Rebels claim Ukrainian forces took area near Gorlovka subject logo: DONBASWAR
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By Chris Covert

Ukrainian forces began shelling a key road between northern Donetsk city and the city of Gorlovka after advancing into a buffer zone Monday morning, according to Russian language news accounts.

According to the Donetsk ministry of defense website, Ukrainian forces started shelling the Gorlovka-Donetsk road after moving into an area near Yasinovataya, which was previously unoccupied by either side.

According to available maps, Yasinovataya is a locality just on the south side of Highway E50, which turns into M04. According to descriptions by rebel media, the area immediately north of that road was a buffer zone between combatants, but now is occupied by Ukrainian forces.

According to Russian reserve FSB Colonel Igor Girkin's VKontakte page, the fighting near the road began at 1945 hrs and included tank gun, mortar and small arms fire, which hit rebel checkpoints on the road. Rebel media claimed Ukrainian forces were firing on civilian vehicles until the road was closed.

So far, Ukrainian military media are silent on the operation. Ukrainian military officials quoted in did report artillery fire on Avdievka when a group of rebel soldiers attacked, but the attack took place at 1100 hrs in morning.

Avdievka is only a kilometer from the contested area near Yasinovataya. Rebel forces used 82mm and 120mm mortar fire on Ukrainian positions defending the road.

On the previous day another attack took place on Avdievka and, according to the report, four Russian soldiers were killed in the attack and another six were wounded. The attacking unit was identified as elements of the 11th Separate Motorized Rifle Regiment (Makiyevka) of the 1st Army Corps.

According to the same report three rebel soldiers, identified as being with the 1st Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (Komsomol), were wounded in a minefield on Sunday.

The unidentified militiaman in the VKontakte report said that Ukrainian mortar fire hit Spartak, which is adjacent to the Donetsk airport.

The report also said that a Ukrainian battalion, identified only as the "Lvov" Battalion had moved into the town of Konstantinovka on Sunday with orders to begin "cleansing" operations.

It was reported in rebel media that Ukrainian SBU police unit was deployed to Artemovsk two weeks ago to begin cleansing the town of families who were considered pro Russian. Artemovsk is a key supply and command node for Ukrainian operations in the area.

Chris Covert writes about foreign military issues for He can be reached at and on Twitter. You can read past articles about the 2014 war in southeastern Ukraine by clicking here.

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