End of January Sees Multiple Ceasefire Violations

End of January Sees Multiple Ceasefire Violations

Over the last week, Russian-backed forces violated the current ceasefire agreement on several occasions. On January 26, five ceasefire violations were committed in the area controlled by the Joint Forces Operation (JFO).

The press center of the JFO Headquarters reported that the ceasefire violations were observed in the area near Novooleksandrivka, located 65km west of Luhansk and is under the responsibility of the operational and tactical group ‘North'. There, the armed formations of the Russian Federation opened fire with a variety of weapons, including automatic grenade launchers, anti-tank grenade launchers, automatic rifles, and sniper rifles. Another automatic grenade launcher was fired outside of Novozvanivka, another town located 70km west of Luhansk.

One Ukrainian serviceman was wounded as a result of these concentrated attacks on the Joint Forces’ positions. He was promptly given first aid and evacuated to a medical facility.

The JFO press center reported further attacks in the area of responsibility of the operation and tactical group “East,” where the Russian occupiers used a heavy machine gun and an anti-tank gun in the area around Avdiivka, located 17km north of Donetsk, and sniper rifles in the suburbs of Marinka, located 23km southwest of Donetsk. Ukrainian forces immediately returned fire in response to these attacks.

More ceasefire violations occurred on Wednesday, January 27. According to the Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, a total of 10 ceasefire violations were committed by Russian-backed forces along the contact line within a 24-hour period on January 27.

Soldiers of the Russian Federation’s armed formations continued their attack with 120mm mortars, different types of grenade launchers, a heavy machine gun, and automatic rifles near the village of Pavlopil, located about 25km northeast of Mariupol. Shots were also fired from automatic rifles, sniper rifles, a heavy machine gun, and an anti-tank grenade launcher near the village of Bohdanivka, located about 57km southwest of Donetsk.

Small arms were also used near Marinka and Avdiivka, as well as the villages of Zaitseve and Luhanske. Just like in previous attacks, the Joint Forces fired back. No casualties occurred on the January 27 attacks.

The OSCE representatives were informed about the ceasefire violations through the Ukrainian side of the Joint Control and Coordination Center (JCCC).

The latest ceasefire agreement in Donbas was agreed upon by the participants in the Trilateral Contact Group (Ukraine, Russia, and the OSCE) on July 22, 2020. This full and comprehensive ceasefire was put into effect along the contact line a few days later on July 27. However, on the first day of the new ceasefire agreement, Russian hybrid military forces immediately broke the treaty and launched three attacks on Ukrainian positions in Donbas. Many violations have been reported over the last few months since the truce was put into effect.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, 50 servicepersons of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were killed as a result of ongoing hostilities in Donbas, with an additional 339 servicepersons wounded since the beginning of 2020.