Ukraine Live Day 468: Less Fighting Near Mariupol, More Near Donetsk And Lugansk

May 31, 2015

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One Ukrainian Soldier Killed, 1 Wounded

Some tweets summarize today’s briefing from the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council:

Surprisingly, there have been fewer ceasefire violations near Mariupol recently. A large amount of Ukrainian military personnel and weapons are deployed in the coastal city of Mariupol. At least for now, however, Mariupol does not appear to be a priority for the Russian-backed fighters.

However, Mariupol is too important to Ukraine for them to redeploy those forces elsewhere, a fact which the Russian-backed separatists appear to be taking advantage of. And with Mariupol’s proximity to the Russian border, it would not take Russia long to quickly strike Mariupol if Ukraine did reposition its forces.

Meanwhile, the areas north, northwest, and west of Donetsk continue to see heavy fighting:
Areas north of Lugansk are also seeing heavy combat, though the NSDC is saying that the Russian-backed fighters appear to be recon and intelligence groups, suggesting that they are trying to soften the Ukrainian military and prepare for a wider attack which may not yet be imminent:
James Miller