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Russo-Ukraine War - 2014
Anti-Terrorist Operation

September 2014

  • Russo-Ukraine War
  • Russo-Ukraine War - May
  • Russo-Ukraine War - June
  • Russo-Ukraine War - July
  • Russo-Ukraine War - August
  • August 2014 - Week 1 - 1-7 August
  • August 2014 - Week 2 - 8-15 August
  • August 2014 - Week 3 - 16-23 August
  • August 2014 - Week 4 - 24-31 August
  • Russo-Ukraine War - September
  • Russo-Ukraine War - MH17 Shootdown
  • ATO - Unit Vinettes

  • Federal State of Novorossiya
  • Donetsk People's Republic (DNR)
  • Luhansk People's Republic (LNR)

  • Ukraine Military Guide
  • Ukraine Political Crisis - 2014
  • Russian Military Intervention
  • Russian Annexation of Crimea

  • Russia Military Guide
  • Russian Rapid Reaction Forces
  • Russian Special Forces
  • 45th Airborne Spetznaz Regiment

  • The fighting in eastern Ukraine ebbed and flowed since erupting in late April and early May. After repeated battlefield failures, Ukrainian forces seized the initiative in July, re-taking strategic towns around the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The new Ukrainian government's vetting of troops, decisiveness and willingness to take and inflict casualties gave its military an edge. And the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine did a poor job of generating popular support. The weapons flow from Russia increased dramatically in early July in response to the government forces' successes. Advances by the Ukrainian army forced the rebels out of most of the towns they had occupied in Russian-speaking east Ukraine and squeezed them mainly into Luhansk, which had a population of about 400,000 before the conflict, and Donetsk, which had about 1 million residents.

    Ukrainian officials said Russian tanks and armored vehicles crossed into southeastern Ukraine 25 August 2014. The Ukrainian spokesman said no less than 1,600 Russian soldiers are operating inside Ukraine to support the rebels.

    Russian government officials have denied the claims that they have taken part in an invasion of Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly called for a political settlement and an end to the violence from both sides of the conflict in Ukraine’s east. Russia will not intervene with its military in the Ukrainian conflict and supports only a peaceful resolution of the crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said 01 September 2014. “There will be no military intervention, we support exclusively a peaceful settlement of this difficult crisis, of this tragedy. Everything that we’re doing is targeted at pushing through political approaches,” Lavrov said.

    Russia rejected consultations between the signatories of the Budapest memorandum, which foresees guarantees for Ukraine's territorial integrity. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said this at a joint press conference with his Norwegian counterpart Borge Brende, a Ukrinform correspondent reported. "We asked the signatories of the Budapest memorandum about urgent consultations. Of course, Russia does not want it," Klimkin said.

    In 1994, Ukraine signed the Budapest Memorandum, under which Russia, the United States and Britain agreed to guarantee Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in exchange for the country giving up its nuclear weapons. At that time, Ukraine had the world's third largest nuclear arsenal. Leading international organizations and many countries recognized that Russia, by annexing Crimea, had violated the provisions of the Budapest memorandum.

    Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletei reported 01 September 2014 that "Russia has lost a hybrid war to Ukraine. Our Armed Forces confidently pressed the gangs of Russian mercenaries, destroyed saboteurs and special forces soldiers. That is why the Kremlin was forced to move to a full-scale incursion of its regular troops into the Donbas," he said. Heletei noted that Ukraine currently deals "with divisions and regiments" and tomorrow these could be army corps.

    "The operation to liberate eastern Ukraine from terrorists is over. We should urgently build a defense against Russia, which is trying to secure its positions not only on the territories earlier occupied by terrorists, but also to advance to other parts of Ukraine," he said. He said that "a large-scale war, which Europe has not seen since the Second World War, has come to our home."

    At least 1,600 servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces from four battalion tactical groups are engaged in military operations on Ukrainian territory. National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) information and analytical center spokesman Andriy Lysenko said this at a briefing on 01 September 2014. "At least four battalion tactical groups of the Russian Armed Forces are operating in Ukraine in the area of Novosvitlivka-Novohannivka-Krasne, Starobesheve-Novokaterynivka, Kumachove-Pobeda, and near Shcherbak-Markyne," Lysenko said. He added that a battalion task force was a formation of about 400 people, reinforced by artillery and air defense systems.

    On 02 September 2014 Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk attended the ceremony to launch the Vojany-Uzhgorod gas pipeline in the Slovak town of Velke Kapusany, which will ensure reverse gas supplies to Ukraine. "My answer to President [Vladimir] Putin for his tough statement on this reverse flow: gas has no labels. It's just gas. If we pay the money, then someone ensures its transit and someone buys it," Yatseniuk said.

