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Ministry of Defense: Situation in the east tends to de-escalate

Ministry of Defense: Situation in the east tends to de-escalate
Kyiv, February 10, 2017.

Situation de-escalates in all sectors, however sporadic mortar attacks take place. Engineers repair civilian infrastructure in the frontline villages. Ukrainian troops incur no casualties, one civilian injured by a mine explosion.

The last 24 hours there was a considerable drop off in violence in the east of Ukraine, comparing to the previous days. The situation tends to de-escalate all along the contact line. However, militants continue attempts to provoke Ukrainian army. From time to time they use mortars, proscribed by the Minsk agreements, reported Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, Ministry of Defense spokesperson on ATO related issues at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Ukriainian troops incurred no casualties over the past 24 hours. However, one civilian was wounded.
“One civilian stepped on a landmine on the road between frontline villages Pavlopil and Chermalyk. At present Ukrainian doctors struggle for his life and health,” said Col. Motuzyanyk.

In the Donetsk sector, the Russia-backed militants were using a wide range of weapons. They fired on Ukrainian positions from small arms and weapons of infantry fighting vehicle on the right flank of Avdiivka and in the Donetsk airport area. “In Avdiivka industrial zone the militants did not use neither artillery, nor mortars. However, the longest firing attacks of the enemy took place there. In total, they were firing on Ukrainian positions during almost five hours,” Col. Motuzyanyk noted. The militants used heavy weapons in the Svitlodarsk bulge and on the outskirts of temporarily occupied Horlivka, in Zaitseve and Verkhnotoretske. Mortar attacks were short, militants were using mostly grenade launchers and small arms. In total, they violated the ceasefire 24 times in the Donetsk sector.

Popasna area was the main flashpoint in the Luhansk sector. Russia-backed militants violated the ceasefire 10 times in the outskirts of Popasna. These firing attacks were short, one of them involved the use of heavy weapons. “The militants opened fire from mortars one time, about 1 AM, launching six mortar mines on Ukrainian positions in Novooleksandrivka,” said MOD spokesperson. One armed provocation took place in Lobacheve, in Schastya area, and one more in the far east, close to Ukrainian-Russian state border. In total, militants violated the ceasefire 15 times in the Luhansk sector.

The area close to the Azov sea remains the main hotspot in the Mariupol sector. Russia-backed militants did not use heavy weapons, except for sporadic mortar attacks in Pavlopil and Vodyade, but their armed provocations continued for a long time. “One of firing attacks in Vodyane continued during one hour and a half. In general, in Pavlopil-Shyrokyne area the militants usually start firing attacks on Ukrainian positions in the morning and continue until the late night. After this, it is relatively calm until 7-8 AM. In Maryinka area the militants were active only in the midday, their provocation with the use of small arms continued during 30 minutes. It was quiet in the outskirts of Dokuchaevsk,” Oleksandr Motuzyanyk noted. In total, Russia-backed militants violated the ceasefire 22 times in the Mariupol sector, two of them involved the use of heavy weapons.

Ukrainian engineers use the period of relative de-escalation to restore civilian infrastructure in the frontline areas which was damaged by shelling. “Repairing works currently take place in six frontline villages in the Mariupol sector. People from Chermalyk, Pavlopil, Talakivka, Vodyane, Levedynske and Sartana need this help, as their villages still remain without electricity after militants’ artillery attacks,” said MOD spokesperson.

Report on the military developments as of February 9 is available here. Interactive data on the shelling: chronology shelling chart and the interactive map.

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