Ukraine Day 1026: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
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Four Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded within the last 24 hours.
During his daily press briefing, Colonel Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, told reporters that two Ukrainian servicemen had been wounded by enemy fire in Peski and Avdeyevka, both north of Donetsk.
However, the Lugansk Regional Administration reported earlier this morning that two other Ukrainian soldiers had been wounded near Novotoshkovskoye, near the Bakhmutka highway.
According to Yuriy Klimenko, deputy head of the administration, the soldiers were wounded when their position came under fire from rocket-propelled grenades.
Meanwhile, the press office of the 24th Independent Mechanized Brigade, known as the “Iron Brigade,” has reported that on December 5, less than a week after a deserter killed his sergeant and fled into separatist-held territory, another Ukrainian servicemen who had deserted his unit was found dead near the Lugansk village of Pshenichnoye.
According to the report, Junior Sergeant Dmytro Mishchishin left his unit in Kremnnaya and was found dead, wearing civilian clothes, around 1.5 kilometers from Pshenichnoye, less than 10 kilometers from his starting point. Pathologists found that he had died of hypothermia.
The Ukrainian military reports 15 attacks by Russia-backed forces yesterday.
According to the military, positions to the north of Donetsk near Peski, where one soldier was wounded, were shelled with 120- mm mortars, while those near Avdeyevka, came under grenade-launcher and machine-gun fire.
To the west of the separatist-held regional capital, Oleg Livanchuk, head of the administration in government-controlled Krasnogorovka, told 5 Channel that Russia-backed forces had shelled residential areas of the suburb from around 17:00 yesterday evening.
A house was set on fire while the occupants were inside, however they were fortunately able to evacuate without injury.
Elsewhere in the Donetsk region, the Ukrainian military reports that positions near Maryinka, Shirokino, Talakovka and Vodyanoye came under fire from mortars, grenade launchers and infantry fighting vehicles.
In the Lugansk region, 82-mm mortars were reportedly used to shell the villages of Lobachevo and Novoaleksandrovka.
Lawyers for President Petro Poroshenko have threatened legal action against British journalists reporting on claims of corruption made by fugitive MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko.
Maxim Tucker, Ukraine correspondent for The Times, tweeted on Wednesday:
Onyshchenko makes sweeping claims about Poroshenko graft | KyivPost
Oleksandr Onyshchenko, a fugitive lawmaker from the People's Will faction, has accused President Petro Poroshenko and his inner circle of massive corruption and released what he says is evidence to back his claims. Though the vast scale of Ukrainian corruption was common knowledge, Onyshchenko's sweeping allegations add minute detail to the overall picture and specify …
This afternoon Tucker told Ukrainska Pravda that The Times intends to continue investigating Onyshchenko’s claims.
According to Tucker, the letter from British lawyers representing the president contains two-and-a-half pages, explaining why, in their opinion, the MP’s allegations are false, and that their publication could damage Poroshenko’s reputation.
Tucker said that he would only publish his article if he was able to verify Onyshchenko’s accusations.
Meanwhile, the journalist has tweeted that Russia’s state-owned Rossiya 24 news channel is trying to exaggerate the story of the affair: