Ukraine Day 808: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
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Two miners are now confirmed to have died in the Maloivanovskaya mine following a methane blast on Tuesday night. Eight remain missing.
The Lugansk Information Center, an official site of the Russian-backed separatist administration in Lugansk, said today that rescue workers are continuing to search for more bodies or survivors.
— Pierre Vaux
The Ukrainian military claimed today that Russian-backed fighters have resumed using mortars following several days of only using grenade launchers and small arms.
A military spokesman told Mariupol news site 0629.com this morning that 82 mm mortars were used yesterday to shell Ukrainian positions in Gnutovo and Shirokino. Only one round was reported fired on Shirokino but 20, the spokesman claimed, fell on Gnutovo.
The military spokesman reported further attacks, with grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and small arms, on positions near Novotroitskoye, which saw three attacks; Granitnoye, which saw two; and Vodyanoye.
In addition, the Ukrainian military reported attacks near Avdeyevka, north of Donetsk, and Luganskoye, east of Gorlovka.
The total number of attacks yesterday, as reported by the ATO Press Center, was 13, which while still low, is more than double what was reported on Tuesday.
But MP and military analyst Dmitry Tymchuk, who heads the Information Resistance group, claimed that Russian-backed fighters had in fact used heavier, 120 mm mortars in some attacks.
Tymchuk also reported attacks near Maryinka and Krasnogrovka, west of Donetsk.
According to the MP, Russian signals intelligence efforts have intensified in several areas, including the strategically important front to the south of Donetsk from Yelenovka to Granitnoye; the Gorlovka area; and the banks of the Seversky Donets river, near Schastye and Stanitsa Luganskaya.
Two Ukrainian soldiers were wounded yesterday, but not as a result of enemy fire.
Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk told reporters today that two soldiers had been wounded by anti-personnel mines near the village of Slavnoye, north of Novotroitskoye.
Meanwhile, the ‘defense ministry’ of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) claimed today that Ukrainian forces had violated the truce five times, firing 11 82 mm mortar rounds, in addition to using automatic grenade launchers, infantry fighting vehicle cannons and small arms.
The heaviest Ukrainian fire, the DNR said, was directed at Shirokaya Balka, on the western outskirts of Gorlovka, as well as Dokuchaevsk, near Novotroitskoye, and Kominternovo, east of Mariupol.
— Pierre Vaux