The combined Russian-separatist forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 49 times in the past 24 hours with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed in action and three wounded in action, according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters, Joinfo.com reports with reference to UNIAN.
In the Mariupol sector, the occupiers fired mortars and shot from infantry fighting vehicles at the village of Vodiane. “The enemy opened fire from infantry fighting vehicles, heavy machine guns and small arms on the villages of Shyrokyne, Hnutove, Vodiane and Pavlopil. A sniper was active in the village of Novotroyitske,” the report says.
In the Donetsk sector, Russia’s hybrid military force fired 120mm and 82mm mortars on the Ukrainian positions near the town of Avdiyivka, and the villages of Opytne and Novoselivka Druha, as well as rocket-propelled grenades on the villages of Zaitseve and Pisky.
In the Luhansk sector, the occupiers shelled the villages of Krymske, Novo-Oleksandrivka and Novozvanivka from mortars and grenade launchers. Additionally, a sniper was active near the village of Lobacheve.
Militants launched an artillery strike on the residential sector in the old part of Avdiyivka (Donetsk region) last night, as a result private houses were ruined, one household was destroyed by fire. There is no information about the victims and survivors there, Joinfo.com reports with reference to Interfax-Ukraine.
According to Pokrovsky police department of the Donetsk region, a district, located near the industrial area, got under fire. Eight houses of local residents were damaged by shrapnel, one private house was burned down as a result of a direct hit.
Investigative police team is on the scene, assisting the civilians and documenting the effects of militant shelling.
Avdiyivka police department has opened criminal proceedings under all the facts under Part 2 of Article 258 (act of terrorism) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
Ukraine may lose up to $2 billion and the national currency exchange rate will weaken due to the blockade of Donbas, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Thursday at a ceremony marking the Day of honoring the troops who fought on foreign land, Joinfo.com reports with reference to UNIAN.
If the blockade fails to be stopped, Ukrainian metallurgy may lose up to 300,000 jobs, according to the Ukrainian president. “300,000 people will lose their jobs. The state will lose up to $2 billion in foreign exchange earnings with all the consequences for the hryvnia exchange rate,” he said.
Poroshenko also said that tens of thousands of people would lose jobs in the occupied territories. “I emphasize that there is no labor market there, and where will a large part of them go to make some money? That’s right, [they’ll go] to the militants. And this trend was clearly confirmed by the Main Intelligence Directorate yesterday. So would it be better for us if they were engaged in mining or shot at our soldiers?” he said.
In late January, a group of ATO veterans along with a few members of parliament initiated a blockade of rail tracks used to transport deficient anthracite coal from the temporarily uncontrolled areas to Ukraine’s thermal power stations.
According to the government report, the supplies were suspended February 10, 2017.
The operator of Ukraine’s united power grid, Ukrenergo, said that anthracite coal reserves (842,000 tons as of Feb 12) would be exhausted within 40 days.
Sides to Contact Group on Ukraine agree to withdraw heavy weapons from line of separation in Donbas by Feb 20
The sides have agreed to withdraw weapons and special equipment from the line of separation in Donbas by February 20, the envoy of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine Martin Sajdik said.
“Today it was agreed to withdraw the equipment prohibited under the Minsk agreements by February 20,” Sajdik said in Minsk on Wednesday.
It should be recalled that Ukrainian government introduced the state of emergency in the energy system due to the coal shortage at thermal power stations of Ukraine.