Reports of Clashes Between Kiev and DPR Forces Close to Mariupol
Reports of Clashes Between Kiev and DPR Forces Close to Mariupol © AP Photo/ Sergei Grits
18:41 23.02.2015(updated 23:39 23.02.2015)
Mortar and rifle fire has reportedly been exchanged by both sides in the area of Mariupol.
Clashes between government forces and the militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic [DPR] are continuing on Sunday in the village of Shyrokyno close to Mariupol, representatives of the DPR have told RIA Novosti. According to information from medics, two separatist fighters have been wounded in the fighting.
The village of Shyrokyno is located on the coast of the Sea of Azov in the Donetsk region, between the towns of Mariupol, which is controlled the government forces, and Novoazovsk, which is under the control of the self- proclaimed DPR. In autumn, the town was under DPR control, but then became neutral territory before the Ukrainian government’s Azov battalion took control in February.
On Sunday a DPR representative released a statement reporting the death of one DPR fighter, and two more wounded after an attack from Kiev government forces, while the Ukrainian National Guard reported two fatalities in the course of fighting on Sunday.
“In the morning of February 23 the battle for Shyrokyno resumed. Both sides are using mortars and rifles. Government forces are firing at our positions in the villages of Zaichenko, Leninskoe and Dzerzhinskoe from tanks,” a representative of the DPR told RIA Novosti.
The sounds of artillery fire were heard on Monday coming from the direction of Shyrokyno, reported residents of Novoazovsk, while officials at Novoazovsk central hospital told RIA Novosti that during the course of Monday seven DPR fighters had been brought in with shrapnel and bullet wounds. “According to our information, there have been no fatalities,” said the source.
According to an announcement from the Ukrainian Azov battalion, “over the last few days around 350 fighters, 15 cargo trucks, 20 armored vehicles including six tanks” have been transferred by separatist forces to the area around the town of Bezimenne.
Earlier on Monday a representative of the Ukrainian army’s M sector, Dmitry Charly, told the Mariupol news website 0629.com that a five man DPR reconnaissance and sabotage team had been “destroyed,” and that positions of the Kiev forces had come under fire from tanks and mortar. The site also reported the death of one DPR fighter.