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Combat activity of the militants decreased on the territories of all three sectors – Defense Ministry

Combat activity of the militants decreased on the territories of all three sectors – Defense Ministry
Kyiv, February 13, 2017.

The number of ceasefire violations committed by Russia-backed militants ranged between 59 on Saturday, February 11 and 89 on Tuesday, February 7.

Donetsk sector

“The militants continued active shellings of Ukrainian Armed Forces near Avdiivka using wide range of weapons, including tanks. However, by the end of the week combat activity has significantly decreased. The pro-Russian forces fired from three directions – Spartak, Yakovlivka and Yasynuvata”, stated Vilyen Pidgornyy, Ministry of Defense spokesperson at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Ukrainian positions south and east of Avdiivka, Butovka mine and Kruta Balka, were occasionally fired upon by the militants. Another hot spot of the front line in the sector was the area near Svitlodarsk, namely Luhanske, Novoluhanske and Myronivskyi.

On February 10, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkyavichyus paid an official visit to Avdiivka. There he witnessed huge damage to infrastructure and residential areas caused by Russian proxies.

Luhansk sector 

The enemy was active in the sector predominantly during the daytime and in the evenings. The hottest spot in the sector was Krymske, where militants from February 6 to February 9 regularly fired upon positions of Ukrainian Armed Forces with mortars and howitzers of various calibers. Militants actively opened fire against Ukrainian positions in Troitske, Novozvanivka, Novotoshkivske. The enemy occasionally violated the cease-fire in Stanytsia Luhanska and Popasna. Last week it was completely quiet in Zolote and Shchastia. “On February 6, Ukrainian officers of the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) came under enemy sniper fire, while documenting enemy violations in Lobacheve. On Saturday, February 11, militants did not fire a single shot at Ukrainian positions in the Luhansk sector. However, the next day, February 12, the enemy violated the cease-fire once again using small arms against Ukrainian defenders in Popasna district”, Mr Pidgornyy stated.

Mariupol sector

During the previous week, the enemy focused fire upon Ukrainian coastal positions stretching from Shyrokyne to Chermalyk. The militants used heavy weapons in the sector predominantly during the daytime. At the end of the week combat activity of the militants significantly decreased, similarly to other sectors. “On February 10, Russia-backed militants performed another barbaric violation of Minsk agreements using MLRS “Hrad” against Ukrainian positions near Krasnohorivka. The very same day, militants fired with howitzers and tanks against Ukrainian servicemen in the area”, Vilyen Pidgornyy said.

Over the week, Ukrainian troops registered 20 episodes of hostile drones conducting aerial reconnaissance in the ATO area.

On February 8, in the Mariupol sector, Ukrainian Armed Forces detected an unmanned aerial vehicle flying over the front line. Having established that the drone belonged neither to Ukrainian Armed Forces nor to international organizations in charge of monitoring the cease-fire, the Ukrainian military shot it down. Eventually, it was established that a similar type of drones is used by the Russian Armed Forces. Currently, the specialists are retrieving information from the device.

Casualties

Last week, 10 Ukrainian servicemen were wounded in action. “Ukrainian Armed Forces did not incur any casualties from February 8 till February 10”, Mr Pidgornyy underlined.

According to Vilyen Pidgornyy, on February 7, in Kurdiumivka, Donetsk region, a teenager was killed in enemy mortar attack. On February 9, a civilian tripped over a booby trap on a road from Pavlopil to Chermalyk. This was the first incident of the kind since the beginning of the year. Additionally, “2 Ukrainian citizens were wounded as a result of enemy shelling of Avdiivka residential area on February 9”, MOD spokesperson added.

Damage to civilian infrastructure

Residential and industrial areas in the frontline villages and towns again came under enemy shelling. During the previous week, over 20 private houses in Avdiivka were damaged as a result of direct hits of shells fired by the militants. A residential building in Stanytsia Luhanska and a water pumping station in Toshkivka village of Popasna district were damaged by direct hits of enemy shells. On February 8, a private home and a power substation in Talakivka were damaged by the enemy mortar bombs. As a result of the incident, Talakivka as well as the neighbouring Hnutove and Sartana were left without electric power. “In addition, the village of Kurdiumivka in the Donetsk region was left without electricity for several days as a result of the damage of electrical power lines caused by the enemy shelling. Taking the opportunity of relative de-escalation of hostilities along the entire frontline previous week, Ukrainian engineers and utility services worked hard fixing the damage”, MOD spokesperson added.

Report on the military developments as of the previous week is available here, as of 13 February is available here. Interactive data on the shelling: chronology shelling chart and the interactive map.

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