Breaking the Ceasefire in Avdiivka …again

New attacks hit residential area in key Ukrainian-controlled city

Left: affected houses and possible military positions south of the street (source). Right: damage on Turgeneva Street, Avdiivka (source)

This week, the Ukrainian ATO press center reported shelling damage to six residential buildings (Turgeneva 63, 65, 67, 69, 76, 86a) in Avdiivka. The Ukrainian Armed Forces reported two shots by 120mm artillery and twenty-two shots of 82mm mortars with assorted small arms fire, in violation of the Easter Ceasefire and Minsk Agreements.

Map showing location of the damaged residential area in relation to non-government controlled areas (shaded in red) from LiveUAMap.com

Through 2017, Avdiivka has been perhaps the most active area of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, with strategic points under Ukrainian control in the city’s southeast, with the “Promzona” industrial area, and just east of its borders, at the Donetsk Water Treatment Plant (or DFS). These new shellings in the residential area of Avdiivka show the ongoing danger to civilians living near the frontline.

Recent shelling

The OSCE SMM observed “two fresh impacts” on the northern side of houses at Turgeneva 76 and 59, an impact on the western side of the house at Turgeneva 67, and damage to other houses in the immediate area, but was unable to ascertain what direction the fire came from or what weapon was used. Below, two videos from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense’s television channel shows the aftermath of the attacks on residential areas in Avdiivka, and the distraught civilians who live in the area.

On VKontakte, there were calls for assistance for repairs of the houses along the street, including Turgeneva 57, bringing the number of affected buildings to at least eight.

Avdiivka today…

Again, bombs have hit residential buildings, with mostly the elderly as tenants. Tomorrow, to the extent possible, we will continue to assist in the restoration [of the homes]. Today we closed up the windows where we could, as it was getting colder outside, please lend your prayers… It’s rumbling outside of the city, with night ahead.

Post on VKontakte documenting damage to a house. Translation provided above. (source)

Without any clear craters in the ground, it is difficult to determine the direction of the shells, but the location of the site indicates that the shelling was very likely targeted against the Ukrainian positions just south of the residential street.

Left: affected houses and possible military positions south of the street (source). Right: damage on Turgeneva Street, Avdiivka (source)

The shelling has continued through the week, with a fresh attack reported on Thursday, April 20.

No end in sight

Despite the Easter Ceasefire, fighting has continued throughout eastern Ukraine, especially in Avdiivka. Turgeneva Street has frequently been shelled over the past few years due to its proximity to Ukrainian military positions in the southeastern part of Avdiivka. Like all of the cities on the frontlines of the conflict, most civilians have either relocated out of the ATO zone or moved to safer parts of towns that are not so frequently under fire. However, vulnerable populations, namely the elderly, are stranded in the most dangerous location in Europe — the war zone of the Donbas.


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