Ukraine Day 1116: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
- READ OUR SPECIAL REPORT:
A Ukrainian soldier with the call-sign “Zver,” shown here kissing his rifle, is quoted as saying “Thanks my little toy, that you didn’t let me down.”
Readers of our daily battle reports know that fighting has been fierce in particular in and around the industrial zone (“promzona“) near Avdeyevka (Avdiivka). Practically every day, there are descriptions also of snipers active along the towns of the front line, often causing the deaths of Ukrainian soldiers.
Gordonua.com reports that on the evening of March 9, the tables turned when a young Ukrainian contract soldier shot to death a sniper near the Avdeyevka industrial zone who turned out to be a Russian citizen, and an officer of Russian military intelligence, according to a post from the 72nd Guard Separate Mechanized Brigade on Facebook.
“Coal miners don’t make cards like that,” another Ukrainian soldier, whose call sign was “Khan” was quoted as saying in the 72nd Guard’s post.
“As much as we’ve been fighting, we don’t draw cards so perfectly as those firing cards were drawn,” he added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin once declared that there were no Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine, that there were only local separatist “coal-miners and truck-drivers”.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
In January 2017, Ukraine submitted its suit against Russia for mistreatment of Crimean Tatars and other minorities in Russian-occupied Crimea, and for funding illegal armed groups of separatists. Currently, Ukraine seeks an injunction from the judge ordering Russia to cease its violations, pending examination of the case, which may take years.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Then in its evening dispatch, the ATO reported 39 attacks during the day, also a significant drop compared to previous days. Three soldiers were wounded and two concussed during this last 24-hour period.
On the Mariupol line, Russia-backed used mortar-launchers on Novotroitskoye, Vodyanoye, Pavlopol and Boganovka. Grenade-launchers and small arms were used on Lebedinskoye, Novogrigoryevka, Shirokino, Chermalik, Vodyanoye and Gnutovo. A sniper fired on Talakovka.
On the Lugansk line, militants attacked Novoaleksandrovka and Popasnyaya with mortar-launchers and used grenade-launchers and small arms on Novozvanovka and Stanitsa Luganskaya.
On the Donetsk line, mortar-launchers were fired on Avdeyevka, Dacha and Luganskoye. Grenade-launchers and small arms were used to attack Kamenka, Luganskoye, Peski, Nevelskoye, Zaytsevo and Troitskloye. Mayorsk, Avdeyevka and Zaytsevo came under fire from small arms and snipers.
As always, fighting is cyclical and temporary increases or decreased in fighting occasionally interrupt the trends. It’s also worth noting that 69 ceasefire violations is still a significant level of fighting compared to some of the more peaceful periods recorded in 2016. It remains a situation that requires significant monitoring to see whether violence is actually decreasing once again or whether this is a small period of deescalation.
— James Miller and Catherine A. Fitzpatrick