-occupied the Mariupol city hall after the Ukrainian security forces withdrew from the building.[157] They were later attacked by special troops using tear gas, which according to pro-Russian sources left 15 people affected.[158] A pro-Russian spokeswoman said that five militants were killed and 15 captured during the Ukrainian operation to retake the city.[159]

8 May[edit]

Representatives of the Republics of Lugansk and Donetsk announced that they will go ahead with the 11 May referendum as scheduled, despite Vladimir Putin's calls to have it suspended.[160]

One unidentified person was killed and two others wounded during an armed hot pursuit between two civilian-type vehicles that ended when the cars bypassed a rebel checkpoint at Alexandreevka. The two vehicles were fired at by the militiamen manning the roadblock.[161][162]

Pro-Russian militias attacked a Ukrainian checkpoint in Andreevka, near Sloviansk. The Ukrainian troops returned fire, and destroyed two civilian-type cars used by the rebels using RPGs.[163][164]

At evening, 40 armed men got out two minivans and surrounded a customs post at Izvaryne, Luhansk Oblast, giving the Ukrainian border guards 30 seconds to lay down their weapons. When the guards refused, the intruders threw petrol bombs on the facilities, igniting a fire that was later extinguished. The guards opened fire, causing the attackers to flee. The customs post was left inoperable.[165][166]

9 May[edit]

An Orthodox priest was shot dead when he tried to talk to militiamen at a checkpoint in Kostiantynivka.[167]

The town council at Avdiivka was taken over by unidentified personnel.[168]

There were deadly clashes at Mariupol, where 60 separatists attempted to take over the police station. The attack was beaten-off, but the building was left in flames. The Ukrainian Internal Affairs Ministry claim that 20 rebels were killed, and four captured. The Ukrainians acknowledge one killed and five wounded.[169] It was later learned that the police superintendent had been abducted by the militiamen.[170]

10 May[edit]

The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine announced the deaths of a Lieutenant Colonel and an artillery soldier during the battle at Mariupol. The vehicle of the Colonel was ambushed while en route to the police station, while the soldier was killed in the assault of the building.[171]

Armed separatists entered the Great Patriotic War museum at Donetsk, stealing a PTRS-41 antitank rifle and two AK-47s replicas.[172]

11 May[edit]

Two independence referenda were held in the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. In Donetsk, the organizers stated that 89% voted in favour of self-rule, with 10% against, on a turnout of nearly 75%.[173] In Luhansk, the organizers stated that 96.2% voted for separation.[174] These results could not be independently verified.[175]

In Krasnoarmesk, a masked gang presented themselves as a special Ukrainian unit called "Dnepr", with the declared intention of preventing the take over of the city hall by separatists. As a crowd gathered in front of the building to protest, the gunmen open fire, killing two civilians and injuring another.[176]

13 May[edit]

Six Ukrainian soldiers were killed by separatists when a military convoy was ambushed at Oktyabrski, a village 20 km from Kramatorsk.[177] A seventh soldier died of wounds.[178] The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence also reported one rebel killed and four wounded.[179] One Ukrainian BTR personnel carrier and a GAZ-66 truck were destroyed.[180]

Separatist leaders stated that Luhansk 'People's Governor' Valery Bolotov was injured in an assassination attempt, which they blamed on Ukrainian authorities.[181]

14 May[edit]

Ukrainian President Oleksander Turchinov claimed that the Ukrainian National Guard destroyed a pro-Russian base at Kramatorsk and a fortified area at Sloviansk. He also claimed that the TV tower at Sloviansk was under Ukrainian control.[182]

15 May[edit]

Separatists sources claim that the Ukrainian army shot and killed three civilians in Kramatorsk.[183]

Ukrainian sources reported three pro-Russian assaults on three military outposts in the area of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, one of them on troops guarding the local television tower. During this attack rebel forces used BMD-2s and automatic fire.[184]

16 May[edit]

Ukrainian sources said that a joint police and security service team arrested the commander of the South-Eastern Army in Luhansk.[185] They stated that the detainee, Oleksiy Relke, was taken to Kiev.[185] Ukraine's prosecutor general classified the self-declared republics as terrorist organisations.[186]

