Ukrainian Army left check-point at Smile in Lugansk Region

Burnt Ukrainian armored vehicle

Burnt armored vehicle

Yesterday late at night Ukrainian Army units with a little over 100 soldiers left the check-point #32 near Smile village. This check-point was surrounded by pro-Russian terrorists and regular Russian Army units. OSCE observers mentioned that in their report on October 13 (read more here), but the truth is that check-point was surrounded since September 5 and it had been under heavy fire until October 27. Soldiers had no supply for 2 weeks and run out of water and only 3 days ago check-points commanders made a deal with terrorists to let them send the truck with water and warm clothes, previous attempts to deliver support failed and convoy was eliminated by terrorists. Terrorist made ultimatum to leave the check-point or they will crash it, at this time Ukrainian soldiers had almost no ammunition left and from terrorists side there were about 22-26 tanks, at least 3 multiple rocket launchers, mortars and heavily armed infantry units. Ukrainian Army made a decision to leave the check-point #32 and all 110 soldiers who were there left.

Smile on the map

Smile on the map

Yesterday soldiers delivered bodies from check-point #32 to check-point #31 which is 10 km away. Those were 8 Ukrainian soldiers killed on the road of death trying to deliver supply to #32, their bodies were in the burnt armored vehicles and along the road, some of them for 2 weeks.

Burnt Ukrainian armored vehicle

Burnt Ukrainian armored vehicle

After delivering the bodies the truck went back to check-point #32. Soldiers were saying goodbye to their friends and as they didn’t think they would ever see them again. At that time they already had ultimatum from terrorists to leave their positions, but there were no orders from commanders. They were going to die holding their check-point.

Here are some photos of this truck

Truck from check-point #32

Truck from check-point #32

Truck from check-point #32

Truck from check-point #32

Photos by Yuriy Kasianov and Yuriy Butusov

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