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Number of enemy attacks has decreased 1.5 times – Defense Ministry 

Number of enemy attacks has decreased 1.5 times – Defense Ministry 
Kyiv, April 10, 2017.

The number of enemy mortar attacks across the front line decreased from 200 episodes to 60. At the same time, the enemy sniper activity remained unchanged – 24 episodes throughout the week. The lowest number of militant attacks – 25 incidents of gunfire and four shellings using mortars banned by Minsk accords – was registered on Wednesday, April 5.  Yet, the average number of enemy shellings of Ukrainian positions amounted to 45 per day.

Combat activity in the war zone continues to show signs of relative improvement following the ceasefire regime introduced in the end of March by the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk. Thus, with the introduction of the truce, the number of enemy attacks has decreased 1.5 times on average, stated Vilyen Pidgornyy, Ministry of Defense spokesperson during a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.  This includes the fivefold reduction of attacks with heavy weapons. “According to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, on average, militants fired up to 48 rounds against Ukrainian positions daily, while before the truce this number averaged 420 shells per day. Additionally, the militants used neither rocket nor cannon artillery, as well as no tanks all across the front line throughout last week”, Mr.Pidgornyy said. Last week, the number of ceasefire violations committed by Russia-backed militants decreased in comparison to the previous week.

According to Ukrainian military intelligence, Russian proxies make preparations for the Victory Day (May 9) celebration. Occupational forces scheduled a military parade in the Donetsk city center with the involvement of heavy weapons, particularly T-72 tanks, MLRS “Grad”, towed howitzers D-30 and MSTA-B, as well as self-propelled howitzers “Gvozdika”. The total number of military hardware amounts to 26 units. This action is demonstrates a complete disregard of Minsk agreements by the Russian occupational forces, since all tanks and artillery must be withdrawn from the front line.

Luhansk sector

The enemy significantly decreased its fire activity in the sector. Last week, there were two incidents of enemy mortar attacks. Both of them were short-term. However, the militants continue to open fire with small arms and grenade launchers at positions of Ukrainian Armed Forces, predominantly in Stanytsia Luhanska, Krymske and Popasna area. The daily number of cease-fire violations by the enemy ranged between 2 (on April 3 and 8) and 8 (on April 6).

Donetsk sector

Last week, the situation here remained tense despite the decision of the trilateral contact group in Minsk to cease fire before Easter holidays. Militants continue to use mortars on a daily basis. About 70 percent of enemy mortar attacks took place in Avdiivka and adjacent area.  The highest degree of combat activity in the sector was registered on April 3, when Russia-supplied militants opened mortar fire seven times, having fired 90 mortar bombs at positions of Ukrainian defenders in Avdiivka. The military positions of UAF at Svitlodarsk, Horlivka and Donetsk airport areas were regularly fired upon with small arms and grenade launchers. Militants occasionally used IFVs at Donetsk airport area. The daily fire activity of the enemy ranged between 7 (April 5) and 26 (April 8).

Mariupol sector

Last week, the militants continue to actively open fire with small arms in the Pavlopil – Shyrokyne area. However, most cases of enemy mortar fire were registered in the northern part of the sector, namely in Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, and Novotroitske. “Invaders regularly used IFVs near Shyrokyne and Vodiane. Enemy snipers opened fire in Pavlopil and Novotroitske. On April 4 near Maryinka Ukrainian defenders detected the subversive group moving across the front line. After a half-hour firefight the enemy attack was disrupted. Ukrainian Armed Forces incurred no losses during the incident”, MoD spokesperson said.The daily amount of cease-fire violations by the enemy ranged between 19 (on April 5) and 31 (on April 8).

Over the week, Ukrainian troops registered 8 episodes of hostile drones conducting aerial reconnaissance in the ATO area – mostly in the Donetsk sector.

Casualties

Last week, two Ukrainian servicemen were killed in action. This includes one soldier who died as a result of injuries received from booby-trap explosion. “One more servicemen who had incurred wounds near Avdiivka in early March this year, died at the hospital on Monday April 3. Twenty-eight Ukrainian servicemen were wounded in action over the last week, including two who suffered wounds in booby-trap bombs explosions”, Mr. Pidgornyy said.

Four civilians were injured in the conflict area last week. A woman and a man suffered injuries in booby-trap explosions in Troitske, Luhansk sector, and Verkniotoretske, Donetsk sector, respectively. Also two men were wounded in the course of militant shelling in Avdiivka, Donetsk sector, and Maryinka, Mariupol sector.

Damage to civilian infrastructure

Four residential buildings were damaged in Avdiivka as a result of enemy fire.

Humanitarian aid

Ukrainian authorities arranged for access and safe passage of 19 trucks with humanitarian aid for civilians living in the occupied territory of eastern Ukraine. According to Mr. Pidgornyy, the aid was provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The trucks carried more than 150 tons of food, building materials, personal hygiene products and medicine.

Report on the military developments as of the previous week is available here, as of  April 10 is available here. Interactive data on the shelling: chronology shelling chart and the interactive map.

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