Battle rages for Marinka, 25 Ukrainian soldiers reported wounded
Russian-backed militants launched a major attack on the town of Marinka west of Donetsk at dawn on Wednesday, in one of the most serious outbreaks of fighting in eastern Ukraine since a ceasefire was supposed to have come into effect there on February 15.
According to various reports, the Russian-backed militants are attempting to surround Ukrainian forces in Marinka. Twenty-five Ukrainian soldiers are reported to have been wounded in the fighting.
Volunteer doctor Armen Nikohosyan told Ukrainian television’s Hromadske.TV channel that the militants had fired both Grad rockets and tank shells at Ukrainian positions in Marinka. Both types of weapons were supposed to have been withdrawn out of range of the front line under the Minsk peace agreement of February 12.
The OSCE, the organization charged with monitoring the sides’ observance of the peace agreement, earlier reported that heavy weapons were missing from militant storage sites.
Large quantities of military equipment have also been photographed at sites in the city of Donetsk in recent days, with bloggers speculating that the long-awaited militant offensive against Ukrainian forces would soon been launched.
Nikohosyan said the militants had fired in the direction of Marinka and the village of Krasnohorivka, which is about 5 kilometers to the north of Marinka. Marinka is about 10 kilometers west of the south-western edge of the city of Donetsk.
He said the militants planned to encircle Marinka, which is being defended by Ukrainian forces that include the soldiers of the 28th Separate Guards Mechanized Brigade. Nikohosyan also said that Ukrainian tanks and APCs had been sent to help defend the town.
He said that twenty-five soldiers had been wounded in the fighting, but that none had been killed.
There is no information about militant casualties.