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As we noted earlier, the Donetsk city news site 62.ua reported that Ukrainian troops had come under fire from Russian-backed militants with machine guns and firearms this afternoon.
Oleksandr Rudomanov, a journalist for Levy Bereg said on his Facebook page that two soldiers from the 93rd brigade were wounded, one lightly and one seriously.
Now the ATO has confirmed that Ukrainian positions near Peski were fired on from the direction of Zhabiy:
Romanov then published an update on his Facebook four hours ago that the wounded soldier had died.
He then reported on Levy Bereg that his fellow soldiers were not able to get their wounded comrade to a hospital in time
A soldier on the scene told Levy Bereg that they were not permitted to return fire when the Russian-backed separatists fired on them today.
–Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
The Ukrainian military claims today that all of their artillery pieces of a calibre below 100 mm have now been withdrawn from the front line.
However as late as yesterday, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) continued to observe heavy weaponry deployed close the front in both Ukrainian and separatist-controlled areas:
In violation of respective withdrawal lines, the SMM observed two anti-tank guns (100mm MT-12 Rapira) in the area of government-controlled Pervomaiske (17km north-west of Donetsk), and one anti-tank guided missile system (possibly 120mm 9K111 Fagot or 135mm 9M113 Konkurs) with the barrel pointing east in the area of government-controlled Popasna (69km west of Luhansk) . Likewise, in “DPR”-controlled areas, a SMM unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) also spotted five MBTs in the area of Donetsk city and one MBT in the area of Bezimenne (29km east of Mariupol).
Meanwhile both sides continue to accuse each other of violating the ceasefire.
This morning Colonel Andriy Lysenko, military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, told reporters that Ukrainian troops in Shirokino had come under fire within the last 24 hours:
And this evening Donetsk news site 62.ua reported that local residents on social media had described fighting in Peski, north-west of the separatist-held city.
According to the reports, Ukrainian positions in the suburb were attacked with machine guns and grenade launchers.
Two soldiers from the 3rd battalion of the 93rd brigade were reported to have been wounded, one seriously.
At the same time, the pro-separatist Donetsk News Agency (DAN) reported that Ivan Prikhodko, separatist-backed head of the Kuybyshevsky district administration, claimed that Ukrainian troops had shelled the Zhabunki neighbourhood, immediately to the east of Peski, and the separatist-held Volvo Centre with 82 mm mortars at around 18:15 and 19:20.
Earlier today, the ‘defence ministry’ of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) claimed that Ukrainian forces had twice violated the ceasefire over the past 24 hours, firing on the Spartak and Petrovsky areas of the city with 82 mm mortars, grenade launchers and small arms.
In the Lugansk region, Colonel Lysenko reported that two Ukrainian soldiers had been wounded by a tripwire mine:
According to the latest estimates, two people – a soldier and a civilian resident – were killed and five – four soldiers and one civilian – were wounded. Seven homes were destroyed by fires.
Tatiana Pogukay, press secretary of the Lugansk regional branch of the Interior Ministry, announced this afternoon that explosives and munitions were now being cleared from the area.
At 15:20 local time UNIAN reported that occasional blasts could be still heard from the site.
Pogukay posted photos of the damage to the town:
Shells, likely having cooked off and detonated in the fire, were scattered in the streets:
The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has opened an investigation into the incident as a terrorist act.
Yesterday, Georgiy Tuka, the governor of the Lugansk region, said that the fire had begun after two shots were fired from a flare gun. One was extinguished by soldiers, the other set light to the ammunition dump. Tuka did not make any claims as to who had fired the flare gun.