    Ukraine said Russian troops had been spotted at 10 locations in Ukrainian territory, including two major cities controlled by pro-Russian rebels seeking autonomy from Ukrainian rule. Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Russia was continuing to concentrate soldiers and military hardware in six areas in the Donetsk region, including Donetsk city and Luhansk.

    On September 03, 2014 Russian President Vladimir Putin put forward what he called an "action plan" for peace in eastern Ukraine, amid contradictory reports on whether a cease-fire had been reached between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatist rebels. Putin said both the Ukrainian government forces and the rebels should halt "active offensive operations" and government forces should withdraw to a distance from which they cannot hit populated areas with artillery and other "volley fire" weapons. He urged "full-fledged and objective international control" over cease-fire compliance, a ban on the use of military aviation against civilian areas, an unconditional prisoner exchange, the opening of "humanitarian corridors" for refugees and relief supplies, and the possibility of sending in teams to repair damaged infrastructure. The Kremlin said Putin and Poroshenko did not agree on a cease-fire in Ukraine, noting that Russia is not a party in the conflict.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin's "seven-point plan" aimed at allegedly resolving the crisis in Ukraine is reminiscent of a rescue plan for Russian terrorists. "This other 'plan' is an attempt to hoodwink the international community ahead of the NATO summit and an attempt to avoid inevitable decisions of the European Union on the introduction of a new wave of sanctions against Russia," he said, adding that "Putin's real plan is to destroy Ukraine and restore the Soviet Union."

    Yatseniuk said that there was no trust in any plan of the Russian president. "All previous agreements approved with Russia - in Geneva, in Normandy, in Berlin, in Minsk - were either ignored or blatantly violated by the Russian regime," he said. According to Yatseniuk, the best plan to end the Russian war against Ukraine consists of only one point. "Russia removes its regular army, mercenaries and terrorists from Ukrainian territory, and then there will be peace in Ukraine," he said.

    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen accused Moscow outright on 04 September 2014 of attacking Ukraine and told the Kremlin to pull back Russian troops from Ukraine and to stop supporting rebels in eastern Ukraine. “We call on Russia to end its illegal and self-declared annexation of Crimea,” Rasmussen said at a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the NATO summit near the Welsh city of Newport. “We call on Russia to pull back its troops from Ukraine and to stop the flow of arms, fighters and funds to the separatists,” Rasmussen said. “We call on Russia to step back from confrontation and take the path of peace.”

    Sky News' Defence Correspondent Alistair Bunkall said: "A senior official told me there are now more than 3,000 Russian troops with tanks in eastern Ukraine and in their words, they will soon outnumber the so-called rebels.

    On 04 September 2014 a district court in the Ukrainian Black Sea port city of Odessa has arrested the commander of the Prikarpatye battalion on charges of desertion for finking out of the combat operations zone in eastern Ukraine. Vitaly Komarov was taken into custody for a term of two months. The previous week, about 400 soldiers of the Prikarpatye battalion fled out of the zone of combat operations near the town of Ilovaisk. Armed soldiers and officers returned home, to the Ivano-Frankovsk region, by buses and military vehicles. Attempts were made to stop and disarm them in the Kirovograd region. Commander of Ukraine’s land troops Anatoly Pushnyakov arrived there for negotiations with the deserting servicemen, who refused to turn in their weapons and marched further on.

    As soon as the battalion arrived in the Ivano-Frankovsk region, the command summoned Vitaly Komarov to Odessa, where he was detained by military prosecutors. A criminal case was opened against him of charges of evasion of military service and in-service dissidence. The man is facing ten years in prison. According to media reports, Komarov says the authorities are seeking to shift the responsibility for the army command’s defeats in eastern Ukraine onto him.

    The Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) explained which proposals will be made by Ukraine at a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk. The details of the Ukrainian president's "peace plan" were announced at a briefing by NSDC information and analytical center spokesman Andriy Lysenko, a Ukrinform correspondent reported.

    "According to President [Petro] Poroshenko, the action plan should include mutual obligations regarding the regime of a bilateral ceasefire, its monitoring and verification on the part of the OSCE, the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Ukrainian territory, the introduction of a buffer frontier zone, and the release of all hostages and citizens of Ukraine illegally held by terrorists in Russia," Lysenko said.

