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The Ukrainian military claimed this morning that Russian-backed fighters had conducted 47 attacks over the past day, shelling positions near Donetsk, Gorlovka and Mariupol.
Meanwhile the ‘defence ministry’ of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) claimed that Ukrainian forces had violated the ceasefire 37 times over 24 hours, firing 101 round from mortars and infantry fighting vehicles.
The heaviest fighting was once again seen near Avdeyevka, north of Donetsk.
According to the ATO Press Centre, Ukrainian positions in this area were subjected to six rounds of mortar shelling. At 19:30, tanks fired three rounds at the Ukrainian lines.
According a Ukrainian soldier and a volunteer activist interviewed last night by the 112 television channel, three tanks, along with BMP-1 and 2 infantry fighting vehicles were firing on the Ukrainian lines in the evening, with regular mortar fire since 5 or 6 am.
The Donetsk regional police report that at around 20:00, a mortar round struck a house on Lermontov street. The 84-year-old woman living in the building was unharmed.
This same street was struck twice on March 6.
Eduard Basurin, deputy commander of the armed forces of the DNR, claimed today that Ukraine’s 58th Independent Mechanised Brigade had suffered extensive casualties in fighting near the Yasinovataya highway junction southeast of Avdeyevka.
According to Basurin, over the last six days, more than 30 soldiers from the unit have been killed and at least 70 wounded.
However while two Ukrainian soldiers were reported to have wounded outside Avdeyevka on March 9, we have seen nothing from soldiers on social media that would suggest Basurin’s claims are anywhere near true.
Moving anticlockwise around the city of Donetsk, Ukrainian positions near Opytnoye, Peski, Krasnogorovka and Marinka were all attacked with grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and small arms.
In the Gorlovka area, the ATO Press Centre reports that Ukrainian defensive positions near the village of Zaytsevo were targeted by snipers and fired on with grenade launchers and heavy machine guns.
To the east, a group of Russian-backed fighters was engaged by Ukrainian troops near Troitskoye at around 23:00.
In the south of the Donetsk region, military spokesman Aleksandr Kindsfater reported that Russian-backed fighters used both 120 and 82 mm mortars to shell positions in Shirokino and near Gnutovo.
Those near Talakovka, just outside Mariupol, were attacked with grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and small arms.
Meanwhile the DNR claimed that Sakhanka, east of Shirokino, had been shelled by Ukrainian troops.
— Pierre Vaux