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Published in Stream:
Day 869: July 5, 2016
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
3 Ukrainian Soldiers Killed, 13 Wounded Yesterday
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Three Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 13 wounded yesterday in the Donbass as Kiev reports 63 attacks by Russian-backed forces.

Announcing the casualties, military spokesman Colonel Andriy Lysenko said that Russian-backed fighters were "actively using heavy weaponry."

According to this morning's ATO Press Center report, Russian-backed forces used 122-mm artillery to shell Ukrainian positions around Zaytsevo, north of separatist-held Gorlovka. Positions in neighbouring Kirovo were shelled with 120-mm mortars.

These same weapons were also reportedly used against Ukrainian forces near Nevelskoye, Opytnoye and Peski, all to the north of Donetsk.

On the edge of Avdeyevka, one of the most fiercely contested areas of the front line, Ukrainian troops were attacked with grenade launchers and heavy machine guns.

Here Colonel Lysenko reported that a civilian was wounded:

Yesterday evening Ukraine's TSN television news channel broadcast a report from the Butovka mine, an exposed position between Avdeyevka and Donetsk that has seen some of the worst casualties from shelling in recent months.

Ukrainian soldiers told the channel that attacks on their positions had paused because, they suspect, enemy forces have been redirected towards the Debaltsevo area, which was the scene of intense fighting last week.

Nonetheless they expect a new wave of attacks to come soon and claim that their opponents, who they say are Russian regular soldiers from the Caucasus, are strengthening their positions.

To the west of Donetsk, Colonel Lysenko reported that shells had struck residential areas of the government-controlled suburb of Maryinka: 

The ATO Press Center also reports that 120-mm mortar shells fell on Krasnogorovka, to the north of Maryinka.

Further south in the Donetsk region, the military reports that Ukrainian troops in Granitnoye, east of Volnovakha, were attacked with anti-tank missiles, while positions near Gnutovo, Shirokino and Talakovka, all closer to Mariupol, were shelled with mortars.

There were two reported attacks in the Lugansk region, near Popasnaya, one of them conducted with mortars.

Meanwhile the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) claims that Ukrainian forces fired on separatist-held territory 438 times over 24 hours, using 152-mm artillery as well as mortars, infantry fighting vehicles, grenade launchers and small arms.

According to the DNR, Ukrainian forces attacked western and northern areas of Donetsk, as well as Gorlovka and several settlements in the south of the region.

Eduard Basurin, the deputy commander of the armed forces of the DNR, told reporters this afternoon that two Russian-backed fighters had been wounded by Ukrainian fire yesterday.

Two civilians had, he said, been wounded by shelling in the Kuybyshevsky district of Donetsk city.

In addition, Basurin announced that three children had died in separatist-held Yenakievo, south of Gorlovka when a grenade exploded.

Basurin said that the children had found a grenade and brought it to their father, who attempted to dismantle it. The device exploded, wounding him and killing all three children, aged 11, 5 and 2.

-- Pierre Vaux