Donetsk International News Center, report by Christelle Néant
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Yelena Vonchenko, killed by a 122mm shell last night at 7:30 p.m. in Golmovski
For several days, the Ukrainian army has been particularly focused on front line points: the outskirts of Gorlovka, and the Donetsk water treatment plant. In Gorlovka, for the past few days the Ukrainian soldiers have concentrated their fire on three points on the edge of the city: the west (the Gagarin mine and the Glubokaya area), Zaitsevo, and Golmovsky (on the north side of Gorlovka).
Yesterday we went to Glubokaya, on a humanitarian mission, and we saw the extent of the damage inflicted Saturday (May 12th) on a civilian house by a shell from a tank. The shell was a HESH, High Explosive Squash Head, a type designed to punch through the armor of a tank. The shock wave utterly destroyed the roof of the house, but the inhabitants of the house escaped unscathed thanks to the fact that it was not a conventional tank shell. Otherwise, the house would have been totally destroyed, and the occupants would have been at best hurt, at worst killed (the video is being subtitled).
Yesterday evening, and this morning, it was on Golmovski, Zaïtsevo and the Gagarin mine that the FAU hammered, with 122 mm artillery and 120 mm mortars. Of the ten 122-mm shells fired by the FAU last night at 19:30 on Golmovski, one of them struck near one of the village ponds, killing a 34-year-old woman, Elena Vorontschenko.
Elena provided humanitarian aid to the inhabitants of Golmovsky and regularly came to the aid of the nearby village of Zaitevo. More than once, Elena risked her life to evacuate wounded or dead under bombardment, where others gave up because of the danger. She leaves behind a daughter, Elizaveta. Her grandparents are dead too, so the girl finds herself orphaned.
Further on, another shell pierced the roof of a building, damaging an apartment. Fortunately the inhabitants were not there at that time otherwise they would have been killed.
This morning, the Ukrainian army has resumed firing on the same area with 120-mm mortar shells, fortunately without causing casualties this time. The pond is 2 km from the front line, and the building 1 km.
There are only civilians, no soldiers, no military base, no military equipment. So there is nothing to justify the Ukrainian army bombardment, which is therefore a new set of war crimes.
Further south-west, the Ukrainian army fired this morning at the Gagarin mine, seriously damaging a house, and a man was wounded in Zaitsevo. See the video report filmed in Golmovski and Gorlovka.
The other hot spot on the front is the area of the Donetsk water treatment plant, located in the gray area between Avdeyevka and Yassinovataya. If yesterday, the rotation of the work teams was finally safe, the Ukrainian army resumed bombing this area at nightfall, firing 40 rockets from a multiple Grad rocket launcher (122 mm) and 10 mortar shells of 82 mm on the area surrounding the station.
Residents of the Oktyabrsky district of Donetsk (north of the city) confirmed hearing Grad’s shots (the distinctive sound of this weapon is easily recognizable) from Avdeyevka around 9 pm. Luckily no rocket fell on the station itself.
And again this morning, the scheduled team rotation could not be done, because the Ukrainian army opened fire at 10:20 am near the treatment plant, while a bus containing 30 employees was already on their way to the station. The OSCE mission has recorded this violation of the ceasefire. In total, from 16 to 17 May, the Ukrainian army violated the cease-fire 31 times and fired 589 rounds of ammunition against the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), including 45 122-mm artillery shells. 160 mortar rounds of 120 mm and 147 mortar rounds of 82 mm. As we can see, the situation is not getting any better, and seems to be heading towards an escalation, in the complicit silence of the Western guarantors of the Minsk agreements (Germany and France). A situation that worries the OSCE, pushing Alexander Hug (Deputy Head of the OSCE mission in Donbass) to come tonight in Donetsk to try to stop this increase in tension.