Ukraine Day 1125: LIVE UPDATES BELOW. Four Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 5 wounded in the last 24 hours, the Ukrainian military reports.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
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A shell fired by Russia-backed forces came through the roof of the home of an 87-year-old pensioner March 18, 2017. He was unharmed and police helped to evacuate him. Photo by ATO.
Four Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 3 wounded in night-time battles in the past 24 hours, Apostrophe.ua reported, citing the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] dispatch at 6:00 am. This includes the 1 soldier killed and 1 wounded at Lobachevo, reported yesterday.
On the Lugansk line, 120-mm mortars were fired on Troitskoye; grenade-launchers were used near Krymskoye as well as 85-mm and 120-mm mortars; a tank fired on Tryokhizbenka and an SPG on Popasnyaya.
The Mariupol Operations Group told journalists that the Ukrainian brigade commander in the area of Shirokino gave the command to fire back after a deluge of shelling today from Russia-backed forces.
The ATO uploaded a video of Ukrainian marines en route to battle on the beach in Shirokino, showing young soldiers speaking Russian and Ukrainian. One soldier said that “within five minutes” of firing from a ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft weapon mounted on a truck, the Russia-backed forces were on the run.
“Meter by meter, we are liberating our homeland,” said the soldier.
While the levels of fighting and casualties seem higher than they were six months ago or last year, OSCE Special Monitoring Mission says there has been a lessoning of ceasefire violations in its latest report for March 17 dated March 18.
The SMM visited a 15-year-old boy wounded March 16 in Valuysk, 20 km northeast of Lugansk. He said he had been shot in the leg while at his home.
Prompted by the Russian JCCC, the SMM also visited sites where residents said their homes had suffered shell damage reportedly from the direction of Ukrainian positions. There were no casualties. The SMM also heard explosions in the Stanitsa Luganskaya area which is slated for disengagement but which keeps having setbacks. The SMM also noted heavy armor on both sides of the conflict despite agreements to withdraw such armor beyond the line of contact..
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick