Ukraine Day 952: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
- READ OUR SPECIAL REPORT:
The Ukrainian military claims that Russia-backed forces have continued to use heavy weapons over the weekend, undermining the latest in a long string of efforts by negotiators to achieve a withdrawal of such weaponry from the front line.
According to the Ukrainian military’s ATO Press Center, Russia-backed fighters yesterday used 82 and 120 mm mortars to shell Avdeyevka, north of separatist-held Donetsk.
Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, told reporters at a briefing today that two Ukrainian soldiers had been wounded in combat in the town.
There were corresponding reports last night on social media of fighting to the north of Donetsk:
Translation: 17:20. 6-7 impacts somewhere near Yakovlevka* during my smoking break. Fighting has gone on for around 40 minutes.
*: Yakovlevka is a separatist-held suburb just southeast of Avdeyevka.
Translation: Avdeyevka industrial park, 20:25 another shoot-out.
Translation: They’re firing intermittently, not very heavy. 20:25.
On Saturday, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and two were wounded after 120 mm shells reportedly struck a position in Zaytsevo, north of separatist-held Gorlovka. Ukrainian journalist Roman Bochkala reported that one of the survivors was seriously injured.
The ATO Press Center reported 14 attacks across the whole of the front line yesterday.
Most of the other attacks were reportedly conducted with grenade launchers and small arms, however the military claims that Russia-backed fighters used anti-tank missiles near Popasnaya, in the west of the Lugansk region.
An attempt by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) to visit the front line in the west of the Lugansk region was called off after Russia-backed fighters barred the observers access to the area, preventing them from assessing the location of military hardware.
At 8:00 this morning Ivan Arefyev, spokesman for the ATO Press Center, told the 112 television channel that there had been a further five attacks since midnight.
According to Arefyev, the attacks were conducted with small arms and took place near Novozvanovka, in the Lugansk region; Zaytsevo; Verkhnetoretskoe, north of Donetsk; and Starognatovka; east of Volnovakha.
Meanwhile Eduard Basurin, spokesman for the Russia-backed separatists in Donetsk, claimed that Ukrainian forces had firedon the outskirts of Donetsk and Gorlovka, in addition to the town of Dokuchaevsk on the Donetsk-Mariupol highway, 131 times over 24 hours.
— Pierre Vaux