Russian-backed militants step up attacks on Ukrainian forces – 101 incidents in last day
Russian-backed militants have stepped up their attacks on Ukrainian forces in the Donbas noticeably, with 101 assaults being launched on Ukrainian-held areas in just the last day, the press center of Ukraine Anti-Terrorist Operation said in a posting on Facebook on Monday.
The bulk of the attacks came last evening, with the militants firing about 70 times on the positions of Ukrainian forces and on Ukrainian-held towns in just six hours, from 1800 to midnight on Sunday.
The number of militant attacks reported by the Ukrainian military has been steadily growing over the last month, and has now reached levels not seen since before a ceasefire was supposed to have come into effect on February 15.
"In Donetsk region the militants fired 82mm and [banned under the Minsk peace deal] 120mm mortar shells repeatedly on Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, Avdiyivka, Opytne and the Butovka mine,” the Ukrainian military said.
“These settlements were also attacked by enemy tanks.”
In Luhansk region, militants fired mortars and rocket-propelled grenades on Stanitsya Luhanska, Zolotoye, Krymske and Novotoshkivske, while in the area of Artemivsk in Donetsk regions there were similar attacks on Kirove, Mayorsk and Leninskiy.
At Novotoshkivske, Ukrainian forces came into contact with a group of 35 militants and engaged them in fire. The militants treated after suffering losses, the Ukrainian military said.
"On the outskirts of Mariupol the Russian terrorist forces violated the Minsk [ceasefire] agreement six times with 120mm mortar rounds, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms," the military said.
It said that that the Russian-backed militants continued their attacks after midnight, with most of the 15 incidents reported occurring near Donetsk.