Kyiv, February 19, 2015 – Ukrainian military command has withdrawn 90% of its forces from Debaltseve. The operation of the organized retreat is in its final phase. “We do not disclose the information for safety reasons. Ukrainian artillery and military unites secured a special corridor for our troops. Once the operation finishes, we will provide you more detailed information,” said Anatoliy Stelmakh, ATO Staff spokesman, via Skype at a briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Ukrainian Armed Forces are take up new defense positions.
Russian-backed militants violated the ceasefire regime 46 times in the conflict zone over the last day. They used multiple rocket launchers 14 times, and artillery and mortars 21 times. Ukrainian Armed Forces and insurgent bands engaged in skirmishes in the area of Pisky in the Donetsk region. “Although the number of shellings in this sector has considerably declined, there are still individual cases of skirmishes our military and militants,” added the ATO spokesman. Pro-Russian militants attacked the city of Zolote from mortars twice, as well as Semyhirja suffered from the artillery attack. In Donetsk region, militants fired with multiple rocket launchers five times at Avdiivka, four times at Opytne, and twice at Pisky and Vodyane.
The intensity of shelling in the Mariupol sector has intensified. Insurgents struck the positions of the Ukrainian forces with tanks, mortars and the artillery near Shyrokyne 13 times.