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Avdiivka shelling 23.03.2018
The tripartite contact group in Minsk agreed on another ceasefire in Donbas; the parties “re-affirm their full commitment to a comprehensive, sustainable and unlimited ceasefire, starting from 30 March 2018 at 00 hrs. 01 min. (Kyiv time).”
Since March 5, the so-called "comprehensive spring truce" is taking place in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone, however, dozens of shelling and losses among Ukrainian servicemen testify about the violation of this truce.
Avdiivka shelling 23.03.2018
According to the official data, for 22 days of the proclaimed ceasefire, the militants have carried out at least 153 attacks, six Ukrainian servicemen were killed, 12 were injured, and 4 more suffered injuries.
At the beginning of the "ceasefire" the illegal armed formations opened fire on average three times a day, but from March 24 the situation worsened significantly – the number of shelling exceeded 10, and then approached 50.
Avdiivka shelling 23.03.2018
Here is a brief chronological reference to track the dynamics of compliance with the "comprehensive ceasefire" in Donbas.
At 01:00, illegal armed formations (IAF) have violated the ceasefire agreement, carrying out three direct shelling. Militants used mortars, grenade launchers, and small arms. As a result of the shelling, a Ukrainian serviceman was wounded. As also reported by the Joint Center on Control and Coordination, March 5 militants shelled residential areas of Shchastia: armored piercing and incendiary tracer ammunition and mines damaged the houses of civilians. The premises were severely smashed; no casualties.
The second day of the announced ceasefire did not differ with complete silence on the contact line. The militants attacked the Ukrainian positions with the large-caliber machine guns, automatic grenade launchers for three times. As a result, one Ukrainian soldier, Vladyslav Kozachenko from Poltava, who served as a rifle-paratrooper assault of the greyhounds, has died.
The IAF again carried out three targeted attacks, using grenade launchers, small, arms and large-caliber machine guns. One ATO fighter was injured; he was hospitalized in a satisfactory condition.
The fourth day of the "spring truce" was marked with traditional three shelling. They used mortars and other types of weapons. As a result of the shelling, one Ukrainian military man was killed, infantry fighting vehicle commander of the 54th separate mechanized brigade Ivan Riaschenko from Volnogorsk.
The militants continued to violate the truce, as evidenced by three shelling. Although the IAF did not use mortars, they opened fire from small arms. Ukraine’s Armed Forces suffered losses: one fighter died, another one was injured, he was taken to a military hospital in a state of moderate gravity.
A native of Chervonohrad, Lviv region, a serviceman of Special Operations Detachment "Azov" Yuriy Luhovsky was killed by a hostile bullet.
Five sightings from militants were recorded on the contact line. IAF used mortars again. One Ukrainian military man was injured, he was taken to a hospital in a grave condition.
The militants carried out four targeted shelling (with grenade launchers and large-caliber machine guns). Ukrainian military suffered some losses. One Ukrainian soldier died as a result of an explosion of an unidentified device explosion. Another soldier, who conducted engineering reconnaissance of the area, was wounded as a result of the explosion. Two more fighters were wounded as a result of shelling. All the wounded were taken to military mobile hospitals (two in a state of moderate severity, another one in satisfactory condition).
As it became known, marine Oleksander Shvets from Oleksandria, Kirovograd region, was killed as a result of the explosion.
The militants used for the first time during the established ceasefire the mortars of the prohibited caliber 120 mm for positions of ATO forces. In just a day, five sightings were recorded, as a result of which two Ukrainian soldiers were injured.
The situation on the collision line has not changed significantly - four shelling by the militants are defined as sighting. As a result of one of them, the Ukrainian military received military trauma. He was hospitalized in a satisfactory condition.
For the first time since the announcement of the "comprehensive truce," lull remained on the front line.
The militants have violated the ceasefire, opening mortar fire against the positions of Ukraine’s Armed Forces. During four hostile shelling, none of the Ukrainian militaries was injured.
The day was marked by a relative lull on the contact line. One targeted attack was recorded in Luhansk direction, the gunmen opened fire from the armored vehicles and large-caliber machine guns. Fortunately, no losses.
The militants have once violated the truce; they fired from the grenade launchers in the Donetsk direction. No wounded or injured among the Ukrainian fighters.
The situation on the collision line has not changed significantly - two targeted shelling (from small arms and grenade launchers). As a result of the hostile shelling, one Ukrainian soldier received combat injuries; he was hospitalized in a state of moderate severity.
The illegal armed formations failed to observe the conditions of the "spring truce" and have once opened fire from small arms in the Donetsk direction. As a result, one Ukrainian serviceman received a wound, his state was assessed as satisfactory.
The militants intensified on the front line and increased the number of mortar attacks. In general, the IAF carried out five shelling, as a result, two Ukrainian fighters were injured, they were taken to a mobile hospital.
Full compliance with the ceasefire was recorded.
First, the ATO headquarters reported no gunfire. However, after clarifying the operational information it became known that the hostile shelling from small in the Donetsk region, which took place on March 22, was confirmed. The headquarters appointed an official check due to an untimely provision of relevant information. However, the exact number of shelling was not reported.
For three times have the militants violated the ceasefire, using grenade launchers, machine guns, small arms, as well as 120-mm mortars. In particular, IAF shelled the civilian facilities in Avdiyivka; 6 mortars targeted the farm buildings and household plots. There were no casualties among the military and the civilian population.
The situation in Donbas has aggravated, the militants have significantly intensified firing on the contact line. In total, 12 targeted shelling of Ukrainian positions were recorded.
One serviceman of the brigade, performing tasks on the contact line, died as a result of careless handling of ammunition, another one was wounded. He was taken to a medical institution in a grave condition.
Further aggravation of the situation was recorded; 44 attacks from the side of the illegal armed formations were observed, 36 of which were identified as targeted ones. The militants fired from the grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, small arms, tanks, and 120 mm mortars (forbidden by Minsk agreements). As a result of these attacks, one Ukrainian soldier died, another one got injured and hospitalized in a satisfactory condition.
Soon it became known that the deceased was Sehiy Kovnatsky from Zhytomyr region, a fighter of the 95th Air Assault Brigade.
The militants continued to break the peace deal, carrying out 47 shelling of Ukrainian positions. They fired from grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, and infantry fighting vehicles, small arms and 82 mm mortars. None of the Ukrainian soldiers was injured.
Since 2014, the parties to the Donbas conflict have declared a "complete ceasefire" for more than ten times – the traditional "New Year", "Christmas", "Easter", "grain" and "school" truce.
However, none of them lasted long; some were even broken in the first hours (although none of them was legally completed). The sides have traditionally accused each other, while the OSCE have declared violations both by militants and by Ukraine’s Armed Forces. Then Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk took another decision on the introduction of a new armistice.
Complete ceasefire was preserved for a few days; on the whole, both shelling and losses were recorded. However, with the proclamation of each armistice (albeit only in the first days-weeks), it can be concluded that the number of dead and wounded has significantly decreased.