In the city of Donetsk, a group of 130 armed militants from the "Vostok" battalion surrounded the  Eastern territorial command of the Ukrainian National Guard  and asked the military personnel inside to lay down their weapons. The rebels eventually took control of the premises after a number of volunteers from the National Guard swore loyalty to the Donetsk republic. The remaining troops were relocated to another barracks. The pro-Russian militia seized an undetermined number of small arms.[187]

17 May[edit]

A man was shot and killed and another wounded after the civilian-type vehicle they were riding in passed through a pro-Russian checkpoint in the village of Yubileyniy, Luhansk Oblast. Two women were hit and injured by the driverless car.[188]

At least 50 armed assailants took over a key gas-pumping facility in Kramatorsk.[189]

Luhansk "people's governor" Valeriy Bolotov was briefly detained by Ukrainian border guards at a border checkpoint in Dovzhanskiy. Bolotov was eventually released by 200 armed militants after a bloodless assault on the outpost.[190]

Ukrainian officials claim that a pro-Russian militant was killed in clashes with Ukrainian military forces around Sloviansk.[191]

18 May[edit]

There was sporadic mortar and RPG fire against Kramatorsk airfield from 17 to 18 May, and an attempted assault by pro-Russian forces. No victims were reported among the Ukrainian troops or the civilian population.[191] The self-proclaimed mayor of Sloviansk claimed that Ukrainian mortar fire damaged a railway bridge in the village of Andiivka during the engagements.[192]

Stankhanov Ferroalloy Plant at Luhansk stopped working after pro-Russian militants fired at and disabled two transformers, cutting off power supply to the facilities. Six furnaces were turned off.[193]

19 May[edit]

A rebel mortar attack on Ukrainian positions at Mount Karachun, near Sloviansk, left one soldier killed and three wounded.[194] Pro-Russian sources claim that the village of Semeniivka and two neighbours south of Sloviansk were damaged by Ukrainian artillery fire.[195]

The Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs reported a rebel attack on a military checkpoint at Amvrosiivka, Donetsk Oblast. Some 50 pro-Russian militiamen arrived on ten vehicles an opened fire, but were repelled after a 30-minute shootout. One separatist was killed, another was captured and seven injured.[196]

President Turchynov accused the Communist Party of collaborating with separatist insurgents and petitioned the Justice Ministry to ban the party.[197]

A peace rally through Mariupol was cancelled at the last minute because of threats from pro-Russia armed groups.[198]

20 May[edit]

Armed separatists began to build concrete permanent checkpoints just 8 km from the Ukrainian-Russian border.[199]

Rebel forces carried out another mortar attack on Ukrainian troops at Mount Karachun, wounding four soldiers.[200]

21 May[edit]

It was reported that the separatist controlled one-third of the electoral commissions in Donbas. Ukrainian troops, meanwhile, were in charge of three electoral districts in Donetsk and the polling stations at Dobropillia, Olexandrivka, Velikonovosilkivsky and Chervonoarmiisk.[201]

In Mariupol militants set up a picket line in front of two plants owned by Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, who called for a campaign against separatism.[202]

22 May[edit]

At Volnovakha, Donetsk Oblast, 16 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 12 wounded[203] when armed separatists attacked the checkpoint they were manning with machine gun fire, hand grenades, rocket propelled grenades and mortar rounds.[204] Later, another two soldiers died of wounds, bringing the Ukrainian death toll to 18.[205] A pro-Russian officer, Colonel Igor Bezler, claimed that he led the ambush, and showed weapons and identification cards of two Ukrainian soldiers allegedly captured after the battle, in an improvised press conference at Horlivka. He also acknowledged the death of one of his subordinates.[206]

A Ukrainian military convoy was blocked and ambushed by rebel forces at a bridge in Rubizhne, Luhansk Oblast.[204][207] The bridge, which crossed the Seversky Donets, had previously been blown up by pro-Russian forces.[208] Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and seven wounded,[209] while the separatists acknowledged the loss of seven combatants and 16 injured.[210]

Armed men broke into the town council of Torez, Donetsk Oblast, where they shot and killed two people and wounded two others.[211]

The Federal State of Novorossiya is officially declared encompassing both the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics.

