News from the Front Line.
Over the last few days, the Ukrainian military has reported a moderate reduction in Russia’s forces firing. This drop-off is backed up by the OSCE, who also report fewer ceasefire violations. Indeed for Thurs Nov 21st, the daily OSCE report lists the lowest number of ceasefire violations for some time. Now this maybe due to the US, Trump Impeachment inquiry and the worldwide attention on it. Or possibly the upcoming Normandy Four summit scheduled for Dec 9th. Too much Russian firing attracts too much media/political attention. Despite this, wherever possible, Russia’s forces continue to provoke Ukrainian return fire, including in the disengagement areas.
OSCE report for Nov 21st.
Only around 600 ceasefire violations, inc just 46 explosions. As the below map shows, all the firing was in the Donetsk region, with again the Luhansk region experiencing a welcome second day of no firing.
Petrivske Disengagement Area.
As I’ve previously posted, despite the agreed local ceasefire and withdrawal of troops, Russia’s forces are reported as still opening fire in the area. You’re probably bored of me repeatedly saying this, but this is provocation fire. As reported on Nov 21st by the OSCE, we can see the tactic adopted by Russia’s forces, is to fire from just outside the disengagement area. This they hope will provoke Ukrainian return fire, ideally towards the disengagement area. Russia’s propaganda will duly report on this & may also try to film/record it. For them the added bonus would be if the OSCE also report any Ukr firing.
From the Nov 22nd OSCE report.
“On 21 November, positioned about 2km north of Petrivske, the SMM (special monitoring mission) saw at least nine persons, assessed as members of the armed formations, next to trenches near the eastern edge of the disengagement area. From the same position, the SMM heard six shorts and bursts of small arms fire, at an assessed range of 2-3km south-east, assessed as outside the disengagement area.” The OSCE call Russia’s forces – armed formations.
OSCE text from their report.
The Disengagement area. It’s located 31km south of the occupied city of Donetsk, in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast (province). Ukraine forces pulled back closer to Bohdanivka village & Russia’s forces back to edge of the villages of Petrivske & Vicktorivka.
Ukrainian Military Casualty Stats.
Nov 11th to 17th: Via 107 Russia’s forces firing attacks, 2 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 3 wounded. Below is the English speaking version of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence weekly update. Visit their website for the text version.
Since Nov 17th, a further 12 Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded and 1 sadly died yesterday in a vehicle accident. On Nov 14th, 3 of the 12 soldiers were reported wounded in the village of Shumy, near the occupied town of Horlivka (Donetsk Oblast). The below military truck was there delivering food & water, when it was hit by a Russian Fagot anti-tank rocket system. This was an extreme 2+ km range shot, which thankfully didn’t connect fully. It’s likely to have been fired from one of the high mine slag heaps in the area. One of the 3 inured soldiers was female.