For the last two years, the front line has remained virtually unchanged. Apart from Ukrainian forces in 2017/18 occupying several villages in the so called grey zone (area between Ukrainian and Russian led lines), militarily, things are static.
However, things are far from quiet. At times, the amount of lead and shells flying around is equal to any significant battle during WW2. With 2018 being typical, what we see is sporadic shelling and small arms firing. These can often be small in scale, or major out breaks of fighting, with one day this year, the OSCE logging over 1,000 explosions, from artillery firing and impacts from in coming rounds.
The below Feb 16th, Ukrainian report is typical. Over last 24 hours, a total of 10 Russian led attacks, saw 1 Ukrainian soldier killed and one wounded. Feb 13th, another Ukrainian soldier was killed and two more wounded.
This years seen Russian led forces alternating their firing between Oblasts (provinces). One day majority of attacks happen in Luhansk, then the following day, from Donetsk. Utterly pointless and tragic in nature, the firing only serves to give Russian led forces something to do, with this aiding their military readiness. With Russian propaganda always screaming the Ukrainian army is deliberately targeting civilians, it’s plain Russia hopes any return fire will either kill, or injure civilians in their territory.
Above situation report shows majority of attacks in the Donetsk Oblast (yellow area). The civilians living in the Ukrainian held town of Avdiivka, suffer daily from incoming fire. Further down on the south coast, Ukrainian held villages and towns around the city of Mariupol, also experience daily attacks.
Below two images are taken by OSCE drones. They show Russian armoured fighting vehicles and anti-aircraft – surface to air missile systems. As part of the Minsk Agreements which Russia signed, they should not be on the front line (or in Ukraine). More importantly, being positioned near civilian areas, thereby risking a military engagement, they endanger the lives of civilian men, women and children living near them.