23 May[edit]

During an ambush at Karlivka, 25 km north-west of Donetsk, pro-Russian forces killed five Ukrainian volunteers from the battalion "Donbass".[212] "Right Sector" spokesman Borislav Bereza claimed that militants from his party came to rescue the trapped soldiers.[213] Fifty percent of the battalion's soldiers were wounded.[214] Rebel sources reported that two militiamen died in the battle.[215]

24 May[edit]

Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and four wounded when rebel forces from Sloviansk attacked two checkpoints around the city with mortar fire, RPGs and small-arms fire.[216]

Agreements to form the new Federal State of Novorossiya were signed between the governments of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic, and as such the republics were integrated to the new confederation.

25 May[edit]

Petro Poroshenko is elected President of Ukraine (invested 7 June).

26 May[edit]

Fierce fighting erupted at Donetsk airport at 13:00 local time, after separatists militias who had earlier stormed the facilities ignored a Ukrainian ultimatum to withdraw. There was an airstrike carried out by Mi-24 helicopters, Sukhoi 25 and MiG-29 aircraft, and Ukrainian paratroopers were landed to evict the rebels. Ukrainian officials claimed that an antiaircraft gun was destroyed.[217][218] Converserly, sources from the Donetsk republic reported the shooting down of two helicopters.[219] Both sides claimed to be in control of the airport after the battle died down at late evening. They also acknowledged an indeterminate number of casualties.[220] The local mortuary had 36 bodies of people killed during the battle, 33 of them pro-Russian militants. Donetsk Mayor, Oleksander Lukyanchenko, reported 43 wounded in local hospitals as result of the clashes.[221]

At 18:00 OSCE headquarters lost contact with military inspectors from the organisation in eastern Donetsk.[222]

27 May[edit]

At 3:40 am a column of several vehicles which included trucks, vans and cars from the village of Novoprokhorovka, Russia, crossed the border into Ukraine near the village of Astakhov, Luhansk Oblast (south of Sverdlovsk). The motorcade, heading for the town of Antratsyt, was engaged by Ukrainian border guards, who after a shootout captured a van and two cars carrying AK-47 rifles, RPGs and explosives. An armed man was wounded.[223][224][225]

The press service of the Republic of Donetsk declared a daily curfew from 20:00 to 6:00 am.[226]

28 May[edit]

Ukrainian soldiers manning a checkpoint in Donetsk Oblast shot down a Russian-made drone, reported Ukrainian Army spokesman Alex Dmitrashkovskyy.[227][228] Earlier, members of the pro-Russian army of Donetsk claimed to have shot down a Ukrainian drone flying over downtown Donetsk.[229]

A Ukrainian military base and a National Guard unit have been attacked in Luhansk, causing losses on both sides.[230]

During fresh fighting in Sloviansk a school was hit by a shell, nine people was wounded.[231]

29 May[edit]

A Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter was shot down by rebel forces between Kramatorsk and Mount Karachun,[232] killing 14 people on board, among them General Vladimir Kultchysky. Another soldier was seriously injured.[233]

Twenty members of the Ukrainian National Guard laid down their weapons to separatist forces at Oleksandrivsk, just west of Luhansk. One pro-Russian militant was wounded in the action.[234] One Ukrainian serviceman died in hospital.[235]

30 May[edit]

According to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, there was an attempt to break through the Ukrainian national border from the Russian side in Stanytsia-Luhanska. On 29 May armed personnel started gathering not far from the checkpoint and set a number of barricades. All in all there were around 300 armed men surrounding the outpost. At 12:30 am, the armed men opened fire in the direction of the Ukrainian border guards. They were shooting assault rifles and grenade launchers. State border guards returned fire. One guard was injured by shrapnel. State border guards claimed that at the same time at least four ambulances were seen coming to the place from where the armed men opened fire.[236][237]

Also, during the night state border guards said they captured three cars coming from Russian side. One of the vehicles was a Mercedes Vito. It was supposed to escort two GAZelle minivans that came to the border checkpoint some time later. All in all border guards found 27 AK-47 assault rifles, two pistols, four machine guns, five grenade launchers, five sniper rifles and 84 boxes with ammunition and grenades. There was also a woman among the passengers of one of the GAZelle minivans who had $10,000 with her. All in all border guards said they captured 13 people.[236]

