The increased daily attrition along the front line shows no sign of letting up.
Use of mortars and infantry fired guided missiles is on the up. What we have in eastern Ukraine is modern day tit-for-tat warfare. Russia’s forces fire and Ukrainian troops fire back. Also at this time, you can add into the mix the Ukrainian presidential elections. The Kremlin will be keen to blame president Poroshenko for any increased fighting, especially if any civilians get killed or wounded.
Yesterday, Ukraine reported Russia’s forces fired 117 Russian mortar shells at Ukrainian held territory. In total they opened up 12 times, with a further 3 firing attacks launched so far today. Four Ukrainian soldiers were reported wounded yesterday.
The OSCE report below details how one of their UAV was downed over Russian occupied territory. Feb 18th it crashed near Berdianka in the Luhansk Oblast (province) of Ukraine. For some time now, Russia’s forces have been firing on the Ukrainian held village of Krymske, north of Berdianka. So it’s likely that Russia’s got some hardware in the area it would prefer people didn’t see.
Berdianka village, spelt Berdyanka.
Judging by videos posted on social media, Russia’s forces are taking a hard pounding. On edge of Russian occupied Donetsk city and opposite Ukraine held town of Avdiivka, the below Feb 11th posted video shows a direct hit on a Russian bunker. Everyday Russia’s forces fire on Ukrainian positions defending Avdiivka, so this is likely to be return fire. Positioned on a raised road embankment, this front line bunker would have had a good field of fire.
The flares seen exploding from the bunker will be illumination flares, fired at night to light up an area. Another recent video shows a direct hit on a Ukrainian bunker, with several shell craters around it. Fortunately it was deep and well built and although severely damaged, the equipment seen being brought out of it looked to be undamaged.
Posted by Russia’s forces, the below screen grab from a Feb 17th video, shows the above bunker still fiercely burning after several days. Wood used to build bunkers, ammunition and flares etc, make for a highly combustible mix of ingredients. Maybe instead of sending shells into Ukraine, Putin should send some fire extinguishers?
Below sat images show the bunker location.
Screen grabs of the bunker from the video.