Ukraine Live Day 649: Fighting Continues Around Donetsk Airport

November 28, 2015
Ukrainian soldier stokes a wood stove as winter frosts arrive in the Donbass. November 28, 2015. Photo by ATO.

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Fighting Continues Around Donetsk Airport Area

Fighting continued today despite the ceasefire. According to this afternoon’s report from the Ukrainian ATO [Anti-Terror Operation] on their Facebook page, Russian-backed separatists fired on Ukrainian positions along the Artyomovsk and Donetsk lines using large-caliber machine guns and firearms, striking Troitskoye, Zaitsevo and Luganskoye.  Militants fired grenade-launchers and firearms on Marinka and Avdeyevka and environs as well.
Despite orders not to open fire, Ukrainian soldiers reportedly returned fire in some cases, according to both the ATO and bloggers’ reports. The Donetsk city site reported that earlier the ATO Press Center said Ukrainian soldiers were forced to return fire after a provocation from the separatists’ BMP and firearms.

Near Marinka, militants fired from a 82-mm mortar launcher, which was supposed to be withdrawn under the Minsk agreement.

Conflict reporters in the region reported gunfire or salvos at a number of locations where fighting has been frequent in the past.

Lugansk News Today collected and translated a number of reports of incoming and outgoing fire in the Donetsk area.

The DNR’s Dan News reported that Ukrainian forces shelled the town of Zhabichevo north of Donetsk near the airport, setting one residential home on fire. They also said Oktybrsky and Kuybyshevsky districts as well as the town of Vesyoloye, often caught in crossfire, suffered shelling once again, causing fires at two residential homes.

In other news:

o Winter frosts have come to the Donbass, and Ukrainian soldiers are reinforcing their shelters, says the ATO

o The SBU discovered and disabled a cache of mines in Pokrovsk in the Artyomovsk Region. 

o Two fighters from the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic,” one of whom had served in a Russian-backed tank brigade surrended to Ukrainian authorities in Kramatorsk; another who had delivered food to militants returned to his home in Donetsk Region. The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has opened a program titled “They’re Waiting for You At Home” promoted on social media to encourage fighters to surrender and return to their families in areas of the front line where they have regained control. 

o The SBU detained an unnamed woman who resides in Nikolayevka who was said to have served as an informer for the DNR since February, reporting on the locations of Ukrainian troops in the Volnovakha District, reported.

 — Catherine A. Fitzpatrick