The offensive spring
Posted by Charles II on June 4, 2015
A major battle has erupted on the western edge of the main separatist rebel stronghold in eastern Ukraine, leaving more than a dozen people dead and threatening to tip the country back into full-blown war.
Rebels in the city of Donetsk reported 15 dead on Wednesday, some civilians and some combatants, in territory under their control.
The Ukrainian interior ministry said at least one person was killed in Marinka, the government-held town where fighting was centred. Ukrainian presidential adviser Yury Biryukov cited the Ukrainian general staff as saying two Ukrainian soldiers died in combat and that another 30 were wounded.
Each side is blaming the other for sparking this round of unrest. The general staff said in a statement that rebels deployed around 1,000 fighters and dozens of tanks and self-propelled artillery systems in a major offensive that started before dawn.
Maryinka is roughly six miles to the southwest of the very center of Donetsk, one of the two major “Novorussian” towns. It’s very difficult for me to believe that this is not within the rebel zone of control, but so says Oliver Carroll of The Independent. Certainly, there’s no way that Ukrainian tanks or artilleru can legally be in Maryinka, whoever controls the town.
It looks like the spring offensive may have begun.
More to come.
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