Craters Left by Unexploded Rockets and Phosphorous Bombs: The Ceasefire in Donbass

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Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

21st April, 2016


The Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to violate the truce in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. The village of Zaytsevo is in the line of fire, where the most recent shelling has damaged the school building and the local administration, as well as residential homes. The details were reported by RT correspondent Murad Gazdiev.

The RT crew visited the village of Zaytsevo in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, which in recent days has been in the line of fire. Firstly, the reporters didn’t notice anything unusual or dangerous: a football field next to the local school, a playground, horizontal bars and gates, a nearby field, where local residents are planting.

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But the trouble is that a football may accidentally fly there, where there is an unexploded rocket from an RPG-22. Judging by the markings, it was manufactured in 1989. It fell on one of the sites of the village a few days ago. Apparently, the grenade is faulty, so the engineers have to work hard to defuse this missile. It could explode right on the spot.

Banned phosphorus bombs were used during the shelling of the village. They detonate in the air. As a result, the substance is dispersed and ignited upon contact with the air. The body of the bomb burned a hole in the ground with a depth of approximately six feet. The edges of the crater are covered with white bloom – traces of phosphorus.

“In the past few days there has been a lot of shooting, the #15 school is completely broken. Kids don’t receive an education,” complained one of the residents.

This village is on the front line. The Ukrainian military is located just 400 metres to the West. Zaytsevo has now become a kind of target: six houses were destroyed in the recent shelling.

The crew inspected the houses damaged by shelling. By the nature of the destruction, you can get an idea of the types of munitions that were used. The journalists wanted to get closer to the houses that were shelled by the Ukrainian side recently, but it is still unsafe. In the east of Ukraine, blue vests with the inscription “Press” are more of a target than a means of protection.

Daytime in the village is quiet. As the locals said, the fighting usually starts closer to night. Of course, both sides of the conflict do not allow themselves to violate the truce in the presence of OSCE observers. It should be noted that many of the houses have been left by their owners: doors locked, windows shuttered. Some houses are completely destroyed. In Zaytsevo, there are still dozens of local residents: they simply have nowhere else to go.

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