The Ukrainians have become active. Vostochny and Semenovka are being shelled with mortars and howitzers.
At Kombikormovy basepoint they have positioned three Akatsias… really close to the city. This means they will use them in semi-direct fire.
From Rovenki, on the Russian border, we have received a dispatch that Ukrainians are blocking the last gaps in the border with Russia. 260 vehicles – a whole regiment… this is the sort of armistice we have…
The Ukrainians have used chemical weapons on our positions. Two soldiers in a very serious state (phosphorous fumes inhalation) have been evacuated to Donezk.
As of now (23:30) Slavkurort is being shelled by artillery, including 240mm Howitzers. [Translator’s note: Strelkov has admitted in forum posts he is not quite certain he can accurately identify the artillery type by the sound of its firing.] Several strong fires.
Yesterday’s shooting was mostly from nervousness, caused by inexperienced militiamen… first someone noticed a UAV and shot at it, and then it was off… we barely stopped it.
The Ukrainians have spent the night shelling our positions and the city itself with howitzers and mortars. In Tzelinny village a mortar impact on a house killed a woman, there are wounded, lots of destruction – the fire is mostly meant for area effect, they’ve not even tried to hit the roadblock.
“Non-lethal” chemical weapons use is confirmed – more and more Semenovka fighters are reporting to doctors complaining of eye pain, throat scratchiness, etc. This is something chlorine-based. The explosions are aerial, often creating a smoke cloud. They only shoot them when the wind is headed our way. Finally people are bothering to carry and use the long-issued gas masks.
At morning we hit back at Karachun, aiming at the gun batteries we detected, communications posts and freshly-unloaded ammunition stockpiles. There were several detonations and fires. Their howitzers (6 Akatsias are deployed) have shot back briefly, and then fell quiet. Only the mortars shot back. However, as soon as we ceased fire, the howtizers started shooting at the city again. At this moment we know of one civilian KIA and several WIAs.
Now it is “quiet”. The Howitzers are firing a shell in 15-20 minutes, no more. More ammunition is unloaded at Karachun and Kombikormovy.
Comments: It is unclear whether the reports of chemical weapons use are true. There does not seem to be any independent verification of these claims, and I am not sure what the purpose of using non-lethal chemical weapons would be, unless it is merely to annoy the rebels and force them to wear gas masks (which does reduce combat efficiency a bit). It seems to me that non-lethal chemical weapons would only make sense if you planned to immediately afterwards attack with your own forces.
….I really never expected to use the ‘Chemical’ and ‘Modern’ tags on this blog at once.
Strelkov has made several brief forum posts since the 29th, one of them stating:
At Ulyanovka our Konstantinovka Company once again prevented the Ukrainians from deploying a roadblock. Our IS-3 tank had its first performance (that very tank! From the pedestal!) The Ukrainians have at least 3 KIAs and as many WIAs. No wounded on our side.