5 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in action (KIA) and 26 were wounded in action (WIA) during an attack on Sunday, December 18, by combined Russian-separatist forces on Ukrainian positions along the so-called Svitlodarska Duha, a stretch between the militant-controlled town of Horlivka and the town of Svitlodarsk in Donetsk region, according to the press center of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters.
”Our positions near the village of Novo-Oleksandrivka, which is in the Luhansk sector, came under fire from rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns. Since 05:50 [local time on Sunday], mercenaries of the Russian occupation force had been trying to oust our vanguard troops from their positions in the area of Svitlodarska Duha after long preparation fire from heavy artillery and mortars,” the ATO HQ reported on Sunday.
The adversary forces, being in significant numbers, resorted to bypassing, attempting to cut off the ATO strongpoints.
”But their plans were uncovered on time. A battle, which followed, thwarted the invaders` plans. During the two-hour battle, our troops defeated the enemy fighters,” it said.
Reconnaissance reports said that the enemy`s casualties were about 20 KIA`s and up to 30 WIA`s.
The ATO HQ also updated on the situation in Donbas on Sunday, saying that from 00:00 to 18:00, Russia`s hybrid military force continued shelling Ukrainian positions, mainly in the Mariupol and Donetsk sectors.
They used banned 122mm artillery systems to shell the village of Shyrokyne close to the Ukrainian-controlled strategic port city of Mariupol. Mortars of various calibers were used to attack the villages of Talakivka, Vodiane, Hnutove, and Shyrokyne. They also fired small arms on the village of Pavlopil. The town of Maryinka came under enemy sniper fire. What is more, a main battle tank was used to attack Shyrokyne.
See also: Russian aggression against Ukraine: 2 years after Minsk agreements. Infographic