Fighting continues around Donetsk, Gorlovka
Posted by: badanov
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By Chris Covert
Artillery and small arms battles continue between Russian backed rebels and Ukrainian military forces around Yasinovataya and Donetsk on Tuesday, according to Russian language news accounts.
A news report which appeared in tsensor.net.ua reported that rebel forces fired on Ukrainian forces around Avdeivka, this despite a local ceasefire agreed to by the rebels.
Tuesday, the area around the water filtration plant operated by the Ukrainians in Avdievka, was supposedly silent due to a visit from monitoring teams with the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) to survey the problems.
Eight days ago Ukrainian forces moved into a neutral zone and began to fire on rebel positions, according to rebel reports, and on checkpoints on the only road that connects Gorlovka with Donetsk city. Since that time, both sides have been battling it out, exchanging mortar, small arms fire and heavy weapons fire, including tank and infantry fighting vehicle gunfire.
Rebel forces have dug in along the junction of H20 and E50, which is just south of Gorlovka, and have vowed no to budge from their positions.
The fighting has endangered operation of the water filtering plant. Ukainians say rebels have fired on the plant, while rebel officials say the Ukrainians have been firing on the plant.
According to rebel and Ukrainian reports, the water filtering plant went back into operation just two hours before fighting was renewed in the area. The water plant services Donetsk city and other nearby communities.
Casualties are said to be heavy for both sides, except that neither side officially has admitted to casualties. On Tuesday, according to the Donetsk ministry of defense news release, two rebel soldiers were killed in fighting. That report confirms what this writer has read, and has reported from unofficial reports on Russian language blogs.
Ukrainian official reports are that two Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in the fighting as well.
Fighting along the line of contact
The latest Ukrainian media reports are that rebel have been firing mortars on Ukrainian positions mostly in southern Donetsk, near Mariupol, Shirokino and Novotroitsk. Rebel reports in the region say Urkainian forces fired on a village at Kominternovo, without stating specifically if rebel troops were in the area.
Rebel military officials said on Tuesday that Ukrainian forces have violated the ceasefire 56 times along the line of contact in Donetsk. Most of the firing was concentrated around Yasinovataya, but some reports are that Ukrainian artillery has struck rebel positions in western sectors of Donetsk city and at Spartak.
Rebel reports also say that Ukrainian artillery fire hitting positions at Yasinovataya are emanating from artillery units of the 59th Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade (MRB), the Ukrainian 93rd Brigade and the Ukrainian 56th Brigade.
Prior rebel reports were that the Ukrainian has reinforced the Ukrainian 58th MRB effort against rebel forces at Yasinovataya with a battalion from the Ukrainian 25th Airmobile Brigade, along with a six gun, 122mm artillery battery. The artillery battery, according to rebel reports was to begin hitting rebel positions on Tuesday, but may have been delayed due to the local ceasefire.
Rebel say that Ukrainian forces struck the village of Zaistevo on Tuesday using 82mm mortars. The mortar team firing was located in nearby Zhovanka, from which Ukrainian forces also fired small arms and grenades.
Chris Covert writes about foreign military issues for Rantburg.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter. You can read past articles about the 2014 war in southeastern Ukraine by clicking here.
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