    He said Poroshenko hoped that a joint action plan could serve as a basis for consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group, to meet in Minsk on September 5. "Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko calls for the speedy launch of a real peace process in the Ukrainian Donbas. The head of state expressed hope that proposals for the ceasefire would be implemented by all parties," he said.

    The leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics said on 04 September 2014 they were ready to order a ceasefire on Friday afternoon if a peace plan was signed during negotiations in Minsk on September 5. They also said they would submit their proposals on the ceasefire regime to the Contact Group in Minsk. The same day, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he would be able to order a ceasefire on Friday starting from 2 p.m. local time (11:00 GMT) Friday.

    The cease-fire was approved Friday by envoys from the Kyiv government, the separatist movement, Moscow and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The deal is part of a Russian-authored peace proposal that envisions an exchange of prisoners and safety guarantees for refugees and aid workers. Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists signed an agreement on a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine starting at 6:00 p.m. (1500 GMT) on Friday.

    The Russian-led insurgents in eastern Ukraine said they are ready for a ceasefire in response to same steps taken by Kyiv, however this does not mean changing the course for separating from Ukraine. This was announced by head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) Ihor Plotnytsky. "We are ready for a ceasefire on both sides from 1800 but this does not mean that the course for separation will change somehow. This [ceasefire] is a forced measure in order to stop the bloodshed," Plotnytsky told reporters on 05 September 2014.

    Poroshenko said the cease-fire protocol included 12 steps for establishing "peace and stability" in eastern Ukraine while respecting his country's "sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence." The agreement also contains provisions decentralizing power and protecting the Russian language in Russian-speaking border regions.

    Such countries as Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Cyprus, prevented the EU on September 5 from finalizing the agreement on third EU sanctions package against Russia. The new measures would target Russia's access to capital markets and trade in arms and defense technology, dual-use goods and sensitive technologies.

    Clashes erupted in eastern Ukraine 07 September 2014, throwing into question a cease-fire agreement signed Friday by the rebels and Kyiv government. At least two houses were on fire in Spartak, a rural village just north of Donetsk and adjacent to the airport. The homes were reportedly hit by fire as both rebels and the Kyiv government accused the other of breaching the cease-fire. Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council said rebels in Donetsk appeared to have tried to attack the airport, which government forces had held since May.

    The European Union moved 08 September 2014 to delay a new round of sanctions against Russia over its role in Ukraine, saying some governments want to discuss how the punitive measures should be suspended if the cease-fire in Ukraine held. While the discussions appeared largely procedural, some diplomats saw the move as a maneuver to block the passage of new sanctions to avoid retaliatory measures from Russia. Despite the cease-fire agreement, clashes continued between Russian and Ukrainian forces on the outskirts of Mariupol, as well as near Donetsk.

    Poroshenko said between 4,000 and 8,000 Russian troops were in Ukraine. Russia consistently denied the presence of its troops in Ukraine, while rebel leaders said they had been helped by Russian soldiers who have used their vacation time to battle Ukrainian troops.

    Poroshenko sais Russia hads pulled more than two-thirds of its forces out of eastern Ukraine. Poroshenko told his Cabinet during a televised meeting 10 September 2014 he had received intelligence that 70 percent of the Russian troops that entered Ukraine to fight alongside pro-Russian separatists had crossed back into Russia. Poroshenko said he will submit a bill to parliament next week granting parts of the separatist east greater autonomy, but keeping them part of Ukraine. He promised special status to some areas of the rebel-controlled regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, but rejected any talk of "federalization" or total independence.

    NATO said around 1,000 Russian troops remained inside Ukraine - a day after Ukraine's president reported that most of the Russian forces assisting separatists there had returned home.

    The European Union prepared a new round of sanctions against Russia but had not yet imposed them. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for the new EU sanctions against Russia to be implemented. She said that while the situation in eastern Ukraine had improved since the cease-fire agreement was reached, there remains a "lack of clarity" regarding the fulfillment of all 12 points in the agreement.

    The United States joined the European Union 11 September 2014 in expanding sanctions against Russia over its role in the conflict in Ukraine. The European Union announced its own new round of sanctions against Russia, also indicating that they may be adjusted depending on the situation on the ground. The new measures, which primarily target Russian oil and defense firms, also include travel bans and asset freezes for 24 individuals linked to the conflict in Ukraine. The European Union's new sanctions against Russia do not target the gas sector because Europe is too dependent on Russian gas supplies. The new sanctions close down Western aid to Russia's burgeoning deepwater Arctic offshore and shale oil exploration. They also target five defense companies, and the arms and technology company Rostec, as well as several leading banks, including Russia's largest, Sberbank.

