The lowest number of enemy shellings, 32, was recorded on April 2, following the latest truce that had been recently concluded by Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk. The militants continued opening fire at Ukrainian positions along the front line, though with lesser intensity.
“The intensity of enemy fire remained high throughout the week. Russian proxies actively violated cease-fire regime both with direct and indirect fire at Ukrainian positions. Thus, the peak of enemy military activity was registered on Friday, March 31, when enemy opened fire 94 times”, stated Vilyen Pidgornyy, Ministry of Defense spokesperson at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Last week, combat activity of Russia-backed militants in the sector significantly increased. The enemy regularly opened fire at positions of Ukrainian Armed Forces with mortars, tanks and artillery. Krymske, Popasna area and Troitske systematically came under enemy mortar and artillery fire. “The tensest situation in the sector was registered on March 31, when invaders used heavy weapons 16 times. During the two severe attacks that lasted two hours, the Russian proxies opened fire with mortars, artillery and tanks from two directions, having fired nearly 140 rounds of various calibers”, Mr. Pidgornyy said. The intensity of enemy fire decreased over the weekend. Last week, the daily number of cease-fire violations by the enemy ranged between 2 (on April 1) and 18 (on March 31).
Last week, Russian proxies continued to target positions of Ukrainian defenders across the front line with high intensity fire. The enemy frequently used mortars and artillery in addition to IFVs at Svitlodarsk area and tanks near Avdiivka and adjacent positions. The most intense situation in the sector was registered on March 30 and 31. On Thursday, invaders actively used IFVs in Donetsk airport area. Positions of Ukrainian Armed Forces in Luhanske and Troitske received heavy mortar and artillery fire from the militants. That day, Russia-backed militants fired more than 170 artillery shells and mortar bombs at Ukrainian defenders. “On Friday, the enemy opened complex fire against Avdiivka that lasted more than eight hours”, Mr. Pidgornyy stated. During the weekend the situation in the sector slightly improved, however, the militants continued to use heavy weapons despite the cease fire arrangement. The daily number of cease-fire violations by the enemy ranged between 13 (on April 1) and 34 (on March 31).
The majority of cease-fire violations took place in the Pavlopil – Shyrokyne area. However, last week the militants several times used heavy weapons in the northern part of the sector, namely in Krasnohorivka, Maryinka and Berezove. The tensest situation in the sector was recorded on March 29 and 31. On Wednesday, the militants opened fire with mortars, tanks and 122 mm artillery at southern coastal positions of Ukrainian Armed Forces, having fired a total of 150 artillery shells and mortar rounds. “On Friday, Russia-backed militants opened fire 25 times using heavy weapons, as well as portable rocket launcher Grad-P, having fired more than 300 rounds of various calibers”, MOD spokesperson said. Last week, the daily number of cease-fire violations by the enemy ranged between 16 (on April 2) and 42 (on March 31).
Last week, six Ukrainian servicemen were killed in action, including two who died as a result of injuries received from booby-trap explosions. According to Mr. Pidgornyy, thirty nine Ukrainian servicemen were wounded in action, including six who suffered wounds in booby-trap bombs explosions.
Over the week, Ukrainian authorities arranged for access and safe passage through government checkpoints on the contact line of 31 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid for civilians living in the occupied territory of eastern Ukraine. The aid was provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Representative in Ukraine, a religious organization, and a charity fund. The trucks carried more than 500 tons of food, building materials, personal hygiene products and medicine.