Ukraine Day 1081: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
- READ OUR SPECIAL REPORT:
The fighting in Donetsk continues to escalate this evening, with countless reports of Grad rocket launches and artillery exchanges.
As of 00:44 on Friday (Kiev time), three people have been killed and three wounded, Radio Svoboda reports. One of the dead was a rescue worker from the State Service for Emergency Situations, and two were civilians.
This has been also reported by Canadian journalist Christian Borys, who tweeted that he had received confirmed reports that an aid camp had been struck:
In addition, Yarema Dukh, press officer for the Ukrainian Presidential Administration, has announced that a British photojournalist, Christopher Nunn, has been wounded:
On the other side of the front line, a massive blast took place near the Motel roundabout on the eastern edge of Donetsk.
The pro-separatist News Front YouTube channel released graphic video of the aftermath, showing at least one body.
We can confirm the location of the video.
Interestingly, another video filmed at this site tonight clearly shows (at around a minute in) salvo of Grad rockets launching from what is likely separatist-held Makeyevka, to the east:
Eduard Basurin, military spokesman for the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), claimed that two people had been killed and around 10 wounded.
Translation: Recent Grad was on Maryinka. And we heard it (
Beyond Donetsk, there are reports of heavy fighting nearer Mariupol, Volnovakha and Svetlodarsk.
Translation: #Svetlodarsk line very loud
Translation: Very loud, all calibres.
Reports from the south:
Translation: From the direction of Vinogradnoye, also loud. Incoming and outgoing. An artillery duel has begun.
— Pierre Vaux
According to Defense Ministry spokesman colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, a soldier and officer were killed yesterday evening in the Avdeyevka area.
14 soldiers were wounded, nine near Avdeyevka, four at the exposed Butovka mine position to the southeast, and one outside Popasnaya in the Lugansk region. Motuzyanyk said that another six servicemen suffered “combat trauma.”
According to the Ukrainian military, Russia-backed forces conducted 67 attacks yesterday, making extensive use of heavy weaponry.
The military claims that Russia-backed forces continued to use Grad rockets, tanks, mortars and 152 and 122-mm artillery in their attacks on Avdeyevka. Verkhnetoretskoye, a village to the northeast, was also shelled.
The Donetsk police report that Russia-backed forces launched another round of shelling at around 4 am this morning, damaging residential areas of Avdeyevka.
In the south, heavy fighting continued near Vodyanoye, east of Mariupol, with the military reporting the use of Grads and 122-mm artillery. Mortars and 122-mm artillery were also used against Shirokino, on the Azov coast, and Bogdanovka and Granitnoye, east of Volnovakha.
In the Lugansk region, 152 and 122-mm artillery was used in attacks on Krymskoye and Vrubovka, while mortars fell on Katerinovka, Novozvanovka, Troitskoye and Popasnaya.
Colonel Motuzyanyk also reported the use of heavy weapons near Gorlovka:
Later this afternoon, the Donetsk police reported that a civilian woman, born in 1961, had been wounded in Maryinka.
Ukrainian officials and local sources report that Russia-backed forces shelled residential areas of the suburb this morning, setting several homes ablaze.
Tragically, the Maryinka Aid Center reports that a family sheltering in their basement from the shelling was overcome by carbon monoxide fumes – a result of desperate attempts to heat their home in freezing conditions with temperatures reaching as low as -17 C. A seven-year-old girl and her grandmother died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
On the other side of the front line, Eduard Basurin, military spokesman for the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), reported today that one Russia-backed fighter had been killed and another wounded within the last 24 hours.
The DNR claims that four civilians were wounded by Ukrainian fire.