Donbas seeing escalation, militants start to shell checkpoint, civilians
The combined Russian-separatist violated the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine 71 times in the past 24 hours, including one case of firing on the Ukrainian checkpoint, according to the press center of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO).
At 21:10 local time on Thursday, the Kremlin-backed mercenaries attacked the Maryinka checkpoint of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine with the use of an infantry fighting vehicle and an automatic mounted grenade launcher.
According to updates from Donbas, such provocations are being prepared by militants at other checkpoints, in particular, in the Artemivsk sector, the ATO press center said.
"Near the Svitlodarsk bridgehead, the enemy fired 82mm mortars on our fortified positions in the village of Zaitseve, as well as propelled grenades, heavy machine guns and infantry fighting vehicles in the villages of Novhorodske and Mayorsk," the press center said.
In addition, not far from the temporarily occupied city of Donetsk, the militants again fired from different types of weapons on the Ukrainian positions in the villages of Opytne, Pisky, the town of Avdiyivka and Butivka coal mine.
"The situation was tense near the town of Maryinka. The Ukrainian soldiers were forced to fire back to counter the brazen occupiers' attacks," the report says.
The number of attacks has increased, and their geography has been expanding, according to the report. "While provoking our soldiers to fire in response, the Russian-backed terrorists shell districts with civilians as well," the press center said.