ATO update: Fighting escalating in Donbas
Fighting between Ukrainian forces and the combined Russian-separatist forces intensified in the Donbas conflict zone in the last day, the press center of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) said on its Facebook page on Saturday.
"From 18:00 to 24:00 Kyiv time on Friday, illegal armed groups attacked Ukrainian troops more than 60 times, using banned weapons 20 times," the report reads.
At 21:00 Kyiv time on July 17, pro-Russian mercenaries started firing 120mm mortars on residential areas of the town of Avdiyivka from the village of Spartak and continued for half an hour.
"At about 22:00 Kyiv time, Ukrainian soldiers located and repulsed a militant sabotage and reconnaissance group near the village of Lebedynske. Over the last day, the militants fired 122mm artillery six times, 120mm mortars 29 times, and tanks three times," the press center said.
In addition, the Ukrainian armed forces were repeatedly attacked near the villages of Opytne, Novotoshkivske, Pisky, Verkhniotoretske, Vodiane, Pervomaiske, Novotroitske, and the town of Avdiyivka.
As of 06:00 Kyiv time on July 18, terrorists intensified their attacks. They fired howitzers and mortars on ATO forces near the villages of Opytne, Verkhniotoretske, Novoselivka, Hranitne, Starohnativka, Stanytsia Luhanska, Pisky, Shyrokyne, and the town of Maryinka.
At about 05:00 Kyiv time on Saturday, the Kremlin terrorists started firing a tank on residential areas of Avdiyivka and continued for almost half an hour.
"The Ukrainian armed forces are firmly holding their defensive positions and ready for any scenario of developments," the press center said.