Militants try assaulting Ukrainian positions in the Mariupol sector, Avdiivka industrial zone is the hottest spot in the Donetsk sector.
Hostilities increase slightly this week in comparison to the previous week. The highest number of ceasefire violations committed by Russia-backed militants was 78 on Thursday, January 12, and the lowest 46 – on Monday, January 9.
“Major hostilities in the Luhansk sector took place in Popasna area with the epicenter in Novozvanivka where during the day, militants used small arms for the most part; while, after the dusk, they were switching to weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements – mortars and artillery,” stated Vilyen Pidgornyy, Ministry of Defense spokesperson at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. In addition to cannon artillery, Russia-backed militants applied rocket launchers “Partizan” once. The incident of its application was recorded at the far eastern point of the Luhansk sector, near Syze village, on Monday, January 9. Other areas of intense military confrontation included Troitske village and Krymske village – north of the Bakhmut road. “To the east of Krymske, along the entire front line, cease-fire regime was observed with occasional armed provocations of the enemy against Ukrainian servicemen in Stanytsia Luhanska area,” Vilyen Pidgornyy added.
Situation in the Avdiivka industrial area remains rather tense. Throughout the week, militants have been firing at positions of Ukrainian forces for at least 5 hours on a daily basis. Often, the enemy used heavy weapons, including mortars. Militants continued shelling Ukrainian positions at Svitlodarsk area – mainly in the village of Luhanske. Mortars and armaments on infantry fighting vehicles were largely used by the enemy there throughout the week. As far as Horlivka perimeter is concerned, the truce has been violated on numerous occasions by the enemy all across the front line, mostly – in its northern part.
In the Mariupol sector, militants violated cease-fire regime around the clock. During the week, Russia-backed militants performed 3 attempts of assaulting Ukrainian positions in this sector. On January 10, enemy sabotage and reconnaissance group attacked Ukrainian military near Taramchuk. According to Mr Pidgornyy, on January 13, the enemy assaults against Ukrainian positions were more coordinated and well-organized. In Maryinka, militants went on the offensive under the cover of mortar shelling, but were stopped by the Ukrainian forces. Around the same time, 40 kilometers south of Maryinka, another small militant group moved out from Petrivske to assault Ukrainian positions in Bohdanivka. Their attempt did not succeed as well. Overall, major hostilities in the Mariupol sector remain at the frontline stretching from Pavlopil to Shyrokyne, where small arms are applied by the enemy along with prohibited by the Minsk agreements mortars and artillery.
Over the week, Ukrainian troops have registered 12 episodes of hostile drones conducting aerial reconnaissance in the Luhansk sector (town of Zolote) and Donetsk sector (Luhanske, Horlivka, Donetsk areas).
Last week, three Ukrainian servicemen were killed in action and 17 servicemen were wounded in action. In addition, on January 8, three Ukrainian servicemen were killed in booby trap explosions in the Mariupol sector. On Friday, January 13, self-proclaimed authorities handed over the bodies of the dead soldiers to Ukraine.
During the week, two civilians were injured as a result of enemy shelling in Krasnohorivka and Maryinka.
Damage to the civilian infrastructure
During the previous week, a railway track in Popasna was damaged as a result of militant attacks. Five houses (in Pivnichne, Zalizne towns near Toretsk, Avdiivka, Kranohorivka and Maryinka) were shelled by the militants. “Additionally, residents of Avdiivka, Maryinka and two frontline villages of Yasynuvata district were temporarily cut off from power supply because of the enemy shelling the area,” concluded the spokesperson.