Over the week, Ukrainian troops have registered 12 episodes of hostile drones conducting aerial reconnaissance – Defense Ministry

Over the week, Ukrainian troops have registered 12 episodes of hostile drones conducting aerial reconnaissance – Defense Ministry
December 26, 2016.

The highest number of ceasefire violations committed by Russia-backed militants was 50 on December 23 and the lowest 24 on December 21.

Donetsk sector
Active skirmishes continued between December 18 and 22 at Svitlodarsk next to Luhanske village in the Donetsk region. Russia-backed militants attempted to seize Ukrainian positions several times, using weapons banned by Minsk accords, including mortars and artillery systems. Ukrainian troops were forced to retaliate in order to stop hostile fire and safeguard the lives of servicemen and civilians who still live in Luhanske village. “In the Donetsk sector, Russian proxies were most active in the area of Luhanske village. After the major clash between December 18 and 22, Russian proxies attempted another assault on December 23. Ukrainian troops repelled the attack. Other major flashpoints included Avdiivka area and Horlivka perimeter,” stated Vilyen Pidgornyy, Ministry of Defense spokesperson at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Mariupol sector
Hostile shelling from 82 and 120 mm mortars and artillery were registered in the Mariupol sector. Most intense action was observed in the area stretching from Talakivka to Shyrokyne village on the Azov Sea coastline. The militants attempted to assault Ukrainian positions close to Vodiane village.

Luhansk sector
In the Luhansk sector, the militants focused their fire on Popasna district and used Grad multiple rocket launchers by Syze village on December 23. Ukrainian troops next to Stanytsia Luhanska also came under fire.

Casualties
Last week, six Ukrainian servicemen were killed in action and 30 servicemen were wounded in action. Moreover, 21 servicemen suffered concussion in combat.

Intelligence report on adversary’s armament
Russia keeps supplying militants in eastern Ukraine. Three railway echelons arrived to Ilovaisk and Rovenky railway stations, delivering 950 tons of fuel. At least 120 tons of fuel was dispatched to Debaltseve as reinforcements to the militants fighting against Ukrainian troops next to Svitlodarsk. “Two chains of trucks full of weapons, military hardware and ammunition, including mortar mines, and 300 personnel led by Russian officers arrived to eastern Ukraine,” Mr Pidgornyy added.

Damage to the civilian infrastructure
9 buildings and infrastructure facilities were damaged due to hostile shelling in Svitlodarsk, Luhanske, Pivdenne, and Avdiivka. This includes 5 residential buildings in Pivdenne and Avdiivka, a police car in Svitlodarsk as well as gas pipelines and power lines. No civilians were injured or killed.

Humanitarian aid
Ukrainian officers at the Joint Center for Control and Coordination facilitated repairing work at the infrastructure facilities. “Donetsk filter station was repaired and water supply was restored to Avdiivka and Yasynuvata,” said Vilyen Pidgornyy. Ukrainian officers helped fix it on time to continue the functioning of a strategically important plant. Moreover, Ukrainian military and emergency services fixed power lines supplying water to over half a million civilians in government-controlled Toretsk and Mariupol as well as Horlivka and Donetsk on the temporarily occupied territories.

Ukrainian authorities arranged for access and safe passage through government checkpoints on the contact line of 16 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid for civilians living on the occupied areas in eastern Ukraine. According to Mr Pidgornyy, the total payload of aid exceeds 520 tons. It includes food and hygiene products. Humanitarian assistance was provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Representative in Ukraine and a Ukrainian charity fund.

Report on the military developments as of the previous week is available here, as of December 25 is available here. Interactive data on the shelling: chronology shelling chart and the interactive map.

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