|Offensive on Mariupol (September 2014)
|Part of the War in Donbas (2014–2022)
The Ukrainian forces in Mariupol, 5 September 2014
|Donetsk People's Republic
|Commanders and leaders
| Petro Poroshenko
|Donbass People's Militia
| 7 tanks
|Casualties and losses
| 3 tanks destroyed
1 truck destroyed
1 tank abandoned
| 2 tanks destroyed
2 trucks destroyed or abandoned
|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.
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,in an area that had not seen pro-Russian presence for weeks. The Bellingcat investigation revealed some details of this operation. Some of the tanks were bearing the distinct Russian railway transport marks. Russian forces captured the city of Novoazovsk. and Russian soldiers began arresting and deporting to unknown locations all Ukrainians who did not have an address registered within the town. Pro-Ukrainian anti-war protests took place in Mariupol which was threatened by Russian troops. The UN Security Council called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation. 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.One separatist tank and a truck were destroyed, while another separatist truck was left abandoned.
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. 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.
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.
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.The Azov Battalion also captured a tank near Mariupol, while the crew escaped. The same day, it was confirmed DPR forces had captured Shirokino.
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.
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."
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.
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).
The war in Donbas, or Donbas war, was a phase of the Russo-Ukrainian War in the Donbas region of Ukraine. The war began 12 April 2014, when a fifty-man commando unit headed by Russian citizen Igor Girkin seized Sloviansk in Donetsk oblast. The Ukrainian military launched an operation against them. It continued until it was subsumed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
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.
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.
The 2nd Battalion of Special Assignment "Donbas" is a unit of the National Guard of Ukraine subordinated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and based in Severodonetsk. Originally created in 2014 as a volunteer unit called the Donbas Battalion by Semen Semenchenko following the Russian occupation of Crimea and possible invasion of continental Ukraine. The formation of the unit started in the spring of 2014 during the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine. The unit was initially formed as an independent force, but has been since fully integrated into the National Guard as the 2nd Special Purpose Battalion "Donbas" within the 15th Regiment of the National Guard.
The Battle in Shakhtarsk Raion began on 16 July 2014, when the Armed Forces of Ukraine attempted to cut off the Russian backed separatists’ supply lines from Russia. Fighting broke out around the towns of Marynivka, Dmytrivka, Stepanivka, Shakhtarsk, as well as the strategic hill of Savur-Mohyla. It later spread to the cities of Snizhne and Torez. While the battle was in progress, a civilian passenger airliner, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, was shot down near Hrabove on 17 July. Amidst a wide counter-offensive by the Russian proxy forces and their Russian backers across Donbas, government troops were forced out of Shakhtarsk Raion on 26 August.
The Battle of Ilovaisk started on 7 August 2014, when the Armed Forces of Ukraine and pro-Ukrainian paramilitaries began a series of attempts to capture the city of Ilovaisk from pro-Russian insurgents affiliated with the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and detachments of the Russian Armed Forces. Although Ukrainian forces were able to enter the city on 18 August, they were encircled between 24 and 26 August by overwhelming Russian military forces that crossed the border, joining the battle. After days of encirclement, Ukrainian forces rejected the DPR's proposal to open a humanitarian corridor on the condition that they abandon their armored vehicles and ammunition, and on the morning of 29 August 2014 began to leave Ilovaisk with their weapons. The Russian side opened fire on the evacuating Ukrainian soldiers, many of whom died whilst trying to escape.
Insurgents affiliated with the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), backed by Russian troops, opened a new front in the war in Donbas on 25 August 2014, when they attacked the Ukrainian government-controlled city of Novoazovsk in southern Donetsk. Government forces were forced to retreat from Novoazovsk to the city of Mariupol, leaving DPR forces in control.
A part of the ongoing war in the Donbas region of Ukraine, the Second Battle of Donetsk Airport began on 28 September 2014. An earlier battle in May 2014 had left Donetsk International Airport in Ukrainian control. Despite a ceasefire agreement, the Minsk Protocol, in place starting 5 September 2014, fighting broke out between Donetsk People's Republic forces affiliated with Russia, and Ukrainian military and volunteer forces.
A rocket attack on Mariupol was launched on 24 January 2015 by Russian and pro-Russian forces against the strategic maritime city of Mariupol, defended by Ukrainian government forces. Mariupol had come under attack multiple times in the previous year in the course of the War in Donbas, including in May–June 2014, when the city was under the control of Russian controlled forces; and in the September 2014 offensive.
The Battle of Debaltseve was a military confrontation in the city of Debaltseve, Donetsk Oblast, between the pro-Russian separatist forces of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), and the Ukrainian Armed Forces, starting in mid-January 2015 during the war in the Donbas region. The Russian forces composed mostly of "Wagner Group" soldiers recaptured Debaltseve, which had been under Ukrainian control since a counter-offensive by government forces in July 2014. The city lay in a "wedge" of Ukrainian-held territory bordered by the DPR on one side, and the LPR on the other, and is a vital road and railway junction.
The Shyrokyne standoff was a battle for the control of the strategic village of Shyrokyne, located approximately 11 km (6.8 mi) east of Mariupol city limits, between Ukrainian forces led by the Azov Regiment, and Russian-backed separatists, between February and July 2015. It was part of the larger war in Donbas. On 10 February 2015, the Azov Regiment launched a surprise offensive against pro-Russian separatists associated with the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) with the aim of pushing the separatist forces away from Mariupol city limits. The village is located just 10 km (6.2 mi) from the Ukrainian-controlled city of Mariupol, and was used as a launching point for separatist attacks on the city, which served as the administrative centre of Donetsk Oblast whilst DPR forces control Donetsk city. Fighting continued until 3 July 2015, when DPR forces unilaterally withdrew from Shyrokyne. Subsequently a cease-fire was declared in the area.
Shyrokyne or Shirokino is a village in the Mariupol Raion of Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine.
Bezimenne is a village in Novoazovsk Raion (district) in Donetsk Oblast of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russia at 133 km SSE from the centre of Donetsk city, on the shore of the Sea of Azov.
This is a timeline of the war in Donbas for the year 2014.
This is a timeline of the war in Donbas for the year 2015.
This is a timeline of the war in Donbas, from 1 January 2017. The timeline follows an ongoing conflict between Ukraine and anti-government pro-Russian separatists supported by Russian troops in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.
The siege of Mariupol began on 24 February 2022 and lasted until 20 May, as part of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It saw fighting between the Russian Armed Forces and the Ukrainian Armed Forces for control over the city of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine. Lasting for almost three months, the siege ended in a victory for Russia and the Donetsk People's Republic, as Ukraine lost control of the city amidst Russia's eastern Ukraine offensive and southern Ukraine offensive; all Ukrainian troops remaining in the city surrendered at the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works on 20 May 2022, after they were ordered to cease fighting.
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Tanks, artillery and infantry have crossed from Russia into an unbreached part of eastern Ukraine in recent days, attacking Ukrainian forces and causing panic and wholesale retreat not only in this small border town but a wide swath of territory, in what Ukrainian and Western military officials are calling a stealth invasion.
Unidentified, heavily-armed strangers with Russian accents have appeared in an eastern Ukrainian village, arousing residents' suspicions despite Moscow's denials that its troops have deliberately infiltrated the frontier.