Heavy clashes have erupted between the Ukrainian Armed Forces and local militias in the region of Donbass in eastern Ukraine, according to Ukrainian and Russian sources.
On December 18, the Ukrainian Armed Forces launched a series of attacks against militia units of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) near the key town of Debaltsevo. [In January 2015, pro-Kiev forces suffered a heavy defeat in this area and were pushed to retreat from the town]
Kiev forces, supported by a heavy artillery fire, attacked the DPR militia near the villages of Logvinovo and Kalinovka. Limited attacks by Kiev troops were also reported in the areas of Sanjarovka and Lozovoe.
Most likely, the initial plan of Kiev forces included an idea to send reinforcements and to develop an advance in the direction of Debaltsevo in case of initial success at Logvinovo.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian media blamed DPR forces for “violating the ceasefire” and spreaded reports about an “offensive” by “Putin’s mercenaries”.
On December 19, an intense fighting with suage of artillery pieces continued, but the Ukrainian military failed to achieve any gains, according to local sources.
By now, pro-DPR sources reported that 10 Kiev troops have been killed and 20 injured in the clashes. 3 infightry fighting vehicles belonging to the Ukrainian military were also destroyed, according to reports. The Ukrainian media reports the Ukrainian military has lost 6 soldiers killed and 20 injured.
Kiev’s “Anti-Terrorist Operation” Headquarters said that DPR forces lost 25 fighters killed and 30 injured. Nonetheless, these numbers cannot be confirmed by neutral sources.