    The US dramatically expanded its sanctions against Russia on 12 September 2014 by adding Gazprom, Europe's leading energy provider, to the list of targeted companies, as it sought to ratchet up pressure on Moscow to step back from the war in Ukraine.

    Hours after the penalties took effect 12 September 2014, Moscow vowed to retaliate. The Russian Foreign Ministry called the new US measures a "hostile step in line with the confrontational course taken by the U.S. administration." Putin called the EU sanctions "strange," saying they undermine the "peace process" in eastern Ukraine.

    Ukraine's military said 13 September 2014 it had successfully defended the government-held airport in Donetsk from an attack by pro-Russian rebels. Plumes of black smoke hung over the airport after it came under artillery fire late on Friday, in one of the biggest battles since a fragile ceasefire was declared. Ukrainian authorities also admitted for the first time since the cease-fire started that they had inflicted casualties on the rebel side.

    Russian drivers unloaded aid packages into local warehouses after crossing into Ukrainian territory overnight. It was the second Russian humanitarian aid convoy to enter Ukraine. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Observer Mission at the Donetsk checkpoint reported that the 220 vehicles in the convoy were not inspected by Ukrainian officials or the Red Cross.

    Kyiv said 15 September 2014 its troops repelled a rebel attack on the airport over the weekend. Independent observers on the scene could not say who fired the shells that hit the civilian areas. Spokesman Andriy Lysenko blamed the rebels. Citing local residents, he said that separatists are firing artillery and missiles into residential areas in an effort to discredit Ukrainian forces. He said in some cases rebel supporters paint Ukrainian flags on missile fragments. Officials in Donetsk say shelling has killed six people and wounded 15, as the United States called the cease-fire between the Kyiv government and Russian-backed rebels "increasingly strained." The prime minister of the separatists' self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, accused the Ukrainian government of violating the cease-fire agreement signed September 5, and said further talks with Kyiv would make no sense.

    On September 17, 2014 Ukraine ordered its armed forces to maintain "full combat readiness" near the Russian border, after new fighting and reports of at least 12 more fatalities further strained an already-shaky cease-fire with pro-Russian separatists.

    Participants at Ukrainian peace talks in Belarus agreed on 20 September 2014 to create a buffer zone 30-kilometers wide, moving artillery on the front line to separate Ukrainian government troops and pro-Russian separatists.

    NATO's top military commander said he hoped the buffer zone would calm the situation in eastern Ukraine because the truce there now is a cease-fire “in name only.” US Air Force General Philip Breedlove told reporters in Vilnius, Lithuania “The situation in Ukraine is not good right now... Basically, we have cease-fire in name only.... The number of events, and the number of rounds fired and the artillery used across the past few days match some of the pre-ceasefire levels. The ceasefire is still there in name, but what is happening on the ground is quite a different story".

    Ukrainian officials said 22 September 2014 they had started to pull troops from a buffer zone in the east of the country where they have been fighting pro-Russian separatists. Security and Defense Council spokesman Colonel Andriy Lysenko said rebel attacks had diminished, allowing Kyiv to implement an agreement reached last week with the separatists to create the 30-kilometer buffer.

    Government forces and pro-Russian separatists exchanged fire near the city of Donetsk on September 29, 2014, as officials reported that at least 12 people had died in fighting despite a cease-fire declared earlier this month. At least 3,500 people have been killed since the fighting began in April, according to United Nations estimates. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the situation in eastern Ukraine "far from satisfactory," stating that the current status of the cease-fire there and the future status of the rebel-controlled areas remain unclear, while there is no protection of or control over the Russian-Ukrainian border in those areas. Resolving these issues, Merkel said, are "minimum requirements" for lifting the sanctions imposed on Moscow for its actions in Ukraine.

    After a series of attacks by pro-Moscow militia, on 30 September 2014 Ukraine’s prime minister accused Russia of failing to honor the cease-fire agreement signed on September 5. At least nine Ukrainian soldiers had been killed in the last two days. Tentative peace deal appears to be holding despite the violence. "A cease-fire is when nobody is attacking and nobody is dying,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. said, adding that “Russia signed 12 points on the Minsk memorandum and should fulfill every point of it. Words and deeds are too far apart in Russia.”

    A column of tanks and armored vehicles - free of insignia, except for the flag of the separatists' self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic - was seen traveling through Makiivka on the outskirts of Donetsk. Kyiv says only Russia could be supplying such military hardware.

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    Page last modified: 30-01-2017 19:36:11 ZULU