Russian-backed militants step up attacks on Ukrainian forces
The start of the New Year has seen an increase in attacks by Russian-backed militants on Ukrainian army positions, the press center of the Ukrainian government’s Anti-Terrorist Operation reported on its Facebook page on Friday.
"From 1800 yesterday, illegal armed groups resorted to provocations and shelling the positions of the Ukrainian military, [attacking] 16 times," the ATO press service said in a statement.
It said the militants used small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars to attack Ukrainian positions. At night, gunmen opened fire on Donetsk airport and around the village of Chernukhino.
There were also militant mortar attacks on the settlements Stariy Aydar, Zolotoye, Popasnaya, and around Vuglegirsk and Chermalyk, the press center said.
“Illegal armed formations opened artillery fire five times, including twice with Grad [rockets]. The positions of our troops came under artillery bombardment in the areas of the Poltava mine and the villages of Leninska and Yelenovka. The villages of Zolotoye and Olhovatka came under fire from BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers.”