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UPDATE on October 28, 9:30 CET. According to information on the morning of October 28, Staromaryevka is firmly held by the Ukrainian army. Kiev units have fortified themselves in the settlement. The information that the UAF left the village on the afternoon of October 27 was not confirmed. Moreover, the leadership of the DPR states that it will be difficult to regain control of the settlement, since civilians may suffer in response. A fair but strange statement, given that the remnants of the civilian population of the village may suffer to a much greater extent from the atrocities of Ukrainian nationalists.
The situation in Eastern Ukraine is escalating after Kiev received its new batch of Javelin ATGMs and cordial support from the USA.
On the afternoon of October 26, the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) stepped in the village of Staromaryevka, located in the ‘gray zone’. Staromaryevka is separated from the Kiev-controlled village of Granitnoye by the Kalmius River. However, according to the local reports, by the morning of October 27, they left the settlement
Ukrainian units threw a pontoon bridge from Granitnoye across the Kalmius River. Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups entered the village, a flag was hung on the building of a local store.
The UAF have all that they need to aggravate the situation further – Bayraktar TB2 attack drones from Turkey, various new delivered munitions and weapons from the United States and the EU.
The Bayraktar unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was used in Eastern Ukraine for the first time, on October 26nd. According to the Ukrainian version, the UAV was used in response to shelling from the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) militia. Meanwhile, it seems that Bayraktar was used for completely different reasons. Kiev did this in pursuit of two goals: to test Moscow’s reaction and to check gaps in the enemy’s air defense system.
On the morning of October 26th, Ukrainian artillery shelled the village of Yakovlevka, damaging a gas pipeline and a residential building.
On the same day, the Kiev side shelled the area of Telmanovo, and as a result caused a blackout in 12 transformer substations, leaving hundreds of civilians without power.
The DPR returned fire, shelling the village of Golmovsky to the north of Gorlovka, damaging a gas pipeline. Several other locations out of which the UAF carry out shelling attacks received return fire.
In the late hours of October 26th, Kiev troops began moving heavy artillery from their storage facilities into the fields near Slavyansk and Artemivsk, north of Donetsk city. The weapons are positioned towards the south – the city itself.
On October 27, the preparation of the Ukrainian troops for active operations continued. In the village of Staraya Maryevka, soldiers occupy empty houses. The UAF is creating new fortified positions there, from which the territory of the DPR will be further shelled.
Earlier, on October 22nd, Kiev sabotage and reconnaissance group successfully attacked a vehicle behind the frontline. Three DPR officers and a driver is reported to be killed.
Kiev is doing everything to provoke the DPR, LNR and Moscow to intensify hostilities.
Russia is also beginning to move, as it has realized that no negotiations will bear any fruit. As an initial step, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation opened a criminal case against the persons behind the shelling on civilians.
This is simply a foundation for further movements at a later date, after all the UAF are shelling individuals who have Russian citizenship. If the situation escalates further and casualties mount, it is likely that another hot phase of hostilities might begin in the late autumn. This is a concerning scenario for Ukraine and its NATO allies.