According to Ukrainian officials, rebel forces were firing upon residential areas of Sloviansk from a 2S23 "Nona-SVK" self-propelled 120 mm mortar.[238]

Another attack was organised from inside Ukrainian territory at a border post near Dyakovo (south of Antratsyt). Dozens of mortar shells were fired, wounding three. Russian Cossacks were involved in the assault.[239][240]

Ukrainian officials stated that the UAV allegedly shot down in eastern Ukraine on 28 May was a Russian-made Orlan-10 drone.[241]

31 May[edit]

Donetsk People's Republic chairman Denis Pushilin stated on 31 May that six rebels had been killed while trying to collect the bodies of their comrades, who had died in combat earlier this week near Donetsk airport.[242] "They died trying to take back the Ukrainian airport, and our boys were trying to get their bodies out," Pushilin said.[243] However, according to the Ukrainian military, armed separatists had launched two fresh assaults on servicemen guarding the airport territory. "There were two attempts to storm the Donetsk airport, at 5 [a.m.] and 7 o'clock in the morning. Illegal paramilitary forces attempted to seize the airport, but both attempts were repelled by paratroopers who are part of the counterterrorist forces," military press officer Oleksiy Dmytrashkovsky told Interfax-Ukraine.[244]

At Sloviansk, Ukrainian forces claimed to have knocked down the 2S23 "Nona-SVK" self-propelled 120 mm mortar which had been shelling Ukrainian positions on daily basis.[245][246]

According to rebel militiamen in Krasnyi Luch, two of their comrades have been killed during a confrontation with Ukrainian border forces; four wounded Ukrainian soldiers were brought to hospital.[247]

An ammunition factory was seized by armed separatists in the district of Leninsky, Luhansk.[248]

Armed militants captured ten security vehicles and abducted eight security guards from Severodonetsk airport. Seven of the guards were later released, after being interrogated about their alleged affiliation with the "Right Sector" party.[249]

June[edit]

1 June[edit]

It was reported that since the start of the conflict the rebels had taken about 200 hostages and prisoners.[250]

Former Mariupol's treasury secretary Alexander Fomenko was elected "people's mayor" by a pro-Russian crowd that gathered outside the local city council.[251]

The offices of the Security Service of Ukraine at Torez were heavily damaged by an RPG attack.[252]

2 June[edit]

Insurgents have launched a large attack against a command center of the Ukrainian border guards (48°31′25″N 39°15′28″E / 48.523569°N 39.257734°E / 48.523569; 39.257734) just south of Luhansk. Five militiamen were reported killed.[253][254] Contact between the guards and their headquarters was lost after an agreed 20-minute truce ended. There were seven wounded among the Ukrainian forces.[255] Russian media reported that between 10 and 15 border guards surrendered to pro-Russian militias, however the Ukrainian government claimed that jets destroyed the rebels' equipment and positions ending the attack.[256][257]

The Ukrainian Air Force conducted an airstrike against rebel mortar positions in Luhansk Oblast, claiming two militants killed.[258] An air strike on Luhansk RSA was also conducted murdering eight civilians. Kiev authorities claim that it was a misfired missile shot by separatists.[259] According to the OSCE "these strikes were the result of non-guided rockets shot from an aircraft".[260]

3 June[edit]

A Ukrainian convoy was attacked en route from Izyum to Sloviansk; one soldier was killed and thirteen wounded. An armoured personnel carrier was hit by an RPG. In Semenivka (south-east of Kramatorsk), the Ukrainian army has attacked separatist roadblocks.[261] Heavy fighting and artillery fire were reported in that sector and around Krasnyi Lyman (north-east of Sloviansk).[262] The Ukrainian commander of the operations in the east, Vladislav Seleznev, acknowledged the loss of two men around Sloviansk, and 42 wounded. He also reported two Mi-24 helicopters damaged in battle.[263]

According to Ukrainian authorities, a pro-Russian camp was secured near Sievierodonetsk.[264]

