Seven border guard servicemen are also wounded, the statement said, adding that by 1:30 p.m. the fighting had ended, with both sides reaching a truce to evacuate their wounded.

On June 2, about 100 armed insurgents attacked the border guards’ coordination center near Luhansk around 12:30 a.m. The border guards exchanged fire with the insurgents over the next several hours, repulsing two attacks as the group swelled to 400 by 7 a.m.

Their goal was to “destabilize the capability of border guard servicemen to coordinate action along the Ukrainian-Russian border,” stated Vladyslav Seleznyov, counterterrorism operation spokesperson,  via telephone at a news briefing in the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

At around 4:30 a.m., according to Seleznyov, aviation was sent to the area to assist border guards, but it was unable to open fire as the insurgents were concentrated between residential buildings. But once the fighter jet left the area, “the terrorists left their sheltered positions, which is when the jet returned to destroy their (exposed) equipment and positions,” he added.


He furthermore said that a “counter-operation” was launched in the area and urged residents to stay indoors.

The insurgents used automatic weapons, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades against the border guards throughout the assault, the border guard service said. They also used a DShK heavy-machine gun in the fight.

As of 11 a.m. nearly 500 “terrorists continue to storm the
Luhansk Border Guard coordination center…using their favorite Russian tactic of
shooting at us from residential flats, roofs and using live shields,” said the
border guard service.

Amateur video posted to YouTube appears to show the machine gun being transported from the scene.

Several other videos published on the video site purport to show the early morning attack on the border guard base. In at least one, a burst of gunfire and at least one RPG can be seen traveling from a high point adjacent to where the video is being filmed, exploding on the grounds of the border guard base.


A video of the attack, posted to the Ukrainian border guards service YouTube channel.

Another video is said to show a wounded man dragging himself across a dirt road and into a patch of tall grass. The Kyiv Post could not verify the authenticity of the videos.

A man apparently wounded in the June 2 attack crawls to safety.

By 7 a.m., and during at least six and a half hours of fighting, according to the Border Guard Service website, no help had come from Ukraine’s military or counterterrorism forces, aside from the lone fighter jet.

The crisis in eastern Ukraine escalated last week when insurgents shot down a Ukrainian military helicopter, killing 12 servicemen including a general near Sloviansk, and when several dozen fighters clashed with Ukrainian military forces at the Donetsk airport in an attempt to seize the airstrip.

The fierce airport gunfight resulted in more than 50 insurgent fighters being killed, including dozens from the Vostok Battalion, a group comprised of mainly of fighters from Russia, Chechnya and South Ossieta.

A spokesperson for the Vostok Battalion named Sergei told the Kyiv Post by phone on June 2 that it was unlikely that fighters from the Vostok Battalion were involved in the assault on the Luhansk border guards’ base. “We operate mostly in Donetsk,” he said, adding that he couldn’t be 100 percent certain that his comrades weren’t there.


There have been several attacks on Ukrainian border guards in recent weeks. Border guards have also stopped insurgents from entering Ukraine and seized dozens of weapons they had attempted to smuggle into the country.

A top Pentagon official met with representatives of Ukraine’s State Border Guard yesterday  to discuss recent U.S. assistance to Ukraine’s border security mission – just hours before the attack.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Derek Chollet condemned this morning’s attack at a press conference today “as another example of deeply destabilizing activities, supported by Russia in the east.” Collet described the separatists as engaged in “terroristic activities,” methods he said underscore the importance of bolstering Ukraine’s borders.​

Chollet was in Kyiv to discuss a plan to double U.S. security aid to Ukraine. The specifics of the proposed $18 million package are still not public. Previous U.S. security aid, largely comprised of MRE food rations, came under fire for toothlessness.


Chollet said the U.S. was working with allies in Poland, France and the U.K. to address specific needs of the Ukrainian military, including the border guard, alluding to the possibility of “more aggressive help.”

Kyiv Post editor Christopher J. Miller can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter at @ChristopherJM

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Comments (0)
Write the first comment for this!