Both Ukrainian soldiers and a civilian have been wounded after a night of heavy shelling west of Donetsk, with attacks continuing this morning in the Lugansk region.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
For links to individual updates click on the timestamps.
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Kristina Berdynskykh, a Ukrainian journalist writing for Novoye Vremya, has received a death threat warning her off reporting on the Kievgaz gas company and its links to the former Party of Regions minister, Yuriy Boyko.
Translation: This is the SMS. The police are already working with it.
“Kristina, one more hatchet-job in your papers on Kievgaz and your monument will stand next to Gongadze’s”
Georgiy Gongadze was a Ukrainian investigative journalist and co-founder of Ukrainska Pravda. He was abducted and murdered in 2000. The Ukrainian government of Leonid Kuchma was widely suspected of involvement in the killing.
On January 25, Berdynskykh published an article examining the links between the Kievgaz company and influential figures from Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, most notably Yuriy Boyko, who had previously been the energy minister and whose brother-in-law now ran the firm.
— Pierre Vaux
At least two Ukrainian soldiers and one civilian have been wounded over the last 24 hours, with fighting across the front line.
According to the ATO Press Centre, Russian-backed forces conducted 53 attacks over the previous 24 hours, as of 6:00 this morning.
As we reported last night, there was heavy shelling on the western outskirts of Donetsk:
Military spokesman Aleksandr Kindsfater said that Ukrainian positions in Marinka, including the key civilian frontier-crossing checkpoint, had been attacked 14 times with automatic grenade launchers and 82 mm mortars. Krasnogorovka to the north, was attacked with grenade launchers and anti-aircraft artillery.
Sergey Kosyak, leader of the Helping Hand volunteer group,wrote on his Facebook page that the fighting in Marinka had been the worst seen in the last four months.
According to Kosyak, at least five houses burnt down in the suburb while two shells fell, but failed to explode, outside the building used by the volunteer group.
Meanwhile the ‘defence ministry’ of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) claimed that Ukrainian forces had shelled the western Staromikhailovka, Trudovskie and Zhabichevo areas with 82 and 120 mm mortars.
In particular, the DNR says that shelling knocked out the ventilation system of the Chelyuskintsev mine, northeast of Marinka, while 90 miners were still underground. The reportfrom the DNR ‘coal and energy ministry’ claims that 56 workers were rescued from a depth of 890 metres while the remaining 34 miners remained at a depth of 270 metres to work on ensuring life support systems in the mine.
Overall, the DNR reports 20 Ukrainian attacks over 24 hours, not only in the Donetsk area, but also the northern outskirts of Gorlovka.
It was in this area that the Donetsk regional police department reports that a civilian man was wounded last night in the village of Zaytsevo after Russian-backed fighters shelled the settlement.
Attacks were also reported on Ukrainian positions near Novogorodskoye, Mayorsk and Luganskoye.
To the east, the Lugansk Regional Military-Civil Administration reports that a Ukrainian serviceman was wounded at 11:35 today at a civilian crossing point near Zolotoye after a Russian-backed fighters opened fire with 120 mm mortars. The crossing point remains closed as a result of the attack.
Denis Denishchenko, director of the communications department at the Administration, told the 112 television channel this afternoon that the wounded serviceman was now in a stable condition in hospital.
At noon, Colonel Andriy Lysenko, military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, told reporters that two Ukrainian soldiers had been wounded within the last 24 hours. We are uncertain if this figure included the attack near Zolotoye.
The Ukrainian military also reported numerous attacks both north of Donetsk and in the south of the region.
According to the ATO Press Centre, Russian-backed fighters used grenade launchers and heavy machine guns in attacks on Opytnoye, Verkhnetoretskoye and Troitskoye.
In the south, Kindsfater claimed that Russian-backed fighters had used small arms, heavy machine guns, grenade launchers and anti-aircraft artillery to attack positions near Granitnoye, Pavlopol, Vodyanoye and Shirokino.
— Pierre Vaux