Zelenopillya rocket attack

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The Zelenopillya rocket attack took place on 11 July 2014 during the War in Donbass. The rocket barrage, which was launched by Pro-Russian[9][10] forces from inside Russian territory, killed 37 Ukrainian soldiers and border guards in a camp.[11]


The Ukrainian military camp in Zelenopillya was periodically observed by UAV's. Ukrainian forces were able to shoot down one of them near the camp, it was a Russian-made Orlan-10 drone.[12]

Rocket attack[edit]

In the early morning of 11 July 2014, Russian forces fired a barrage of 9K51M "Tornado-G"[13][14][15][16] rockets in 40 salvos beginning at 4:40 a.m. They targeted an armored convoy of the Ukrainian Ground Forces from a distance of 15 km. The Ukrainian column was camped in a field near the village of Zelenopillya, situated along the main highway to Luhansk in the Sverdlovsk/Leninsky district near Rovenky.[17] The town is located only 9 km from the Russian border. The Ukrainian armored brigades were a part of a main contingent of troops guarding the Ukrainian-Russian border against the illegal movement of military equipment from Russia into Eastern Ukraine.[15][18]

At least 19 soldiers were killed and 93 others were injured in the rocket strike.[3][19][20] Four Ural-4320 transport trucks full of troops were struck. According to one Ukrainian soldier's account, the 1st Battalion of the 79th Mykolaiv Airmobile Brigade was "almost completely destroyed" during the rocket onslaught.[5] Chief physician of a regional hospital, Serhiy Ryzhenko reported the wounded to be in grave condition, with some undergoing traumatic leg amputations and loss of limbs.[21]

According to an investigation a year later, 30 Ukrainian soldiers and 7 border guards were killed and over 100 soldiers were wounded during that strike.[22][23] Ukrainian border guards Colonel Ihor Momot was among the fallen.[2]


In response to the rocket strike, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko held an emergency cabinet meeting and issued a statement condemning the attack and vowing to "find and destroy" the pro-Russian rebels accountable. He also said for every Ukrainian serviceman's life the militants will pay with "tens and hundreds of their own".[3]

The United States Department of Treasury instituted a new set of sanctions on Russia after reliable evidence emerged that the rockets were fired from within Russian territory. Videos by a resident of the rocket launchers firing at Ukrainian positions, matched the very same Google Maps view of the same physical features inside Russian territory, bordering Ukraine.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Russia's superior new weapons". The Washington Post. 6 August 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b "The heroes we will never forget". The heroes we will never forget. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  3. ^ a b c "Ukraine says rebels will pay as missiles kill 23 soldiers". Reuters. 2014-07-11. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  4. ^ "Под Зеленопольем продолжается бой, военным нужна срочная помощь". Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Unian.info (11 July 2015). "Year ago: ATO troops near Zelenopillya burnt to the ground by Russian Grads". Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  6. ^ Galeotti P.61
  7. ^ "Зеленопілля. Спогад офіцера". www.ukrmilitary.com. Retrieved 2018-01-01.
  8. ^ Censor.NET. "Ukrainian Troops Were Likely Shelled from Russian MRLS Tornado in Zelenopillia". EN.Censor.net. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  10. ^ Scales, Robert H. (2016-08-05). "Russia's superior new weapons". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-01-01.
  11. ^ "Up to 30 Ukraine Soldiers, Border Guards Die in Attack: Official – NBC News". NBC News. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  12. ^ "Зеленопілля. Спогад офіцера". www.ukrmilitary.com. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  13. ^ "Солдати в Зеленопіллі загинули від новітнього російського "Торнадо-Г" – ЗМІ". Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  14. ^ "Українських військових під Зеленопіллям обстріляли з новітньої російської зброї "Торнадо", – журналіст". ipress.ua. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  15. ^ a b "Сили АТО під Зеленопіллям обстріляли з "Торнадо" – ЗМІ". Ukrayinska Pravda. 13 July 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  16. ^ Censor.NET. "Ukrainian Troops Were Likely Shelled from Russian MRLS Tornado in Zelenopillia". EN.Censor.net. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  17. ^ Babiak, Mat (2014-07-11). "Rocket strike kills dozens of Ukrainian soldiers near Russian border". Euromaidan Press. Retrieved 2020-03-16.
  18. ^ "Ukrainian Fighter Jets Pound Rebels". VOA. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  19. ^ "Ukraine conflict: Many soldiers dead in 'rocket strike' – BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  20. ^ "In eastern Ukraine, separatist rocket attacks, bus ambush kill 30". latimes.com. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  21. ^ Bazov, Gleb. "Ukrainian Soldiers – Abandoned in Zelenopillia, Corpses All Around Them". SLAVYANGRAD.org. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  22. ^ Censor.NET. "Ukrainian Troops Were Likely Shelled from Russian MRLS Tornado in Zelenopillia". EN.Censor.net. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  23. ^ "Солдати в Зеленопіллі загинули від новітнього російського "Торнадо-Г" - ЗМІ". Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  24. ^ "Russia Is Firing Missiles at Ukraine". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2016-02-12.


Galeotti, Mark (2017) The Modern Russian Army 1992–2016. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 1472819101