Civilian Casualties in Donetsk Spark Protests

Outrage in the Donbas after a mother dies following shelling in western Donetsk

Civilian Casualties in Donetsk Spark Protests

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BANNER: Anti-government/Ukraine protesters in Donetsk on June 6, following a shelling that led to two casualties in western Donetsk. (Source:

Civilian casualties continue to mount in the war in eastern Ukraine, with fresh reports of injuries and deaths in Donetsk city and Krasnohorivka. According to Russian officers providing information to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, there were three casualties on June 3 and June 4.

—A woman who died from shrapnel wounds. She lived on Luhovskoho Street in Donetsk’s Petrovsky district.

— A nine-year old boy who was injured from shrapnel wounds. He lived in the same neighborhood as the deceased woman in Donetsk.

— An elderly woman who suffered from fragmentation wounds. She lived on Vostochna Street in Krasnohorivka.

After examining the neighborhood where the deceased woman and young boy were injured, the OSCE SMM found an impact site from an 82mm mortar, though they were not able to ascertain the direction from which the munition originated. In another location on the same street, the OSCE SMM was able to determine that a 73mm BMP-1 round that damaged a home came from the south. The residents reported that the shelling occurred in the early hours of June 5 at approximately 4:15 a.m.

A map showing the locations of these casualties, along with additional property damage in separatist-controlled Staromykhailivka, shows the close proximity of the two forces west of Donetsk city.

Donetsk shelling

The shelling in Donetsk’s Petrovsky district killed a 37-year-old woman and injured her 9-year-old son. The two were struck by shrapnel from a shell that exploded in front of them on Amudarinskaya Street on the evening of June 4. The online community “Typical Donetsk” on the social network Vkontakte (VK) shared a video of the boy recovering in the hospital, gathering about 25,000 views and over 1,000 comments.

Citizens in occupied Donetsk came out to protest the shelling that killed the young boy’s mother and injured him, holding a demonstration “Against the Genocide of the Children of the Donbas” on June 6. At this protest, demonstrators held up photographs of the injured child, blaming Ukrainian President Poroshenko for the shelling.

June 6 demonstration in Donetsk. (Source:

The young boy survived his injuries, according to messages from locals on a VK group for residents in the Petrovsky district. The news came in response to a post from a young woman living in Donetsk asking if the injured 9-year-old needed any help, material, or otherwise.

Krasnohorivka shelling

Ukraine was likely responsible for the shelling in Donetsk that left the young boy orphaned, sparking protests. In the same bout of fighting that led to this shelling on June 4, Russia-backed separatist forces shelled the government-held city of Krasnohorivka, just west of Donetsk city. The Ukrainian Press Center for the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) shared photographs of the aftermath of shelling in the city. Shelling in Krasnohorivka injured an elderly woman in the early evening of June 3.

There is no end in sight for the almost nightly exchange of artillery salvos between Ukrainian and Russian-separatist forces west of Donetsk city. However, even more troublesome are reports to the east of Donetsk, where separatist forces in Luhansk have made moves preparing for new deployments and possible offensive maneuvers. We will continue to monitor the situation across the Donbas, and provide updates on the developing situation in Luhansk this week.