Offensive on Mariupol (September 2014)

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Offensive on Mariupol (September 2014)
Part of the War in Donbass
Ukrainian army armoured personal carrier in Mariupol.jpg
Ukrainian troops on patrol in Mariupol, 5 September 2014
Date 4–8 September 2014
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Location Mariupol
Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine
Status Ceasefire
Rebel forces failed to capture Mariupol.[1][2][3]
Belligerents
 Ukraine Donetsk People's Republic
Commanders and leaders
Ukraine Pres. Petro Poroshenko
Andriy Biletsky
Alexander Zakharchenko
Units involved

Armed Forces of Ukraine:

Геральдичний знак - емблема МВС України.svg Internal Affairs Ministry:

Donbass People's Militia
Strength
4 tanks, 12+ APCs,10+ trucks,[4] 500 troops 30+ tanks
Casualties and losses
3 tanks and 1 truck destroyed and 1 tank abandoned[5][6] 1 tank and 1 truck destroyed and 1 truck and 1 tank abandoned[7][8]
8 civilians killed[6][9]

In late August and early September 2014, rebels supporting the Donetsk People's Republic advanced on the government-controlled city of Mariupol in southern Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. This followed a wide offensive by DPR/Novorossiya forces, which led to their capture of Novoazovsk to the east. Fighting reached the outskirts of Mariupol on 6 September.

Events

Rebel Advance

The offensive against Mariupol[10] began on 28 August 2014, when rebel forces captured the town of Novoazovsk and marched towards Mariupol. The Ukrainian soldiers that left Novoazovsk retreated to Mariupol. Many citizens left Mariupol due to fear of an attack.

On 4 September, Ukrainian forces engaged rebels, who came from the village of Bezimenne, between the villages of Shirokino and Berdyanske.[11] One rebel tank and a truck were destroyed, while another separatist truck was left abandoned.[7][12]

On 5 September, fighting primarily raged in the village of Shirokino, while clashes once again took place at Bezimenne. The clashes over the previous two days had left seven civilians dead.[9] Also, the Azov battalion started to train Mariupol citizens in self-defense and organize popular militias to defend the city.[13] About a dozen of Ukrainian army APCs arrived with men and ammo to help the defense battalions to defend the city. More heavy fighting was reported in Mariupol despite the ceasefire agreement. Ukrainian forces shelled rebel positions near Mariupol, and claimed to have repelled an attack. Rebel forces claimed they entered Mariupol, which Ukraine denied.[14]

Fighting in the outskirts

On 6 September, seven Ukrainian Army T-64 tanks faced in battle with 30 advancing rebel tanks, allegedly T-80s supplied by Russia. The Ukrainians repelled the attack but lost four tanks and retreated with the three remaining tanks to the Army checkpoint on the outskirts of Mariupol. The commander of the Ukrainian tank brigade was in a state of post-shock but the three surviving tanks were reloaded with ammunition so they could return to the battlefield.[15]

On 7 September, DPR artillery fire destroyed a Ukrainian military truck at a checkpoint on the outskirts of the town. A civilian was also killed in the shelling.[6] The Azov Battalion also captured a tank near Mariupol, while the crew escaped.[8] The same day, it was confirmed DPR forces had captured Shirokino.[16]

On 8 September, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko visited Mariupol, telling steelworkers that Ukrainian forces had secured the city with tanks, howitzers, anti-tanks guns and other weapons should the rebels violate the ceasefire. He also promised a "crushing defeat" on the rebels if they advanced on the city.[17]

Aftermath

Mariupol. 2014-2015. Military and political events.

On October 23, 2014, prime minister of the DPR Alexander Zakharchenko vowed to retake Mariupol, Slovyansk, and Kramatorsk. In his statement, he said "Periods of intense hostilities will follow. We will retake Slaviansk, Kramatorsk and Mariupol. Unfortunately, it was impossible to make peaceful settlement the focus of negotiations. We are the only ones who comply with the regime of silence."[18]

On October 29, 2014, Mariupol city authorities said that Ukrainian positions in the village of Talakivka came under Grad and rocket fire from rebel forces.[19]

See also

References

  1. Царев: Мариуполь «прокормит» Новороссию зимой [Tsarev: Mariupol "will feed" Novorossia over winter] (in русский). Lifenews.ru. 29 August 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Олег Царев: склады в Мариуполе прокормят население Новороссии зимой. Следующей целью может стать Одесса [Oleg Tsarev: warehouses in Mariupol will feed the population of New Russia in winter. The next objective can become Odessa]. Russian Spring (in русский). 29 August 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Ополченцы наступают на Мариуполь [Militias are advancing on Mariupol]. Svpressa.ru (in русский). 4 September 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Ceasefire Ends as Pro-Russia Forces Shell Ukrainian Tanks: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 77)". YouTube. Retrieved 30 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Ukraine ceasefire breached in Donetsk and Mariupol". the Guardian. Retrieved 30 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Lucy Crossley (7 September 2014). "Heavy fighting rocks eastern Ukraine port just hours into ceasefire between government and rebels". Daily Mail. Retrieved 30 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 "ЭКСКЛЮЗИВ! 2 часа назад: Трасса Донецк-Мариуполь горит военная техника! Донецк, Луганск". YouTube. Retrieved 30 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 "The ATO Forces captured a Russian tank near Mariupol". Information Resistance. 7 September 2014. Archived from the original on 8 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Heavy fighting outside Mariupol despite launch of Ukrainian peace talks". Russia Today. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Aleksandar Vasovic; Gabriela Baczynska (5 September 2014). "Fighting rages between Ukrainian army and rebels despite start of talks". Reuters. Retrieved 17 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Militia starts reconnaissance in force near Mariupol". Russia Beyond the Headlines. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Adam Button (4 Sep 2014). "Explosions heard, black plumes of smoke seen just east of Mariupol Port in Ukraine – RTRS witness". news.forexlive.com. Retrieved 30 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Azov Battalion trains Mariupol residents in self-defense tactics". KyivPost. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Ukraine fighting subsides after ceasefire agreement". The Irish Times. Reuters. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Оleh Мysko (6 September 2014). Сім українських танків дали героїчний бій 30-ти російським Т-80 під Маріуполем [Seven Ukrainian tanks battled heroically against 30 Russian T-80 tanks near Mariupol] (in українська). uapress.info. Retrieved 17 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Под Широкино концентрируются российские войска [Russian troops are concentrated at Shirokino]. podrobnosti.ua. 7 September 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Aleksandar Vasovic; Gabriela Baczynska (8 September 2014). "Ukraine president visits frontline city amid 'shaky' ceasefire". Reuters. Retrieved 17 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Donetsk Forces Plan to Retake Slaviansk, Kramatorsk, Mariupol". RIA NOVOSTI. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Mariupol authorities report shelling of Ukrainian positions near town". Kyiv Post. Interfax-Ukraine. Retrieved 25 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>