Militants try to assault Ukrainian positions in the Mariupol sector right after the top Ukrainian and US officials leave the region.
The end of the year was marked by a visit of President Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s military brass, and a U.S. delegation with Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Amy Klobuchar to the frontline village of Shyrokyne, Donetsk sector. Ukrainian Marines at the position received state awards for protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The highest number of ceasefire violations committed by Russia-backed militants was 50 on December 28 and the lowest 37 on December 26, which is almost the same as the week before.
Hostile mortar shelling was registered in the Mariupol sector. Most intense action was observed in the area of Shyrokyne village on the Azov Sea coastline. “The militants attempted to assault Ukrainian positions close to Vodiane village on December 31. Their advance was foiled by Ukrainian troops who forced the enemy to retreat,” stated Vilyen Pidgornyy, Ministry of Defense spokesperson at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
In the Donetsk sector, Russia-backed militants were most active in the area of Luhanske village. Other major flashpoints were – Avdiivka area and the Horlivka perimeter.
In the Luhansk sector, the militants have intensified their fire on Popasna district and Stanytsia Luhanska where occasional incidents of gunfire were observed.
Last week, three Ukrainian servicemen were killed in action and 12 servicemen were wounded in action. “This includes one killed and 5 wounded as a result of booby trap explosions,” Mr Pidgornyy added.
According to spokesperson, two Ukrainian servicemen were captured in the Luhansk region. Soldiers were driving from Lysychansk to Zolote, but got lost and entered the temporarily occupied territories. The Ukrainian military put their utmost efforts to bring home every soldier and civilian abducted by the Russia-backed militants.