Last week, between September 11 and 17, the daily number of ceasefire violations committed by Russia-backed militants ranged between 25 (on Wednesday, September 13) and 36 (on Monday, September 11). “The total number of ceasefire violations committed by Russia-backed militants over the week amounts to 212, including 35 episodes of fire with the use of heavy weaponry,” reported Ukrainian Ministry of Defense spokesman Vilyen Pidgornyy at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Last week, the main hotspot in the sector were Krymske – Novotoshkivske area. The daily number ranged between 1 (on September 11) and 9 (September 9). On September 15, the situation abruptly deteriorated. “Russia-equipped militants initiated mortar fire at Krymske and Novotoshkivske multiple times, having discharged 115 mortar bombs toward positions of Ukrainian Armed Forces. On September 16, the hostilities subsided, Russian proxies fired a total of 20 mortar bombs at Novotoshkivske and Krymske,” Pidgornyy noted. On Sunday, pro-Russian militants initiated artillery fire at Novotoshkivske and mortar fire at Prychepylivka, Bakhmut road.
The situation in the sector was rather unstable. The daily number of ceasefire violations by Russian proxies ranged between 8 (September 14) and 13 (September 12 and 13). “Russia-backed militants opened fire with small arms on a regular basis and occasionally initiated low-intensity mortar fire near Zaitseve and Avdiivka. On Friday, Russia-equipped militants opened fire against Pisky using infantry fighting vehicles and machine guns. On September 17, Russian proxies engaged positions of Ukrainian Armed Forces in the areas of Horlivka, Avdiivka and Donetsk airport,” elaborated the spokesman.
The intensity of the enemy fire was the highest among the entire frontline, with the daily number of ceasefire violations between 9 (September 13) and 25 (September 11). “Every day Russia-equipped militants opened fire with small arms at various positions of Ukrainian army along the southern defense line,” Pidgornyy noted. On September 11, militants initiated low-intensity mortar fire at Chermalyk, Hnutove, and Talakivka. On September 14, they fired from mortars and grenade launchers at Ukrainian positions in Pavlopil, having discharged 20 mortar bombs. On September 15, Russian proxies initiated low-intensity mortar fire at Talakivka. On September 16 they engaged Pavlopil and Shyrokyne with mortars.
Over the week, Ukrainian troops registered 15 episodes of enemy drones performing aerial reconnaissance. According to Ukrainian military intelligence, enemy UAVs were predominantly used over Donetsk sector.
Military assistance from Russia & military training
Last week, so-called “1st brigade” and “9th regiment” of Russian occupational forces in eastern Ukraine participated in military drills. The so-called “2nd” and “4th brigades” as well as “7th regiment” were put on the highest alert level. “These measures were coordinated with the full-scale Russian military exercises Zapad-2017 that are taking place in western part of Russia and Belarus,” Pidgornyy noted.
According to Ukrainian military intelligence, Russia supplied militants with a train carrying 15 tank cars loaded with 900 tons of fuel.
Last week, 1 Ukrainian servicemember was killed in action and 7 servicemembers were wounded in action, Podgronyi reported. Moreover, a male civilian was wounded in Berdianske, Mariupol sector, as a result of a booby trap explosion on a local road.
As per intelligence reports, the total number of casualties among Russian proxies over the previous week is 10 killed and 31 wounded. Additionally, militants lost one UAV that crashed in Donetsk sector.
Last week, five segments of electric power lines in Avdiivka and Yasynuvata were damaged by hostile fire. All of them were timely repaired by Ukrainian emergency services.
Ukrainian authorities arranged for access and safe passage through government checkpoint of 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid for civilians in the temporarily occupied territory. “Nearly 220 tons of food, medicines, and construction materials were provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Representative in Ukraine”, noted the spokesman.
Report on the military developments as of the previous week is available here, as of September 18 is available here. Interactive data on the shelling: chronology shelling chart and the interactive map.