4 June[edit]

After intense fighting in the Luhansk area, the pro-Russian militiamen have taken the base of the Ukrainian border guard they were attacking since 2 June and a site of the National Guard. Ukrainian forces reportedly took control of Krasnyi Lyman.[265] The separatists fell back to their stronghold near the village of Brusivka on the Sloviansk – Krasnyi Lyman road where they had a trench network and a number of bunkers in place.[266]

The rebels have captured a Ukrainian border guard base in Chervonopartizansk, east of Sverdlovsk.[267][268]

5 June[edit]

The Ukrainian government had lost control over 130 km of the border with Russia in Luhansk Oblast.[269]

Ukrainian border guards claimed to have fended off a pro-Russian attack on the border outpost at Marynivka. They suffered five wounded, and claimed the destruction of three rebel trucks and an armoured personnel carrier. Ukraine claimed that the separatists withdrew into Russia after an airstrike carried out by the Ukrainian Air Force and the arrival of Ukrainian ground reinforcements.[270]

The Ukrainian army deployed T-64 tanks around Sloviansk.[271]

6 June[edit]

Separatist militias from Slaviansk shot down an An-30 surveillance plane with two shoulder-launched missiles. Ukrainian authorities initially claimed that the pilots survived,[272][273] but they later reported that five crewmembers were killed in the action, and two others missing.[274] A mortar attack on a Ukrainian checkpoint outside the city killed one soldier.[275]

8 June[edit]

Rebels reportedly launched attacks against the airport of Luhansk.[276]

9 June[edit]

An armed group attacked the Izvaryne border checkpoint.[277]

Residential areas in Sloviansk have been hit by indirect fire between the Ukrainian army and the insurgents. Rockets and mortar shells were aimed at buildings used by separatists, though some apartments and homes have been struck during the confrontations. Some homes and buildings were partially destroyed, others completely destroyed beyond repair.[278]

10 June[edit]

President Poroshenko announced the establishment of humanitarian corridors for civilians wanting to leave the war zones. The initiative met the demand that had been put forward by the Russian Federation's authorities.[279][280]

12 June[edit]

According to Ukrainian authorities, three T-64BV tanks[281][282] and other armoured vehicles and trucks crossed the border from Russian territory into the Dyakovo area. They were spotted later in Snizhne.[283][284] The Ukrainian government later claimed that their forces destroyed some vehicles in the column, resulting in four Ukrainian soldiers being killed and 31 wounded.[285] Ukrainian authorities said fightings in Stepanivka, south of Snizhne, ended in the death of 40 separatists.[286][287]

13 June[edit]

Ukrainian officials claimed that their troops wrestled control of Mariupol from pro-Russian militias. They destroyed an armoured vehicle and captured about 30 prisoners.[285]

A civilian security guard was killed and two other civilians injured when rebel forces launched 26 Grad rockets against a Ukrainian checkpoint in the town of Dobropillia.[288]

Two Ukrainian paratroopers from Mykolayev were killed and 25 wounded after being ambushed by separatists in an area of Donetsk near the border with Russia.[285]

Residents of Slaviansk claimed that white phosphorus incendiary bombs, which are banned by the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, were dropped on the city.[289]

Twenty militants armed with automatic weapons took over the Ukrainian Security Service building at Krasnodon.[290]

A Ukrainian APC with 8 Ukrainian servicemen aboard violated the Russian border. The APC broke down and another vehicle followed to retrieve the servicemen. This was not the first border incursion into Russia by the Ukrainian troops. Previously, Russian airspace was breached by the Ukrainian airforce.[291][292]

14 June[edit]

Ukrainian officials stated that an Il-76 transport plane was shot down as it approached an airport in Luhansk, killing nine crewmembers and 40 troops on board.[293] Residents said that Ukrainian forces launched air attacks on separatist positions in the vicinity a few hours later.[294]

The press service of the Donetsk People's Republic stated that a Ukrainian Su-24 bomber was shot down near Horlivka.[295]

Five Ukrainian border guards were killed and seven wounded near Mariupol after being ambushed by Donetsk militias.[296]

