Fewer Attacks and No Casualties But Russia-Backed Militants Use Artillery Banned Under Minsk Agreement

December 13, 2016
A tank at the training grounds in Yavoriv, Lviv Region of the 25th Separate Dnipropetrovsk Airborne Brigade. Photo by feldherrnhalle.livejournal.com

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There were no Ukrainian military casualties in the last 24 hours.

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Fewer Attacks and No Casualties But Russia-Backed Militants Use Artillery Banned Under Minsk Agreement

There were no Ukrainian military casualties in the last 24 hours, Col. Aleksandr Motuzyanik said in his daily briefing, the UA Crisis Center reported.
He said there were 17 attacks today by Russian-backed militants, mainly near Popasnyaya on the Bakhmut Highway and to the north of it. Krymskoye remained the main “hot spot”, where mortar launchers released about 120 mortars.
For the first time in four weeks, militants used 122-mm, banned under the Minsk agreements, near Novozvanovka. Nearby Novoaleksandrovka was also attacked as was the village of Sizoye with small arms.
On the Donetsk line, militants fired on the industrial zone near Avdeyevka and the outskirts of Gorlovka with mortar-launchers and also used heavy machine guns and various grenade-launchers.
There were the most incidents of attacks with mortar-launchers on the Mariupol line — 19 in the last 24 hours near Pavlopol and Shirokino in particular. Two snipers were also active.

LOT, the Lugansk Public Television, reported that the Russia-backed militants of the self-declared “Lugansk People’s Republic” had deployed military armor near Zolotoye, Liga.net reported.

Col. Motuzyanik also reported that last week, 21 Russia-backed fighters had been killed and 11 wounded, Liga.net reported.

Edvard Baturin, self-styled defense minister of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” does not appear to have confirmed these casualties in his briefings, nor has the DNR news site noted them. Baturin said there was less shelling of separatist positions, which he attributed to the visit to the region of Alexander Hug, head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission. But he noted firing on Gorlovka,¬†Zheleznaya Balka, Shirokaya Balka, Yasinovataya, Spartak, Aleksandrovka, Kominternovo, Dokuchayevsk, Oktyabrskoye, Leninskoye, Sakhanka, Trudovskiye, and Petrovsky District in Donetsk.

OSCE remains concerned about the lack of heat and water access in the Donbass as the third winter of the war approaches, Unian reported.

Repairs have not been completed on the Donetsk Filter Station located between Avdeyevka and Yasinovat, serving 400,000 people, due to shelling in the area. 
Alexander Hug, head of the OSCE SMM in Ukraine called on the warring parties to cease fire and withdraw from the area to enable repairs.
Col. Ivan Bezyazykov, a former POW released in July 2014 and arrested on suspicion of collaborating with the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” was taken from a courtroom in Kiev today to the hospital after falling ill, Unian reported.

His wife said that Beyazykov was forced to simulate recruitment of other POWs to the DNR side under threats against his life; he witnessed another prisoner murdered by DNR fighters while interned.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick¬†