Written by Chris Covert exclusively for SouthFront
The deputy commander of a Ukrainian Army brigade currently on the front line in southeastern Ukraine has been detained for selling arms and munitions to the rebel side, according to Russian language news reports.
Colonel Fadeev, deputy commander of the Ukrainian 53rd Separate Mechanized Brigade was detained Friday after it was learned that he sold ammunition and munitions for a total of 66,800 Hryvnia (USD $2,683.98) last June to the rebel side. Among the items sold were 7.62x39mm cartridges (For AK-47 7.62 rifle), 5.45x39mm cartridges (For AK-74 5.45mm rifle) and RDG-5 hand grenades of an unknown quantity. A total of 5,000 rounds were sold, according to the article which appeared in lb.ua.
As ammunition quantities go, 5,000 rounds is not a massive quantity of ammunition for a forward combat zone.
The lb.ua news report quoted Ukrainian ministry of defense chief of General staff General Stefan Poltorak in his Facebook page as saying Colonel Fadeev was formerly a staff officer with the Ukrainian 92nd Separate Mechanized Brigade before being kicked upstairs to deputy commander of the Ukrainian 53rd Brigade only a few months ago.
The 53rd Brigade is one of the Ukrainian units which constantly fire artillery into the towns of Zaistevo and Gorlovka.
Retired Ukrainian GRU Colonel Igor Bezler 18 months ago accused top Ukrainian officials of selling vehicles and other military equipment to the rebel side while Bezler was chief of police of Gorlovka. The chronology of the charge places it at around the summer of 2014. Bezler said in a casual, taunting video he had recorded in the fall of 2014, that among the sellers were current Ukrainian president Piotr Poroshenko.
Fighting in Donetsk
Fighting between the combatants flared up on Thursday and Friday as both sides sent recon patrols near Marinka, which is south of Donetsk city, according to official rebel and Ukrainian news releases.
According to a news report in lb.ua, a rebel foot patrol was caught near Marinka on Thursday evening, resulting on one dead Ukrainian effective and one Ukrainian non-commissioned officer captured. Accounts by both sides suggest the encounter was a meeting engagement, where two recon probes happen to meet and fight. The captured NCO was identified as Junior Sergeant Pavel Vasilyevich Yurbasha.
A separate lb.ua report said that Ukrainian forces fought off two evening attacks by rebel forces around Marinka on Saturday night.
Rebel official reports are that a Ukrainian rifle squad totaling 12 effectives attempted a probe Saturday night near Opytnoye, which is west of Donetsk city, resulting in 10 Ukrainians killed.
According to rebel news reports, Ukrainian forces fired more than 370 artillery shells on rebel positions in Donetsk alone on Saturday, hitting locations such as the Donetsk airport, and western outskirts of Donetsk city, at Yasinovataya, Vasilevka, Spartak, White Kamenka, Mikhailovka and Zaitsevo at Gorlovka. In southern Ukraine Ukrainian artillery struck rebel positions at Dokuchaevsk, Kominternovo, Leninskoye and Sahanka.
Weapons used in those attacks include 122mm artillery, and 120mm and 82mm mortars.
Chris Covert writes about foreign military issues for Rantburg.com. He can be reached at email@example.com