The Ukrainian Air Force claimed the destruction of two rebel checkpoints in the Luhansk-Stanchino region.[297] The city of Shchastya became under control of the Ukrainian army.[298]

15 June[edit]

The day before Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko had declared 15 June a day of national mourning.[299]

Two shops, the bus station, the hospital and several houses were damaged in Amvrosiivka when pro-Russian forces attacked Ukrainian army positions with a multiple rocket launcher.[300] Ukrainian officials claimed that there was an indetermined number of victims,[301] while the separatists reported that the town was actually shelled by Ukrainian troops, and three civilians were killed.[302]

Donetsk militias announced the capture of eight Ukrainian paratroopers near Savur-Mohyla, south of Snizhne.[303]

16 June[edit]

Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council chief Andriy Parubiy claimed that the pro-Russian forces were 15,000–20,000 strong and that more than half of them had arrived from Russia; "We are dealing with Russian occupiers and weapons and militants are being brought in".[304] According to Parubiy, one of the "tasks" of the pro-Russian forces was "to provoke the maximum number of civilian casualties".[304] The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine ordered the government to carry a one-side demarcation of the Russia–Ukraine border "in terms of existing threats to national security".[305]

The Commander of the Donbass People's Militia Igor Girkin stated to Komsomolskaya Pravda that the Donetsk's separatists would be overrun in a month if Russia would not give "urgent, decisive" military support; he also claimed "The most capable part of the militia are bleeding".[306]

At evening, a fighter from the Ukrainian Air Force carried out an airstrike against a building held by militants in the city of Horlivka.[307] According to the Donetsk regional administration press office "no people dead or injured were registered in local medical facilities following the military operation in Horlivka on June 16".[308]

The Donetsk regional administration press office also claimed that six people died in clashes in Kramatorsk.[308]

During the night, Ukrainian media claimed that pro-Russian troops from Luhansk shelled the town of Shchastia, claimed to be recently occupied by the Ukrainian army, with a Grad multiple rocket launcher.[309]

17 June[edit]

Spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Volodymyr Chepovy claimed that Ukraine had conducted "a series of successful operations over the past 24 hours" to regain control over the Russia–Ukraine border in which "about 80 militants have been neutralized".[310] He also announced that the National Guard had been deployed the day before "at the state border and in populated areas of Donetsk region".[310]

Ukrainian army operation spokesman Vladyslav Seleznev claimed that "in the east of Luhansk region" a Ukrainian unit had killed and wounded 30 men from a "large convoy of militants".[311]

A Ukrainian mortar attack killed two Russian reporters in the village of Metalist, Luhansk Oblast.[312] It was later claimed that one of the victims had entered in Ukraine illegally.[313] Four Ukrainian soldiers from the battalion "Aidar" also died during the clashes there.[314][315]

Ukrainian Member of Parliament and former Minister of Defence General Oleksandr Kuzmuk reported that some 900 militants equipped with heavy armoured vehicles broke from Russia into Ukraine through an area that was defended only by 100 border guards.[316] Two T-72 tanks manned by separatists were spotted in Donetsk, according to the Ukrainian National Security Council.[317]

18 June[edit]

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko proposed a 14-point peace plan that offered a truce followed by the decommissioning of arms, an amnesty to militants who hadn't committed serious crimes and safe passage out of the country for those willing to leave Ukraine, but only if the rebels would lay down their weapons first.[318] The plan was swiftly rejected by the separatist authorities.[319]

The US ambassador to the OSCE condemned the lack of Russian willingness to stop the flow of weapons and militants into eastern Ukraine.[320]

During a battle which took place in the village of Shchastya, north of Luhansk, pro-Russian forces killed 18 Ukrainian soldiers, according to sources of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence. Another ten remained missing.[321] Due to the losses sustained in this engagement, the battalion "Aidar" ceased to exist as an effective fighting force.[322]

Ukrainian army spokesman Vladislav Seleznev announced that a Ukrainian T-64B tank was hit and damaged by rebel forces around Slaviansk, where he claimed that several pro-Russian firing positions were cleared and a number of separatists killed or wounded.[323]

