No Casualties on Ukrainian Front Today; Russia-Backed Militants Concentrate Fire Near Mariupol

December 28, 2016
44th Separate Artillery Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Photo via @GirkinGirkin

Ukraine Day 1045: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.

There were no casualties on the Ukrainian front today. Mariupol’s city site reported a civilian woman had been injured in shelling in Opytnoye on December 19 and was brought for treatment to Mariupol.

Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.


An Invasion By Any Other Name: The Kremlin’s Dirty War in Ukraine



No Casualties on Ukrainian Front Today; Russia-Backed Militants Concentrate Fire Near Mariupol

There were no casualties on the Ukrainian front today, reported, citing the briefing of Col. Andriy Lysenko, Ukrainian Defense Minister spokesman on ATO [Anti-Terrorism] Operation., the city site for Maripupol, reported that Ivan Chmil, press officer for the Ukrainian military’s Mariupol sector said Russia-backed militants fired 25 times on Ukrainian military positions December 28; of these attacks, 16 were made against Shirokino (Shyrokyne), 24 km to the east of Mariupol, using self-propelled 122-mm artillery, mortar launchers, grenade-launchers, and heavy machine-guns. A sniper was active in the area. Nearby Novotroitskoye to the north was also attacked with firearms and machine guns.
There were also attacks on Vodyanoye to the east of Mariupol with 82-mm and 120-mm artillery; firearms were used on Talakovka, Lebedinskoye and Pavlopol to the northeast as well as Sakhanka and Pikuza (Kominternovo). The Ukrainian army returned fire twice. As 0629 reported yesterday, the forces of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DNR) had forced the Ukrainian soldiers to return fire to protect themselves, Chmil announced.

0629 also reported that a civilian woman wounded in shelling in Opytnoye was brought unconscious to the hospital in Mariupol on December 19 for medical treatment.

0629 also reported that OSCE observers said on December 26 that they had found 12 fresh sites of shell impacts during an inspection of the village of Pikuza (Kominternovo). They said they were made from 120-mm and 122-mm artillery shells fired from the southwest on December 23, according to local residents’ reports. On December 243th, Ukrainian soldiers prevented the OSCE SMM observers from crossing a checkpoint in Berdyanskoye in the direction of Sopino.

The ATO reported this evening on its Facebook page at 18:00 that Russia-backed forces had made 22 attacks during the day. They fired on Krasnogorovka with an 82-mm mortar-launcher, and from heavy machine guns and firearms on Starognatovka, Shirokino, Novotroitskoye and Maryinka.

On the Donetsk line, militants fired on Luganskoye with mortar-launchers and heavy machine guns and on the area near Zaytsevo and Novoselivka Vtoraya with firearms.

On the Lugansk line, militants used a BMP to shell Balka Kosharnaya, and used firearms on Krymskoye and Malinovoye.

Edward Basurin, self-styled “defense minister” of the self-declared “Donetsk People’s Republic” said in his briefing today Ukrainian troops fired on Trudovskiye and Aleksandrovka to the west of Donetsk, Zaytsevo and Shirokaya Balka outside of Gorlovka; Yasinovataya and nearby Krasny Partizan, Sakhanka, Oktyabr, Leninskoye, Kominternovo in Novoazovsky District and Grigorovka in Telman District.

POW Release Expected for December 29
The self-proclaimed “Lugansk People’s Republic” (LNR) announced that they expected 15 POWs to be released by Kiev unilaterally — 5 to go to the LNR and 10 to go to the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic”, Unian reported. Hromadske has reported that a source in the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) confirmed the anticipated release.
However, an SBU spokesman said that such transfers of POWs are never announced. 
Earlier, SBU chief Vasyl Hrytsak said the unilateral action was being take to “unblock the process” of POW exchange. He said the DNR/LNR are holding 109 Ukrainians and the Ukrainian government now is doing everything it can to obtain their release. Hrytsak said that Ukraine was willing to make exchanges of 3 to 1.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick