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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Day 739: February 26, 2016

Publication: Ukraine Liveblogs
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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
One Ukrainian Soldier Killed With Kiev Reporting Fewer Ceasefire Violations For The First Time All Week

One Ukrainian soldier has been killed in action within the last 24 hours.

According to Colonel Andriy Lysenko, military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, the serviceman died in the front-line village of Granitnoye, east of Volnovakha.

Military spokesman Aleksandr Kindsfater told that there was an attack on Granitnoye yesterday with grenade launchers and heavy machine guns.

There are also unconfirmed reports that a volunteer was wounded yesterday near the village of Vodyanoye, outside Mariupol:

Translation: Last night a volunteer was wounded near Vodyanoye (in the Volnovakha district). Maybe there are others with information. Respond

Translation: The volunteer is from the Lviv region. Wounded in the shoulder (shot by a sniper). Their condition is now stable.

Reports from the Ukrainian military and the Russian-backed separatists give widely divergent pictures of the fighting last night.

According to this morning's ATO Press Centre report, Russian-backed fighters conducted only 10 attacks between 18:00 and midnight. This is a dramatic reduction from the peak seen earlier this week.

However heavy weapons were still used, with the military reporting that Ukrainian positions near Mayorsk, north of Gorlovka, were shelled with a 120 mm mortar, while 82 mm mortar shells fell on neighbouring Zaytsevo.

Mortars were also used to shell Ukrainian positions near Krasnogorovka (where infantry fighting vehicles also opened fire) and Shirokino.

According to Kindsfater, Ukrainian soldiers were unable to ascertain the firing position used in the attack on Shirokino, leading soldiers to believe that the mortar was mounted on the back of a truck and was moving between attacks. 

In addition, the Ukrainian military claims that automatic grenade launchers and small arms were used in attacks near Avdeyevka, Peski, Novgorodskoye and Luganskoye.

The dramatic reduction in the number of attacks reported by the Ukrainians is interesting given the withdrawal of Russian-backed fighters from Shirokino earlier this week.  

But there are unconfirmed reports this morning of heavy shelling on the Bakhmutka highway in Lugansk, an area that has seen some of the fiercest fighting of the war but has been quiet for several months.

Translation: The 29th checkpoint is under massive shelling. Right now!

The 29th checkpoint is the foremost Ukrainian position on the highway, near the village of Novotoshkovskoye.

Meanwhile the 'defence ministry' of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) claims that Ukrainian forces conducted 231 attacks over 24 hours. Shelling was directed, the report says, at the northern and western outskirts of Donetsk and Gorlovka.

Evidence of at least one incident of Ukrainian fire comes from video footage of shells striking a checkpoint on a road outside separatist-held Yasinovataya, northeast of Donetsk:

Julian Röpcke, a writer for Germany's Bild, has geolocated the footage and confirms that visible tracers can be seen coming in from the northwest - the direction of Ukrainian-held Avdeyevka:

According to the DNR, a civilian woman was wounded by a mortar blast in the western Petrovsky district of Donetsk.

The DNR claims that over the whole of the last week, 11 people, two of them civilians, were killed during fighting.

-- Pierre Vaux