20 December 2016, 20:30


Debaltsevo fighting began with Kiev trying to seize "grey zone" – LPR People’s Militia

Debaltsevo area fighting began with Ukrainian forces attempt to break through so-called "grey zone" and take dominating positions in LPR People’s Militia zone of responsibility, LPR People’s Militia command chief Colonel Oleg Anaschenko told Lugansk Media Centre.

"I underline that the fighting began with the attempt by a unit of Ukrainian forces 54th brigade to break through so-called "grey zone" and take positions of advantage in our responsibility zone," Anaschenko said.

"Our units courageously took defensive action, holding their positions under heavy artillery and tank gun fire of superior enemy forces. We haven’t given an inch of our land to the enemy," he added.

He said LPR People’s Militia units would "hold defence and protect Lugansk region people from seizure attempt."

Earlier, head of the medical service of the LPR brigade that engaged Ukrainian forces in the area Viktor Klimenko said two LPR militiamen had been killed and another three had been wounded in Kalinovka fighting.

On 18 December, units of Ukrainian forces 54th brigade under artillery cover attempted to break through LPR defence on Kalinovka axis from Luganskoye township direction. The fighting left 10 Ukrainian soldiers killed, 20 wounded, 2 LPR militiamen wounded and two unaccounted for, according to LPR defence authorities.

Overnight to 19 December Ukrainian armed forces shelled Logvinovo village with heavy artillery and mortars.

On 19 December morning, Kiev forces renewed attacks along contact line in Debaltsevo area and artillery shelling of LPR People’s Militia positions in Kalinovka and Logvinovo areas.

Over the past 24 hours, Kalinovka village was targeted twice with 82mm and 120mm mortars from Luganskoye township direction, the Republic’s defence authorities said.

The members of the Contact Group on the implementation of the peace plan in the East of Ukraine at a meeting in Minsk on August, 26th agreed on complete ceasefire in Donbass effective from midnight April, 30. Since the autumn of 2014 it is the 9th attempt to set up a durable 'silence regime'. Вut due to systematic ceasefire violations by Ukrainian forces, that shelled the Republics territories with artillery, mortars and tanks that were to be withdrawn in accordance with the Minsk agreements, LPR and DPR urged a strict implementation of comprehensive ceasefire effective from September, 15. Kiev promised to observe the truce, though LPR People's Militia records violations by Kiev forces almost daily.

The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on February 12, 2015 and supported by member states of the Normandy Four (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France). The UN Security Council approved the document by its 2202 Resolution and called upon all the sides to ensure full implementation of the Package of Measures.

The document provides for comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of all heavy weapons from the contact line, starting a dialog on reconstruction of social and economic ties between Kiev and Donbass. It also envisages carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine providing for decentralization and adopting permanent legislation on a special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.  

LuganskMediaCentre — 20 December — Lugansk