July 8, 2014 - Ukraine Prepares to Take Donetsk

This is a clip from "The Attempted Siege of Donetsk I"

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko visited Slavyansk, a town in the Donetsk Oblast taken by the army three days prior. They moved in after forces of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) retreated south to the capital of Donetsk the previous night.[1]

Amidst news cameras, flying helicopters and a small supportive crowd, the new President met with officers and presented medals to soldiers.[2,3] "I want us all to say what we are fighting for," he said. "It is for Ukraine. Glory to Ukraine!" He inspected weapons and equipment along with the Minster of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov, and the army distributed food to locals.[4]

"Help is extremely necessary for us," one said. "All the people are very hungry. There were 60 days without electricity, without water, without food."

Reuters reported:

Ukraine's government kept up military pressure against pro-Russian rebels on Tuesday, threatening them with an "nasty surprise", while the militants said they were preparing to fight back after losing their main stronghold...
Poroshenko on Tuesday visited Slavyansk, which lies in eastern Ukraine's industrialised Donbass region...
The rebels' loss of Slavyansk marks a major breakthrough in Kiev's three-month long fight against Russian backed separatists who are now calling in vain for military help from Moscow...
The fall of Slaviansk to government forces at the weekend has now swung focus onto Donetsk, raising the question of how the Kiev military will go about breaking the resistance in a sprawling industrial city with a population of over 900,000. 
Security officials in Kiev gave away nothing about their military plans. But a spokesman for the "anti-terrorist operation", Andriy Lysenko, said: "There is a plan ... under which we will be able to liberate these towns (Donetsk and Luhansk). 
"We are not publicising details of this plan. It should a nasty surprise for the terrorists," he told journalists.[5]
July 8, 2015 - Ukrainian Convoy nearby in Kramatorsk[6]

Interfax-Ukraine reported:

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has promised not to use aircraft and heavy artillery in the army operation in Donetsk, Donetsk Mayor Oleksandr Lukianchenko said.
"The president promised they would not use the methods they had applied in Sloviansk, Kramatorsk and Luhansk in the case of Donetsk," Lukianchenko said at a press conference on Tuesday.[7]
In Kurakhovo, 40km West of Donetsk, Dmytro Yarosh met with Semen Semenchenko. Yarosh is the leader of the Right Sector and Semenchenko is the leader of Ukraine's Donbas Battalion. 

July 8 - Semenchenko (left) and Yarosh (right)[8]

The Donbas Battalion Facebook page posted the following the same day:

Another division of the Donbas battalion has arrived in Donetsk Oblast. We are confident that with such fighters the east of Ukraine will step by step be liberated from terrorists and peace and safety will be restored in all regions and cities. Donbas is Ukraine! Glory to Ukraine![9] 

Soldiers of Ukraine's Shaktersk Battalion were sworn in at a ceremony in the neighbouring Oblast of Dnepropetrovsk.[10] Deputy Commander Ruslan Onishchencko and Minister of Internal Affairs advisor Anton Gerashenko were present. Radical Party leader Oleh Lyashko addressed the crowd, ending with the familiar chant: "Glory to Ukraine!" 

"Glory to the heroes!" came the reply. 

A priest blessed them with water flicked from a Ukrainian-coloured brush, and they sang the national anthem.[11]

After this battalion was later re-formed as the Tornado battalion headed by Onishchenko, the Kyiv Postreported:
In addition to convicts, the battalion includes Ukrainian nationalists, including ones from the Right Sector and Spilna Sprava (Common Cause) groups. The Shakhtarsk battalion initially included the Jesus Christ Hundred, linked to ultranationalist Dmytro Korchinsky’s Brotherhood right-wing group.[12]
Elsewhere Fatherland party leader and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko showed her support for the military operation in the east by donating blood in front of news cameras.[13] 

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