Despite the holiday, Holy Christmas (Christians of Eastern rite celebrate it on January 7 – UCMC), militants continued systematically shelling Ukrainian positions. The number of ceasefire violations decreased to 42. Intensity of Russia-backed militant groups slightly decreased on the Christmas night, except for the Mariupol sector, where militants used artillery and mortar launchers against Ukrainian troops, informed the spokesman of the Ministry of Defense on ATO related issues Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
“The number of hostile attacks was the largest in the Mariupol sector, like before two times more than in the other two sectors combined. Traditionally, almost all the cases of ceasefire violations took place in the seaside area – the frontline section from Pavlopil to Shyrokyne.
Militants instigated two brief armed provocations in Mariinka. They made 25 attack at Ukrainian positions on the south outskirts. “Militants used the all kinds of weapons, except for rocket artillery and tanks. According to the General Staff’s estimates, 50 mortar bombs and 25 artillery shells were launched at our positions in this area. The most intense attacks involving use of heavy arms took place in Vodiane and Shyrokyne, starting with the darkness and continued over two hours with breaks in between,” said Col. Motuzyanyk.
Militants’ attacks in the Luhansk sector continued almost two hours near Krymske. No heavy arms were used. Adversaries were shelling Ukrainian troops in the vicinity of Novotoshkivske at the Bakhmut road for an hour using automatic grenade launchers. Moreover, the enemy violated the armistice in Stanytsia Luhanska and in the villages of Novooleksandrivka and Novozvanivka adjacent to Popasna,” said the spokesman. Two troops were injured in grenade shelling of Ukrainian positions near Novotoshkivske.
Militants conducted six attacks in the Donetsk sector yesterday. “Enemy was traditionally active in Luhanske, Avdiivka industrial area and approachest to the Donetsk airport. Heavy arms were used only once, launching three mortar shells at Ukrainian troops at the Svitlodarsk bulge,” said Col. Motuzyanyk. According to him, Ukrainian Armed Forces incurred no losses in combat in the last 24 hours.