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Published in Stream:
Day 765: March 23, 2016
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
1 Ukrainian Soldier Killed, 7 Wounded in Fierce Night Battle at Avdeyevka
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Last night a fierce battle was fought in the industrial zone of Avdeyevka near Donetsk tonight between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed militants, Ukrarinian media reports.

In the first video uploaded by Levy Bereg ( from soldiers' footage, we hear machine-gun fire, explosions, and can see what appear to be tracer rounds streaking across the night sky. The soldiers are talking about the Donetsk night sky lighting up, and then "300s," which is the military term for fighters wounded in battle.

In the next video, one of the "300s" is brought to shelter in a factory used as a stronghold. His wound is only held together by duct tape [warning: graphic].

He says he is in pain and a medic asks if he can breathe -- if he can, that means his lungs were likely not punctured. After he takes a few breaths, the medic concludes his lungs are whole and disinfects and bandages his wound.

The third video is from a Russian-language Ukrainian TV broadcast. A reporter says the battle at Avdeyevka has continued throughout the night to the early hours of this morning. The ATO [Ukrainian Anti-Terrorism Operation] has officially reported one Ukrainian soldier killed and 7 wounded, he says.

Says the Ukrainian reporter (translation by The Interpreter):

"According to the soldiers, the pincer was so intensive and the firing so dense that for some time the industrial zone was under a so-called operational encirclement."

What this means is that the combined Russian-separatist forces have come close to seizing Avdeyevka, long in their sights ever since the taking of the Donetsk Airport. Most of the civilians have fled the town, and while Ukrainian forces daily take casualties and have managed to hang on to it, it is turning into this season's Donetsk Airport scenario. The Russians and separatists have not been content to just keep the Donetsk Airport, but want the passage through to other towns to the north and south where they hope to control more of Donetsk Region and ultimately the route to Mariupol in the south or other Ukrainian cities in the north.

The Ukrainian Army was able to repel the militants for now, but fighting continued early this morning along the Donetsk line. An ATO spokesman said the militants were using high-caliber mortar-launchers that were not permitted under the Minsk accord. 

The militants also attacked Zaytsevo and were repelled, he said.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick