Michael Mackay, Radio Lemberg, 13.05.2018
The battlefront in Donbas where Russia is invading Ukraine is heating up. The Joint Forces Operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine issued a statement on May 13 saying that the entire line of contact continues to see intense fighting.
Russian occupation troops violated the Minsk Agreement ceasefire 73 times on May 12. 20 of these attacks were with heavy artillery and heavy mortars that are proscribed by the terms of the Minsk Agreement.
Russia has dramatically escalated its attacks on Ukrainian defenders and civilians since March 24. The number of bombardments by Russia has been well into the double-digits every day since March 24. Since the Joint Forces Operation took over from the Anti-Terrorist Operation on May 1, Russia has been assaulting Ukrainian positions as well, attempting to take ground. The Armed Forces of Ukraine have not allowed any Russian assaults to succeed, and remain in control of the battlefront. Russia is expending blood and treasure in the war which Putin started for no reason over four years ago.
On May 12, Russian occupation troops tried to push Ukrainian units out of favourable defensive positions near the villages of Krymske, Novozvanivka, and Troitske. These are places in Luhansk region, near to the strategic Bakhmut Road. In Donetsk region, the Joint Forces Operation reports intense hostilities are continuing near Zaytseve (north of occupied Horlivka); Novhorod and Verkhniotoretske (south-west of occupied Horlivka); Kamyanka and Avdiivka (north of occupied Donetsk city); and Maryinka (west of occupied Donetsk city).
Ukrainians took to social media to report on the fighting, from Russian-occupied territory and from free Ukraine territory. People in neighbourhoods in the western part of occupied Horlivka reported heavy shelling, gave warnings to people to stay close to shelters, and witnessed ambulances going back and forth. A recoilless rifle was heard early in the morning of May 13, shooting out from occupied Horlivka in the direction of the Ukrainian positions. By all accounts, there appears to be a full battle underway between the village of Pivdenne in free Ukraine and the western outskirts of Horlivka in Russian-occupied Ukraine.
Russia is on the attack, everywhere along Putin’s invasion of Europe battlefront. The Russians are attacking along the Bakhmut Road, at the Svitlodarsk Bulge, north and west of Horlivka, north and west of Donetsk, west of Dokuchaievsk, and west of Novoazovsk towards Mariupol. The Russians have spent three years trying and failing to break trench warfare in eastern Ukraine. Time is not on Putin’s side, as the Ukrainian armed forces get stronger and reorient war operations in eastern Ukraine away from an anti-terrorist operation and towards liberation of Ukrainian land from foreign invaders.
There is no peace in Europe because Putin is at war. Peace will only return when Russia is defeated and Crimea and Donbas are liberated.