19 June[edit]

A major battle began around the village of Yampil as the rebels who once were stationed at Krasnyi Lyman tried to break out of a Ukrainian army encirclement and escape towards Siversk.[324] It was reported that the fighting involved the use of armoured vehicles and tanks by both sides.[325] According to rebel commander Igor "Strelkov" Girkin the army is using artillery, tanks, and ground attack aircraft; while a Ukrainian army serviceman stated; "There's a major battle going on which exceeds in terms of force and scale anything there has been up to now."[324] Ukrainian spokesman stated that seven Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 30 wounded in fighting near Slaviansk.[326] A spokesman for the militia in Donetsk stated that they downed a Ukrainian Air Force Su-25 during the battle in Yampil.[327]

20 June[edit]

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko declared a seven-day ceasefire, in accordance with the previously announced 14-point peace plan.[328]

Earlier, an armoured Russian column reportedly crossed the border and penetrated deep into the Donbass region, reaching as far as Horlivka. It included at least two T-64B tanks, five armoured personnel carriers and some Grad multiple rocket launchers. One armoured carrier was seized by Ukrainian troops, and the Ministry of Defence claimed that Russian documentation had been found accompanying the vehicle. [329][330]

21 June[edit]

Despite the Ukrainian government unilateral ceasefire, break-outs of attacks and shelling continued in several locations, particularly on three border outposts in Donetsk and Luhansk. Some 80 Ukrainian border guards at Izvaryne were evicted from their post and fled across the border with Russia,[331][332] six of them wounded. Two of the wounded suffered critical injuries.[333] The wounded were repatriated, but the rest of the Ukrainian personnel was held in custody and interrogated by Russian authorities.[334][335] Ukrainian positions were also shelled at Kramatorsk, Mount Karanchun and Amvrosiivka. There were no Ukrainian casualties.[336]

22 June[edit]

Pro-Russian militias in Luhansk claimed the destruction of a Ukrainian armoured column in the village of Milove, right on the border between Russia and Ukraine. The separatists said they destroyed two tanks and captured several armoured vehicles.[337]

According to the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, five tanks, seven armoured vehicles and a number of Kamaz and Ural trucks were spotted in the town of Dmytrivka, Donetsk Oblast. The vehicles were manned by 140 men, some of them Russian citizens. They claimed that the equipment was moved in from Crimea.[338]

23 June[edit]

Representatives of the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk reached an agreement with Ukrainian and Russian negotiators to declare a bilateral ceasefire until 27 June.[339]

Pro-Russian militias besieging Luhansk airport, which was held by Ukrainian troops, were ready for the assault of the facilities.[340]

24 June[edit]

Vladimir Putin formally took Russian military intervention in eastern Ukraine off the table as separatist leaders agreed to a ceasefire, proposed by Kiev, in the region.[341] He warned, however, that his decision doesn't mean that Russia will not defend ethnic Russians living in Ukraine and pro-Russian Ukrainians.[342]

The Ukrainian military says one of its helicopters, a Mi-8, has been shot down by pro-Russian rebels in the east near Sloviansk, killing all nine people on board,[343] while two other soldiers were killed and four wounded during the rebel shelling of a checkpoint in the same area.[344] Donetsk People's Republic Prime Minister, Alexander Borodai, accused the Ukrainian central government of continuing hostilities by shelling Sloviansk, Snizhne and Semeniivka, where five people were killed.[345] Ukrainian president Poroshenko said that one Ukrainian soldier was killed and seven wounded in eastern Ukraine the night before.[346]

The Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic inform the OSCE that Viktor Medvedchuk was appointed their representative in the negotiations with the Ukrainian Government.[347]

Donetsk People's Republic's leader Alexander Borodai announces on Twitter that the parliaments of Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic approved the merging of the two states.[348]

25 June[edit]

Ukrainian president Poroshenko reported to the leaders of Germany, France and Russia that pro-Russian rebels killed 18 people and wounded 27 since the beginning of the truce.[349]

Ten Ukrainian paratroopers were wounded when militants shelled the village of Dibrovka, Donetsk Oblast.[350]

Another armoured column from Russia crossed into Ukraine through the border outpost of Izvarino. The convoy was composed of two tanks, five trucks and several armoured vehicles.[351]

