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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.
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Hromadske Radio's Dmitry Palchenko reports from Peski that Russian-backed fighters have attacked Ukrainian positions there today.

According to Palchenko, Russian-backed fighters opened fire with small arms at noon. 

Palchenko said that heavier attacks begin from 18:00 onwards.

The Interpreter translates:

"During the day it's more or less quiet. Into the evening, now it starts to get dark from 6 pm, they start firing. The fire is usually from small arms, heavy-calibre machine guns, automatic grenade launchers, sometimes they use 80 mm shells, which are banned under the Minsk agreements. But not as often as they used to."

According to Palchenko, the Ukrainian soldiers are not returning fire. "The enemy is not conducting offensive operations, the militants are clearly pounding the Ukrainian soldiers' positions. The bombardment of Peski has been going on for a week already," said Dmitry Palchenko.


Photo by Dmitry Palchenko

Ukrainska Pravda spoke to soldiers on the front near Donetsk Airport, who told the online paper that as of 15:30 today, blasts could be heard near the Butovka mine, south of Avdeyevka, and that Russian-backed fighters were attacking with grenade launchers and recoilless rifles.

Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, announced today that four Ukrainian servicemen had been wounded over the last 24 hours. 

Meanwhile the Ukrainian General Staff has denied separatist claims that Ukrainian troops attempted an assault near Debaltsevo this morning.

Interfax-Ukraine reports that spokesman Vladislav Selzenyov said: 

What they say about Debaltseve is absurd. We are constantly declaring our strict compliance with the Minsk agreements and then our alleged offensive is reported out of the blue. This information is wrong, it is one of the hysterical information breakdowns exhibited by representatives of the so-called DPR/LPR in recent days." 

But there was a new claim this afternoon from the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DNR), relayed by Russia's state-owned TASS news agency.

According to Eduard Basurin, a DNR military spokesman, Ukraine has deployed two squadrons of combat helicopters to Konstantinovka, north of Gorlovka, and tanks to Zhovanka, just outside the separatist-held town.

The separatist Donetsk News Agency (DAN) now reports, citing the head of the Kuybyshevsky district administration, Ivan Prikhodko, that Ukrainian troops have begun shelling northern areas of Donetsk with 82 mm mortars. 

Meanwhile there are reports on social media that military trucks have been moving up and down Kuybysheva Street, which runs between the city centre and the northern edge of Donetsk this afternoon:

Translation: Military trucks driving on both sides down Kuybysheva.

-- Pierre Vaux