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Published in Stream:
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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
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One Ukrainian Soldier Killed, Three Wounded As Fighting Continues
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Aleksandr Motuzyanik, a spokesman for the Presidential Administration on ATO issues, has told reporters at a briefing today that one Ukrainian soldier has been killed and three wounded over the last 24 hours. 

The ATO press centre claimed this morning that Russian-backed forces conducted 23 attacks on Ukrainian positions between 18:00 and midnight yesterday. 

The press centre claims that Russian-backed fighters continue to use heavy artillery that should have been withdrawn in accordance with the Minsk agreements signed in February.

The Interpreter translates the Ukrainska Pravda report:

In the Donetsk region, the militants shelled ATO forces near Peski three times with 120 mm mortars, twice near Avdeyevka. In addition, militants twice used 122 mm artillery against positions near Avdeyevka.

Militants opened fire once with such artillery systems near Shirokino. The ATO forces' positions near the villages of Zaytsevo and Opytnoye were subjected to attacks with 82 mm mortars, machine guns and small arms.

Donetsk news site 62.ua reported that residents had described shell strikes in the separatist-held city's Kuybyshevsky district late at night.

Residential buildings on Luzin street and a garage and shed on Avtostradnaya street were struck. There were no reported casualties.

According to 62.ua, residents have reported on social media this morning that loud blasts and cannonades have been heard in the city.

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine reported "intense fighting" in Shirokino (Shyrokyne in Ukrainian) yesterday. The SMM's spot report described not only heavy fighting, but also a notable build-up of Russian-backed forces in the area:

On 26 April, the SMM observed what it assessed to be the most intense shelling in Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol) since fighting began in the area in mid-February 2015. For the last 12 hours, and on-going at the time of this report, the SMM has observed sporadic to continuous exchanges of fire involving small arms, machine gun, rocket propelled grenade and automatic grenade launcher.

Throughout the day, from two adjacent observation posts, located 1,5km west and 4,5km north-west of Shyrokyne, the SMM observed 69 outgoing tank shots, originating from 600 metres south-east and 800 metres north of its position, 191 outgoing mortar rounds (82mm) and 153 outgoing mortar rounds (120mm), originating from 600 metres south-east, 300 and 1,500 metres north-west and 800 metres north of the its position.

At 07:20hrs, the SMM heard two loud explosions, most likely caused by 122mm incoming artillery rounds, impacting about 300 metres from the SMM observation post in the eastern outskirts of Berdianske (government-controlled, 18,5km east of Mariupol, 1,5km west of Shyrokyne) and forcing the SMM to relocate to another observation post.

In the early afternoon, between 15:00 and 16:30hrs, the shelling was heard all the way to Mariupol.

On 26 April, the SMM Unmanned/Unarmed Aerial Vehicle (UAV) observed 11 tanks and four armoured personnel carriers (APCs), with infantry mounted, moving through Kulykove (“Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled, 15km north of Shyrokyne). Additionally, over the last three days, the UAV has sighted seventeen tanks, three self-propelled howitzers and 60 APCs in a “DPR”-controlled area 50 kilometres north of Shyrokyne. 

This area, 50 km north of Shirokino, looks likely to be north of Ukrainian-held Granitnoye and separatist-held Telmanovo. Such a large accumulation of armour in this front poses not only a threat to Granitnoye, which has been a repeated target of attacks since the first Minsk agreement in September last year, but also to Volnovakha, along the T0512 road to the west.

Volnovakha, near the front line on the Donetsk-Mariupol highway is a key position for the defence of the port city. Any move on Mariupol would require Russian-backed forces to push Ukrainian troops out of Volnovakha and off the highway, enabling a pincer attack from both the north and east.

Meanwhile the ATO press centre reported attacks in the north of the Lugansk region: 

In the Lugansk region, militants fired five times on a Ukrainian army defensive position outside Schastye. Three of the attacks were conducted with anti-aircraft artillery and two with automatic grenade launchers.

ATO forces near the village of Sokolniki [which is held by separatists] were also attacked with an automatic grenade launcher.

Furthermore, illegal armed groups have fired on civilians again. At 22:05 shells fired haphazardly from a ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft gun flew towards the town of Schastye.

Liga Novosti reports that the press office of the governor of the Lugansk region, Hennadiy Moskal, has claimedthat, as a result of attacks on Schastye, two dachas in the Yagodka cooperative caught fire. A grenade, fired from an automatic launcher, struck a 3-storey apartment building on Gagarin street.

Fortunately, the governor's office, wrote,  there were no civilian casualties.

According to the report, there were skirmishes on the outskirts of Krymskoye, in the area around the tuberculosis clinic. A

Troitskoye, north-east of Debaltsevo, was reportedly attacked three times with mortars and small arms during the night.

The governor's office reported continued violence this morning, with echoes of blasts coming from the direction of the front line on the Bakhmutka highway heard in Krymskoye after 11:00 today. 

Moskal's office also claimed that, at around 11:30, an enemy tank platoon moved from the occupied village of Kalinovo, which lies less than 10 km along a road from Troitskoye, and drew up opposite a Ukrainian defensive position.

The ATO press centre also reported that 11 drone flights had been detected over the Donbass.

-- Pierre Vaux