A humanitarian situation has once again worsened in the area of the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine as a key filtration station went non-operational causing a threat of the collapse of water supplies in the area.
Avdeevka is located near the contact line between forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the army loyal to the Kiev government, less than 10 km north of the DPR capital of Donetsk. The Donetsk Filtration Station that supplies water to the nearby area, including Avdeevka, Donetsk and some other major settlements, is located near the village currently controlled by pro-Kiev forces.
Since early 2017, Avdeevka has been a site of consntant clashes between the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) and DPR rebels. Constant clashes and artillery shelling have caused a notable damage to the local infrastructure and the area has been repeatedly left without water and electricity supplies.
Earlier this week, the Donetsk Filtration Station once again came under an artillery fire and left without an electricity causing a threat of a humanitarian crisis in the area. The both sides, Kiev and Donetsk, blamed each other for the situation that can cause a crisis.
It is not possible to determine who is really responsible for this because firefights or artillery strikes are reported in the area between Avdeevka and Donetsk on a constant basis.
Meanwhile, the UAF has continued implementing their long-standing strategy aimed at putting a military pressure on the DPR and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine. The UAF is not able to launch a major operation against the DPR and the LPR, heavily supported by the local population because it is not able to deliver a devastating blow to DPR and LPR forces fast. In another case, Russia may have time to decide to respond with a force to an open violation of the ceasefire regime in eastern Ukraine by the Kiev side.
Thus, the UAF implements another strategy. The UAF conducts numerous small attacks and carries out artillery strikes on the DPR- and LPR-held areas. The goal is to seize as much neutral territory along the contanct line as its possible tightening the siege of the people’s republics. This allows to expand the morale of UAF troops and to gain some positions that could be used in a major operation against DPR and LPR forces if Kiev decides that Russia will not respond to this move with a force.