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Luhansk and Mariupol sectors remained the focal points of military action – Defense Ministry

Luhansk and Mariupol sectors remained the focal points of military action – Defense Ministry
Kyiv, June 19, 2017.

The highest number of ceasefire violations – 67 – was registered on June 16, while the lowest – 47 – yesterday, on June 18.

Russian proxy forces continued using heavy weapons. The most commonly used weapons by militants are the 82 mm mortars; however other weapons including 120 mm mortars, as well as artillery and tanks were also registered shelling Ukrainian positions last week. Additionally, activity of snipers increased and reached 14 instances over the last week.

“Last week, the Luhansk and Mariupol sectors remained the focal points of military action, while smaller number of hostile activities was registered in the Donetsk sector”, stated Vilyen Pidgornyy, Ministry of Defense spokesperson at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Luhansk sector

Last week, enemy opened fire predominantly in the area alongside the route P-66 known also as the Bakhmut road. Positions of Ukrainian Armed Forces near Krymske and Novotoshkivske came under regular mortar fire. On June 13, Russian proxies initiated a mortar barrage at Novotoshkivske and discharged 40 mortar bombs in just 30 minutes. “On June 16 and 17, Russia-equipped militants discharged 176 and 93 mortar bombs respectively against positions of Ukrainian defenders in the Bakhmut road area”, Mr. Pidgornyy said.  According to Ukrainian military intelligence, the escalation of hostilities in the specified area was a result of militant actions in an attempt to redraw the contact line in their favor. For the same purpose Russian proxies established additional observation posts in the area mentioned above. Last week, the daily number of cease-fire violations in the sector ranged between 13 (on June 15) and 29 (on June 16).
Donetsk sector

Russian proxies committed cease-fire violations across the entire front line of the sector, delivering most active fire in the area of Avdiivka. “In the evening of June 12, militants engaged Avdiivka and adjacent areas with mortars and tanks, having discharged nearly 120 mortar bombs and shells”, MoD spokesperson stated. On June 13, Russia-backed militants initiated a 3-hour mortar attack at Avdiivka, having fired another 60 mortar bombs at positions of Ukrainian army. On June 14 and 15, proxies opened fire with 122 mm artillery at Pisky and Pivdenne respectively. On June 16, the enemy initiated a powerful complex fire at Kamianka, having discharged nearly 120 shells and mortar bombs. Last week, the daily number of cease-fire violations ranged between 11 (on June 18) and 17 (on June 16 and 17)

Mariupol sector

On June 12, Russian proxies opened artillery fire against rear areas of Hrafske and Olhynka. These artillery attacks caused severe infrastructure damage both to civilians and the military.

​ From Tuesday to Sunday, militants regularly opened gunfire, occasionally launching small and medium intensity mortar attacks on Krasnohorivka–Novotroitske and Pavlopil–Shyrokyne ​parts of the front line. Last week, the daily number of cease-fire violations ranged between 21(on June 18) and 28 (on June 17).

The enemy continued using drones performing aerial reconnaissance in the ATO area. “Over the week, Ukrainian troops registered 19 episodes of enemy drones performing reconnaissance. The enemy continued focusing its scouting efforts in Luhansk and Donetsk sectors”, MoD spokesperson added.

Casualties

Last week, 4 Ukrainian servicemen were killed in action, 29 were wounded in action. Besides this, on June 16, at Dnipro hospital, one Ukrainian serviceman died because of wounds received in combat action near Avdiivka on June 8.

A civilian man was killed in the conflict area last week. It happened in Sukha Balka village, Donetsk sector, during the enemy mortar shelling. In addition, a woman was wounded in Adviivka, Donetsk sector, also during the mortar shelling.

Damage to civilian infrastructure

Last week, 68 private homes were damaged in the frontline areas in Donetsk and Mariupol sectors. Undoubtedly, this can be considered as the largest destruction of civilian property and infrastructure since February 2017. For example, after above mentioned enemy shelling of Olhynka, Mariupol sector, there was no building on the central street that didn’t incur any damage. Other incidents took place in Sukha Balka, Avdiivka, Krasnohorivka and Maryinka.

Beside, Russian proxies damaged 16 non-residential buildings in the Donetsk and Mariupol sectors, mostly in the same localities.

Last week, Russian proxies damaged gas pipeline sections located near Sukha Balka. Additionally, as a result of hostile attacks in frontline towns and villages in the Donetsk and Mariupol sectors, wide-scale blackouts took place. All these breakdowns were fixed by Ukrainian engineers in a timely manner.

Humanitarian aid

Over the week, Ukrainian authorities arranged for access and safe passage through government checkpoints on the contact line of 21 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid for civilians living in the occupied territory of eastern Ukraine. More than 360 tons of food, medicine, hygiene products and construction materials were provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Representative in Ukraine.

Report on the military developments as of the previous week is available here, as of  June 19 is available here. Interactive data on the shelling: chronology shelling chart and the interactive map.

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