Zelenopillya rocket attack

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Zelenopillya rocket attack
Part of the War in Donbass
Date 11 July 2014
Location Zelenopillya, Luhansk Oblast, Eastern Ukraine
Result LPR attack successful[1]
Ukraine Ukraine Luhansk People's Republic
Russia Russia (suspected)[1]
Units involved

Ground Forces:

Airmobile Forces:

Flag of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine.svg State Border Guard Service of Ukraine
Donbass People's Militia[1]
Russian Armed Forces (alleged)
Casualties and losses
23 killed, 93 wounded (according to Armed Forces of Ukraine)[2][5][6]
30 killed (according to DPR)

The Zelenopillya rocket attack took place during the War in Donbass.[7]


In the early morning of 11 July 2014, separatist rebels from the self-proclaimed People's Republics of Luhansk fired a barrage of the newly Russian-made 9A52-4 Tornado[5][8] 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.[9] The town is located only 9 km from the Russian border. This caused speculation on whether the rockets originated in Russia, since the "Tornado" has a distance of 90 km and the "Grad" a distance of more than 12 km.[2][10] The Ukrainian armored brigades were said to be part of a main contingent of troops guarding the border against the illegal movement of military equipment from Russia into Eastern Ukraine.[5][11][12]

At least 19 soldiers were killed and 93 others were injured in the rocket strike.[2][13] Many of whom were burned alive while still in their vehicles.[6] Four Ural-4320 transport trucks full of troops were struck. According to one soldier's account, the 1st Battalion of the 79th Mykolaiv Airmobile Brigade was "almost completely destroyed" during the rocket onslaught.[4] Chief physician of a regional hospital, Serhiy Ryzhenko reported the wounded to be in grave condition, with some undergoing traumatic leg amputations and lose of limbs.[6]

Zoryan Shkiryak, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister Arsen Avakov, described the destruction as "really heavy" and put the Ukrainian military death toll at 30.[10][13] The defense ministry lowered the toll to 23 killed and 93 others injured.

DPR military leader, Igor Strelkov, told Russia's RIA Novosti news agency that his fighters participated in the Zelenopillya rocket attack, and were successful in killing 30 soldiers and destroying a Ukrainian armored convoy from the 24th Mechanised Brigade.[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 servicemen's life the militants will pay with "with tens and hundreds of their own".[2]

It was first assumed the rockets were fired from the common BM-21 Grad mobile rocket launcher, used by both by Russia and the Ukrainian military. It was later discovered that the weapons used in the attack were the newly made 9A52-4 Tornado mobile rocket launchers, only found in the Russian Armed Forces.

The United States Department of Treasury instituted a new set of sanctions on Russia after reliable evidence emerged of the rockets being 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.[14]

The same day, four Ukrainian border guards were killed in another rocket attack near Luhansk.[15] Ukrainian jets targeted rebel columns the next day, hitting 50 targets.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "В сети появились фотографии уничтоженного "Градом" блокпоста сил АТО (фото)". Segodnya. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Ukraine says rebels will pay as missiles kill 23 soldiers". Reuters. 2014-07-11. Retrieved 2016-01-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Под Зеленопольем продолжается бой, военным нужна срочная помощь". Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Unian.info (11 July 2015). "Year ago: ATO troops near Zelenopillya burnt to the ground by Russian Grads". Retrieved 28 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Сили АТО під Зеленопіллям обстріляли з "Торнадо" - ЗМІ". Ukrayinska Pravda. 13 July 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Bazov, Gleb. "Ukrainian Soldiers – Abandoned in Zelenopillia, Corpses All Around Them". SLAVYANGRAD.org. Retrieved 2016-01-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Up to 30 Ukraine Soldiers, Border Guards Die in Attack: Official - NBC News". NBC News. Retrieved 2016-01-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Censor.NET. "Ukrainian Troops Were Likely Shelled from Russian MRLS Tornado in Zelenopillia". EN.Censor.net. Retrieved 2016-01-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 https://plus.google.com/+EuromaidancanadaCanada/. "Rocket strike kills dozens of Ukrainian Soldiers". Euromaidan Canada. Retrieved 2016-01-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 Alpert, Lukas I. "Heavy Fighting Kills at Least 23 in Eastern Ukraine". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-01-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Ukrainian Fighter Jets Pound Rebels". VOA. Retrieved 2016-01-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Nemets, Dr Alexander (2015-06-10). Conflict with Russia: Part I &. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 9781503572652.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Ukraine conflict: Many soldiers dead in 'rocket strike' - BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-01-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Russia Is Firing Missiles at Ukraine". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2016-02-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "In eastern Ukraine, separatist rocket attacks, bus ambush kill 30". latimes.com. Retrieved 2016-02-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

See also