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Published in Stream:
Interpreter_Mag's Press Stream
Press by
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Marked Reduction In Violence Across Front
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Yesterday saw a marked reduction in violence in south-eastern Ukraine, where fighting had been raging in three main areas: Peski, north-west of Donetsk; Shirokino, east of Mariupol; and along the northern front in Lugansk on the Seversky Donets river.

The Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council (NSDC) reported this morning: 


As we reported yesterday, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, which has been maintaining a 24-hour presence in Shirokino since April 17, reported that the ceasefire appeared, for the most part, to be holding.

Today, the Mariupol Defence Headquarters claimed that the night had "passed quietly."

The Headquarters reported only two attacks on Ukrainian positions in Shirokino, at 9:00 and 11:00 yesterday, conducted with small arms, machine guns and grenade launchers. There were no casualties.

7 drone flights were detected over the Mariupol area over the last 24 hours. 

Ukrainska Pravda reported that OSCE monitors had successfully negotiated the release of the body of an Azov regiment fighter.

According to Azov's press secretary, Oleksandr Alferov, who spoke to Hromadske radio, soldier Georgi Dzhanelidze, a Georgian instructor, was killed under fire on the front line, but the Russian-backed fighters had refused to allow Ukrainian troops to retrieve his body, going as far as to place it upon an anti-personnel landmine to prevent removal.

Alferov said (translated by The Interpreter):

"Thanks to the OSCE mission, after almost 10 hours of negotiations, the OSCE monitors were able to a reach an an agreement with the terrorists that we would pick up Georgi's body. The mine exploded, however the instructor's body was successfully retrieved."

Likely as a result of the success in Shirokino, the NSDC reports today that the OSCE has agreed to establish a new monitoring station in Peski under the auspices of the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC), a working group of Ukrainian and Russian military delegations:

Ukrainska Pravda reports that the Ukrainian military's ATO Press Centre claimed this morning that Russian-backed forces had carried out six violations of the ceasefire along the demarcation line between 18:00 and midnight yesterday.

As the Press Centre noted, this indicates a continued reduction in violence.

However the military claimed that Russian-backed fighters have continued to use 120 mm mortars, weapons that should have been withdrawn in accordance with the Minsk agreement.

According to the report, 120 mm mortars were used four times yesterday evening - three times against a Ukrainian defensive position near Avdeyevka, and once near Peski.

The Press Centre also claim that a sniper fired on a defensive position in the village of Opytnoye, and that Ukrainian positions near Krasnogorovka came under machine gun fire.

150420-donetsk-north-map.png


Meanwhile both the ATO Press Centre and the press office of Governor Hennadiy Moskal, reported that there had been no reported attacks in the Lugansk region over yesterday and last night.

Censor.NET reported that Moskal's office had claimed one military incident had occurred, but that there had been no combat.

The Interpreter translates:

In the middle of the night, an enemy reconnaissance and sabotage group, trying to approach our soldiers' positions, was spotted on the outskirts of Novotoshkovka. However as soon as the militants realised that they had been discovered with the aid of thermal sights, they turned back.

But while the news from the front line gives cause for hope, ATO spokesman Andriy Lysenko has today claimed that Russia is reinforcing its troops in the Donbass.

Interfax-Ukraine reports (translated by The Interpreter):

As A. Lysenko said, according to intelligence reports, 50 Ural military trucks and 20 BMPs with crews have proceeded from the territory of the Russian Federation through the Dolzhansky border crossing in the direction of Debaltsevo over the last few days.

"While a cargo train, made up of around 40 wagons loaded with military hardware, covered with tarpaulins, came from Russia through the Dolzhansky railway station, which is located in the town of Sverdlovsk in the Lugansk region," said the ATO spokesman.