26 June[edit]

A Ukrainian National Guard base in Donetsk was overrun by pro-Russian forces, led by a self-styled military unit named "Kalmius". The besieged barracks were captured after a seven-hour-long battle and three consecutive assaults, which involved the use of mortars and armoured personnel carriers by the separatists. The Ukrainian commander was taken prisoner.[352][353][354]

A large rebel armoured column, composed of eight tanks, as well as mortars, attacked a Ukrainian checkpoint near Kramatorsk, killing four soldiers and wounding five. They also destroyed four Ukrainian armoured vehicles. Ukraine claimed that one rebel tank was destroyed and one was captured by the Ukrainian military.[355] A pro-Russian tank rammed a roadblock, forcing the soldiers manning it to disperse. Ukraine claimed that another pro-Russian tank was hit by an RPG.[356]

27 June[edit]

The ceasefire, for which the parties have come to an agreement on 23 June, has been extended till 19:00 GMT 30 June. Aleksander Boroday supported the ceasefire but people governor Pavel Gubarev and commander in chief Igor Girkin vehemently opposed to it.[357]

At early morning, the Ukrainian Army base at Artemivsk was shattered during a rebel tank assault. There were no Ukrainian casualties, but the facilities were left in ruins. Ukraine claimed that a T-64B tank from the Russian army was captured by Ukrainian forces.[358]

The United Nations refugee agency has found that over 110,000 Ukrainians have fled to Russia, and that tens of thousands more are internally displaced. Of those that fled, about 9,600 have filed for asylum.[359]

The Gukovo border crossing, the nearby village of Vasetskiy and mining facilities in Russian territory were hit by several artillery shells fired by the Ukrainian army. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent a protest note due to the shelling and violations, and called for these constant provocations to stop.[360][361][362]

28 June[edit]

Three Ukrainian soldiers were killed and four wounded when their checkpoint on the outskirts of Sloviansk was attacked by pro-Russian forces with small arms and mortar fire.[363][364] Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and eight were wounded when rebel forces ambushed a resupply convoy in the region of Luhansk.[365]

Four remaining OSCE observers who had been held captive since 29 May have been set free.[366]

29 June[edit]

Ukrainian paratroopers shot down a Russian-made surveillance micro UAV ZALA 421-08 in Luhansk Oblast, near the border with Russia.[367][368]

A Ukrainian military base in Donetsk was partially occupied by pro-Russian militias following a rocket and mortar attack in the morning. A number of soldiers were taken prisoner after the assault, but Ukrainian personnel still hold the canteen and the parade ground.[369]

Pro-Russian forces shelled Ukrainian positions in Mount Karachun using tanks and mortars.[370]

30 June[edit]

During a trip organised by pro-Russia rebels, a cameraman for the Russian Channel 1 news service, Anatoly Klyan, died after being fatally shot in the stomach when his crew came under fire near Avdiivka, north of Donetsk.[371] He was the 3rd journalist to be killed in the conflict.[372] Meanwhile, in Kiev, Poroshenko held a 2-hour call with Putin, Merkel and Hollande about his peace plan; Putin gave permission for OSCE military observers to operate on the Ukraine-Russia border but also wanted to discuss the extension of the truce.[373]

Afterwards Poroshenko met with his security chiefs about the extension of the truce, but the council recommended ending it. Just before midnight the ATO officially resumed after the presidential portal made the following statement: "We will attack and liberate our land. Not renewing the cease-fire is our response to terrorists, militants, looters, all of those who are tormenting the local population, paralyzing the region's economy, preventing payment of salaries, pensions and grants, blowing up the railway, destroying water pipes, depriving people of normal peaceful life."[374] The Wall Street Journal also report a substantial quantity of tanks, armoured personnel carriers and multiple rocket launchers moving from Izyum towards Slavyansk and troops appearing to be gearing up for a large scale offensive against the rebels.

Earlier, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and two wounded by separatists in Kriva Luka, near Krasny Liman, Donetsk Oblast.[375] Two civilians also died in Slavyansk in the early morning when their apartment was struck by a shell during a battle between government and rebel forces.[376]

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