Military situation in the area of Avdiyivka remains strained – Defense Ministry

Military situation in the area of Avdiyivka remains strained – Defense Ministry
Kyiv, January 30, 2017.

The number of ceasefire violations ranged between 63 on Thursday, January 26, at the highest point and 48 the day before – on Wednesday, January 25, at the lowest.

“Yesterday, January 29, Ukrainian Armed Forces got engaged in a battle with Russian proxy forces in Avdiyivka industrial area which is in the Donetsk sector. Unexpectedly, at 5 a.m., the enemy attempted to take Ukrainian positions by assault. For Ukrainian defenders of Avdiyivka, the dawn was marked with heavy enemy preliminary artillery bombardment of their positions. After 7 a.m., the enemy pushed forward with two assault groups, each containing 25-30 militants”, stated Vilyen Pidgornyy, Ministry of Defense spokesperson at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Nevertheless, the plan of Russian proxies failed – Ukrainian Armed Forces repelled the enemy attack, and militants retreated with losses. As a result of unsuccessful enemy offensive, Ukrainian Armed Forces captured one of the forward militant positions. Hereafter, Russia-backed militants continued shelling Ukrainian positions in this area all throughout the day.

As for now, military situation in the area of Avdiyivka remains strained. “Russian-occupation forces continue shelling positions of ATO forces with mortars, tanks and cannons. What is more, it has been confirmed that militants pulled to the front line multiple launch rocket systems and can use them at any moment. Ukrainian troops remain in a high state of combat readiness”, Mr. Pidgornyy said.

As a result of yesterday’s military action in Avdiyivka, 4 Ukrainian servicemen were killed in action, 8 were wounded in action and 5 more suffered concussion and other traumas. However, due to active ongoing hostilities, these figures may be subsequently revised.

Generally, it can be said that military situation in the ATO area has been escalating from the very beginning of the week and reached its peak by the end of the week. There was no single front line section free of enemy shelling in the previous week. In all three sectors, militants widely applied heavy armaments, including artillery and tanks. In the second half of the week, instances of the enemy using MLRS “Hrad” were registered in the Luhansk and Mariupol sectors.

Luhansk sector

In the Luhansk sector, the most strained military situation remained in Popasna district with the epicenter in Troitske village. There, Russian proxies continued shelling with mortars day after day during the week. Occasionally, artillery systems were used by the enemy. On January 26, militants fired at Ukrainian positions in this area 20 “Hrad” rockets. “Instances of enemy cease-fire violations in the Luhansk sector occurred in other areas across the front line stretching from Zolote town to the eastern end-point at the Ukrainian-Russian boundary. There, militants were less active, mostly applying small arms and occasionally – opening fire with mortars”, MoD spokesperson added.

Donetsk sector

In the Donetsk sector, major “hotspot” of the previous week was Avdiyivka industrial area. Continuous shellings of Ukrainian positions were recorded there on a daily basis with an average duration of 3 hours from Monday to Saturday. Sunday military action, that was previously outlined, lasted in Avdiyivka for over 19 hours. Instances of Minsk agreements violations by the enemy were recorded all across the front line in the Donetsk sector: at Svitlodarsk, at Horlivka perimeter and in the area of Donetsk airport, where militants were active on a regular basis. By the end of the week, Russian proxies started using heavy weapons, including mortars, artillery and tanks, at all defense lines.

Mariupol sector

In the Mariupol sector, main hostilities continued at the front line sections Krasnohorivka – Maryinka and Pavlopil – Shyrokyne. “Military situation in this area has been deteriorating since Monday and achieved its “boiling point” by the end of the week – when yesterday, January 29, militants performed a record number of shellings compared to previous months”, Vilyen Pidgornyy stated. Cease-fire regime was violated by militants in Dokuchaevsk area as well, where yesterday, for the first time in many weeks, they opened fire with mortars. Last week, Russian proxies applied rocket artillery twice in the Mariupol sector. For the first time, on January 25, they fired 3 projectiles from a portable rocket launcher “Hrad-P” (Partizan) at Ukrainian positions near Krasnohorivka. Second instance of the enemy using Hrad missiles was recorded yesterday, January 29, in the south of the sector – near Talakivka village.

Over the week, Ukrainian troops registered 8 episodes of hostile drones conducting aerial reconnaissance in the ATO area. Areas of launches included: Horlivka perimeter, Avdiyivka area and southern part of the Mariupol sector.


Last week, 6 Ukrainian servicemen were killed in action and 25 servicemen were wounded and injured in action.

Two civilians – a local man and a woman were injured as a result of enemy shellings of Avdiyivka residential area yesterday, January 29.

Damage to the civilian infrastructure

Twenty residential buildings were damaged in the Donetsk region, particularly in the greater Donetsk airport. Five non-residential buildings were damaged in the same area as well. Russia-backed militants carried on attacking civilian infrastructure, in particular four power lines and a water supply system in the Donetsk region. In total, almost 20 thousand (19,482) residents of Donetsk region were left without power supply as a result of ceasefire violations committed by Russian proxies.

Report on the military developments as of the previous week is available here, as of January 30 is available here. Interactive data on the shelling: chronology shelling chart and the interactive map.