Offensive on Mariupol (September 2014)

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Offensive on Mariupol (September 2014)
Part of the War in Donbas (2014–2022)
Ukrainian army armoured personal carrier in Mariupol.jpg
The Ukrainian forces in Mariupol, 5 September 2014
Date4–8 September 2014
(4 days)

Ukrainian victory

Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine Flag of the Donetsk People's Republic.svg  Donetsk People's Republic
Commanders and leaders
Flag of Ukraine.svg Petro Poroshenko
Flag of the Azov Battalion.svg Andriy Biletsky
Flag of the Donetsk People's Republic.svg Alexander Zakharchenko
Units involved

Ensign of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.svg Armed Forces of Ukraine:

Emblema MVD Ukrainy.svg Internal Affairs Ministry:

Flag of Donbass People's Militia.svg Donbass People's Militia
Ensign of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.svg 7 tanks
Ensign of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.svg 12+ APCs
Ensign of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.svg 10+ trucks [1]
Ensign of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.svg 500 infantry
Flag of Donbass People's Militia.svg 30+ tanks
Casualties and losses
Ensign of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.svg 3 tanks destroyed
Ensign of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.svg 1 truck destroyed
Ensign of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.svg 1 tank abandoned [2]
Flag of Donbass People's Militia.svg 2 tanks destroyed
Flag of Donbass People's Militia.svg 2 trucks destroyed or abandoned [3] [4]
Flag of the Donetsk People's Republic.svg 8 Russian civilians killed[ citation needed ]

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



Russian/DPR advance

A column of Russian tanks and military vehicles was reported to have crossed into Ukraine on 25 August near Novoazovsk located on the Azov sea, heading towards Ukrainian-held Mariupol, [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] in an area that had not seen pro-Russian presence for weeks. [10] The Bellingcat investigation revealed some details of this operation. Some of the tanks were bearing the distinct Russian railway transport marks. [11] Russian forces captured the city of Novoazovsk. [12] and Russian soldiers began arresting and deporting to unknown locations all Ukrainians who did not have an address registered within the town. [13] Pro-Ukrainian anti-war protests took place in Mariupol which was threatened by Russian troops. [13] [14] The UN Security Council called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation. [15] 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 the enemy troops, who came from the village of Bezimenne, between the villages of Shirokino and Berdyanske. [16] One separatist tank and a truck were destroyed, while another separatist truck was left abandoned. [3] [17]

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.[ citation needed ] Also, the Azov battalion started to train Mariupol citizens in self-defense and organize popular militias to defend the city. [18] About a dozen of Ukrainian army APCs arrived with men and ammunition to help the defense battalions to defend the city. More heavy fighting was reported in Mariupol despite the ceasefire agreement. Ukrainian forces shelled DPR positions near Mariupol, and claimed to have repelled an attack. separatist forces claimed they entered Mariupol, which Ukraine denied. [19]

Fighting in the outskirts

On 5 September, seven Ukrainian Army T-64 tanks reputedly faced in battle 30 tanks, allegedly Russian T-80s. The Ukrainians repelled the attack but lost four tanks and retreated with the three remaining 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. [20]

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. [21] The Azov Battalion also captured a tank near Mariupol, while the crew escaped. [4] The same day, it was confirmed DPR forces had captured Shirokino. [22]

On 8 September, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko visited Mariupol, telling steelworkers that Ukrainian forces had secured the city with tanks, howitzers, anti-tank guns and other weapons should the separatists violate the ceasefire. He also promised a "crushing defeat" on the separatists if they advanced on the city. [23]


Mariupol. 2014-2015. Military and political events. Mariupol 2014-2015 en.jpg
Mariupol. 2014–2015. Military and political events.

On October 23, 2014, prime minister of the DPR Alexander Zakharchenko vowed to retake the cities it had lost, stating "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." [24]

On October 29, 2014, Mariupol city authorities said that Ukrainian positions in the village of Talakivka came under Grad and rocket fire from DPR forces. [25]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Novoazovsk</span> City in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine

Novoazovsk is a border town on the south-eastern tip of Ukraine, in Kalmiuske Raion (district), in Donetsk Oblast (province). Population: 11,051 ; 12,702 (2001).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">War in Donbas</span> 2014–2022 war between Ukraine and Russia

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of Mariupol (2014)</span> 2014 battle in the war in Donbas

During the unrest in Ukraine in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, the city of Mariupol, in Donetsk Oblast, saw skirmishes break out between Ukrainian government forces, local police, and separatist militants affiliated with the Donetsk People's Republic. Government forces withdrew from Mariupol on 9 May 2014 after heavy fighting left the city's police headquarters gutted by fire. These forces maintained checkpoints outside the city. Intervention by Metinvest steelworkers on 15 May 2014 led to the removal of barricades from the city centre, and the resumption of patrols by local police. Separatists continued to operate a headquarters in another part of the city until their positions were overrun in a government offensive on 13 June 2014.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Azov Brigade</span> Ukrainian National Guard brigade

The Azov Assault Brigade is a formation of the National Guard of Ukraine formerly based in Mariupol, in the coastal region of the Sea of Azov, from which it derives its name. It was founded in May 2014 as the Azov Battalion, a volunteer paramilitary militia under the command of Andriy Biletsky to fight pro-Russian forces in the war in Donbas. It was formally incorporated into the National Guard on 11 November 2014, and redesignated Special Operations Detachment "Azov", also known as the Azov Regiment. In February 2023, the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs announced that Azov was to be expanded as a brigade of the new Offensive Guard.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Donbas Battalion</span> Unit of the National Guard of Ukraine

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">January 2015 Mariupol rocket attack</span> Attack on Mariupol by Russian and separatist forces, on January 24th 2015

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