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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Live Day 631
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Ukraine Reports 52 Attacks, Heavy Weapons Usage And Tanks On The Move
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The Ukrainian military claims this morning that Russian-backed forces have used heavy mortars to attack their positions and have moved tanks to the front.

According to the Ukrainian military, Russian-backed fighters conducted 52 attacks yesterday, with 33 occurring after 18:00. This is a significant escalation in violence with such numbers not reported since the beginning of the latest ceasefire at the end of August.

The ATO Press Centre reports that 120 mm mortars were used twice last night to attack Popasnaya, on the western fringes of the Lugansk region, near separatist-held Pervomaysk, and the neighbouring village of Boguslavskoye.

In the Donetsk area, the report claims that Russian-backed forces, using grenade launchers and heavy machine guns, fired 11 times on Peski, seven times on Opytnoye, four times on Marinka, and three times on Avdeyevka and Krasnogorovka.

Positions near Nevelskoye and Kamenka were fired-on with small arms while Verkhnotoretskoye came under fire from BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles and anti-aircraft artillery. There was also a grenade launcher attack on Ukrainian troops near Novgorodskoye, west of Gorlovka.


On the Azov coast, Russian-backed fighters reportedly attacked Ukrainian troops in Shirokino, east of Mariupol, with 82 mm mortars as well as grenade launchers and small arms.

Yesterday evening, 5 Channel reported that the village of Granitnoye, northeast of Mariupol, had been left without electricity after Russian-backed fighters blew up a substation.

According to Oleksandr Yurenko, a battalion commander in the 72nd Mechanised Brigade, Russian-backed fighters fired over the river Kalmius on the village with heavy machine guns and automatic grenade launchers. The attack coincided with the blast at the substation. Ukrainian troops believe it possible that the gun and grenade fire was a distraction to cover the saboteurs' work.

Later this morning, the military warned that tanks had been recorded on the move in Donetsk.

According to the announcement, Ukrainian intelligence agents had spotted a column of 20 tanks near the Kalinin mine, just northeast of the city centre, and another 4 tanks on the front near Marinka. 

Last night Ukrainska Pravda was told by a front-line fighter that Ukrainian positions had come under fire from tanks and recoilless rifles. 

Meanwhile there are reports today of more military movements in separatist-held territory: 

In another worrying sign, the separatist-backed mayor of Debaltsevo, Alexei Granovsky, claimed that Ukrainian soldiers had attempted to break through the front line near the town this morning.

According to Granovsky, the attack lasted around an hour, during which the Ukrainians use heavy weaponry and small arms. 

According to the separatist Donetsk News Agency, around 20 shells, six of which were fired from 120 mm mortars, fell on separatist lines near Debaltsevo this morning. 

If the story is untrue then it may still represent the intent of the Russian-backed separatists to open up fighting again on this section of the front. 

With fighting reported at multiple points along the front line, claims of heavy weapons usage, territorial gains and attempted breakthroughs, the ceasefire that officially came into effect on September 1 seems to be over.

-- Pierre Vaux