Combined Russian-separatist forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in eastern Ukraine 40 times in the past 24 hours, according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters.
In the Mariupol sector, the occupiers fired banned 152mm and 122mm artillery systems, as well as tank shells on the Ukrainian positions in the village of Shyrokyne. The village of Hnutove was also under artillery and mortar fire.View map in full size
In addition, the militants fired mortars on the town of Krasnohorivka, and the villages of Berdianske, Vodiane, and Novotroyitske, as well as grenade launchers on the town of Maryinka.
In the Luhansk sector, Russia`s hybrid military force used banned 122mm artillery systems to shell the village of Troyitske, and mortars were engaged to fire on the town of Zolote and the villages of Novo-Oleksandrivka, Orikhove, Malynove, Novozvanivka, and Krymske. The enemy also used infantry fighting vehicles and small arms to attack the village of Stanytsia Luhanska.
In the Donetsk sector, tanks and infantry fighting vehicles were used to shell ATO forces stationed near the town of Avdiyivka. Russian proxies also fired grenade launchers and small arms on the village of Pisky.
Chairman of the Ukrainian-controlled Donetsk military and civil administration Pavlo Zhebrivskiy has said that Russian-backed militants in Donbas have again begun using Grad multiple rocket launchers and large-caliber self-propelled artillery systems, which are banned under peace agreements.
”The calibers banned by the Minsk agreements are being constantly used,” he told TV Channel 112 Ukraine.
”In the past day, there were 40 militant attacks with the use of 152mm and 122mm self-propelled artillery systems. The village of Shyrokyne [near the Ukrainian-controlled strategic port city of Mariupol] was attacked by a tank. We saw shooting earlier, but now no one of the Russian mercenaries cares and Grads and self-propelled artillery systems are used,” he said.
Earlier, Ambassador of the United States Daniel B. Baer to the OSCE Permanent Council expressed concern about escalation in the Mariupol sector in Donbas, eastern Ukraine.
”We remain gravely concerned over the build-up of combined Russian-separatist forces outside Mariupol. Combined Russian-separatist forces blocked SMM [OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine] monitors from accessing two different areas northeast of Mariupol on November 14. Given that the SMM has observed a link between access restrictions and ceasefire violations, we are deeply concerned that combined Russian-separatist forces may be planning more attacks against Mariupol or its environs,” he said on November 17.
”Just two weeks ago, combined Russian-separatist forces launched an attack using multiple launch rocket systems on a suburb of Mariupol. We call on Russia and the separatists it backs to give OSCE monitors full and unfettered access to the area around Mariupol and immediately withdraw proscribed weapons,” he added.