Escalation of situation in Ukraine's Avdiivka: Digest (January 29 - February 8)

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

Three civilians were killed, and another 10 civilians were injured as a result of the hostilities
13:57, 10 February 2017

112 Agency

Since February 2016, city of Avdiivka, 17km north of Donetsk, has been controlled by the Ukrainian side. As part of Donbas conflict, this industrial city has been subjected to constant shelling, which has recently intensified.  

Related: Kramatorsk to accept 350 people evacuated from Avdiivka

January 29, militants made an attempt to assault Avdiivka industrial zone. In addition, Russian-backed militants opened chaotic shooting on uptown. During the day, 5 Ukrainian soldiers were killed as a result of the attacks. OSCE SMM reported about 416 undetermined explosions 2-5km east-south-east,, as well as uncountable bursts of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire.

Related: Devastation in Avdiivka documented for onward transmission to UN International Court

January 30, the shelling continued, but its intensity has slightly reduced during the night. Already in the morning, the attacks broke out with renewed vigor. Militants opened fire with tanks and artillery. The OSCE monitors stated about 1,224 undetermined explosions and about 1,400 bursts of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire 2-5km east-south-east, 1635 undetermined explosions and over 200 bursts of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire 2-7km east-south-east, south-south-east, and 22 outgoing explosions 1-2km north.

Related: Lithuanian foreign minister: Situation like Avdiivka could happen again

Residents of the city were forced to live in cellars and shelters because part of the shells and mines crash into buildings and residential areas. In total, 25 thousand local residents remain in danger. Transport of emergency evacuation has been prepared for them, and 11 heating points were organized in the city.

January 31, Avdiivka declared a state of emergency due to the worsening of the situation. SMM heard almost 2,250 undetermined explosions 1-5km east and east-south-east and almost 200 explosions assessed as impacts of MLRS rounds 3.4-4km east-south-east. In addition, SMM camera in Avdiivka recorded 53 undetermined explosions all 2-4km south-east. Town’s main problem was lack of electricity. OSCE also reported that much of the population has moved to the old town, where there are homes with private heating.

Related: Hell of Avdiivka: Who stayed and who left the city?

In the night of February 1, the armed skirmished reduced, but in the morning militants resumed attacks against positions of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, using multiple rocket launchers BM-21 "Grad," artillery of 152 caliber, grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, and small arms. Civilians have faced some tough conditions: according to OSCE, 22 thousand people were left without heat, electricity, and water in the freezing cold winter (-22˚ С).

Related: Avdiivka shelling demonstrated use of prohibited weapons by Russian troops, - Klympush-Tsintsadze

February 2, the humanitarian situation in the city was still tense. People suffered from gas and electricity lack, the number of people evacuated from Avdiivka increased to 183 (107 of them were children). The militants have continued to shell Avdiivka from heavy weapons, "Grad," artillery, and tanks. Desirable truce did not come.

February 3, OSCE SMM heard 441 undetermined explosions, bursts of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire all 0.5-5km south-east and south-west of its position. At the same location, the SMM heard 25 undetermined explosions and saw five airbursts of unknown weapon rounds 2-4km south-east of its location. Positioned in Avdiivka in the afternoon, the SMM heard 43 explosions assessed as outgoing artillery rounds (122mm) and one undetermined explosion, 3-5km south and south-east.

Despite the statement of Trilateral Contact Group calling for the withdrawal by 5 February 2017 into permanent storage sites of all weapons regulated by Minsk agreement, the weapons from the area between Donetsk airport, Avdiivka, and Yasynuvata have not been withdrawn.

Recalling, January 30, as a result of the attacks, high-voltage overhead line has been damaged, which led the power outage of Avdiivka Coke Plant and Donetsk filtering station, which provide centralized water and heat supply of the city. OSCE facilitate attempts to repair essential infrastructure in Avdiivka.

As of February 3, 214 people were evacuated from Avdiivka.

February 4, field kitchen and heating shelters continue their work, as well as supply of drinking water. Who operates 1 point of life support (7 Goschs tents, 1 - a charitable organization), paragraph 3, stationary heating, in which more than 4,500 people applied, provided food 3 field kitchens.

Related: 100 Ukrainians in Rome protest against escalation in Avdiivka

Social facilities, which do not have their own backup power systems, use electricity from 15 generators of the State Emergency Service.

February 5, after four hours of intense work by repair crews, three power lines were repaired and, according to the Ukrainian representative of the JCCC and a representative of the civil-military administration in Avdiivka, electricity was restored to about 20,000 residents in Avdiivka as well as to the Avdiivka coke plant.

Related: Work on restoration of damaged buildings begins in Avdiivka

High concentrations of impacts were also recorded: in the industrial zone and along the eastern, south-eastern, southern and south-western edge of Avdiivka. As of February 5, 266 people (including 42 elderly and 124 children) were evacuated from Avdiivka.

February 6, SMM heard four outgoing explosions assessed as artillery (152mm) rounds, one outgoing explosion assessed as an artillery (122mm) round, 11 explosions assessed as outgoing fire, five undetermined and 17 assessed as impacts, two assessed as mortar (120mm) round impacts and one assessed as an outgoing mortar (120mm) round; one explosion assessed as a mortar round impact (unknown calibre), two explosions assessed as outgoing mortar  (82mm) rounds, four explosions assessed as impacts and seven bursts of automatic-grenade-launcher fire, and bursts of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire 2-5km south-east, south and east.

Related: Donbas: Tank fire reported in Avdiivka

Heat system came back to the stable mode in Avdiivka. At the backgroung of the reconstruction works, the shelling does not stop.  However, escalation of the situation in Avdiivka went down. Since January 29, more than 300 people were evacuated from Avdiivka.

February 7, Donetsk regional police have specified the number of injured civilians of Avdiivka. "Three civilians (a man and 2 women) were killed, 10 civilians were injured, including 7 men and 3 women," - said in a statement.

Related: All schools in Avdiivka start working

There were 221 cases of infrastructure damage identified since January 29: 170 private houses, 39 high-rise apartment houses, 12 residential buildings (5 garages, auto shop, and summer kitchen), 2 railway tracks on Avdiivka station, and 6 cars. In addition, over the past day (February 7) police has identified 19cases of buildings damage.

State Emergency Service stated about restoration works of 40 damaged locations.

As of February 8, the intensity of the attacks in Avdiivka has significantlydecreased, reported ATO chaplain.

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