Donetsk reports Ukrainian artillery barrages, impending assault with U.S. landing craft

Ukrainian government accounts of the intensified fighting are available at any Western news site. The last item below has Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov state Russia has no intention of recognizing the Donetsk and Lugansk republics’ independence.

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Donetsk News Agency
February 17, 2022

Kiev forces shell nine Donbass settlement areas

Ukrainian armed formations delivered strikes at the areas of nine settlements in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics within two hours on Thursday morning, expending some 160 rounds of ammunition of calibre over 12.7mm, the DPR Office at the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) said.

The strikes were delivered between 5:32 and 7:42 at the areas of of the following settlements: Kominternovo, Oktyabr, Novolaspa and Petrovskoye in the DPR and Veselenkoye, Donetsky, Zolotoye-5, Nizhneye Lozovoye and Sokolniki in the LPR. The enemy used 120mm and 82mm mortars (expending 67 rounds overall), grenade launchers (90 rounds) and high calibre small arms, the JCCC said.

The package of tighter ceasefire control measures has been formally in effect in Donbass since July 27, 2020. The document bans, among other things, the use of weapons, deployment of hardware next to settlements and engineer works at troops’ positions. Tensions in Donbass mounted after the New Year and Christmas holidays.

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Donetsk News Agency
February 17, 2022

DPR militia returns fire following massive strikes at Republic

The Donetsk People’s Republic militia has opened return fire at Ukrainian army positions, the DPR People Militia reported on Thursday.

“Tensions on the contact line have increased dramatically,” the report said. “The enemy is making attempts to start hostilities. To protect civilian population our defenders had to open return fire for suppressing enemy firepower.”

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Earlier reports said that Ukrainian armed formations had shelled nine settlements in Donbass, including five in the DPR.

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Donetsk News Agency
February 17, 2022

Ukrainian army plans to deploy Tochka-U missile systems to Donbass – DPR militia

The Ukrainian army command is preparing to move Tochka-U missile systems deployed in Khmelnitsky in western Ukraine to Donbass for combat missions, the Donetsk People’s Republic People’s Militia said on Thursday citing intelligence reports.

“The Ukrainian army’s 19th Missile Brigade is running technical maintenance on Tochka-U short-range ballistic missile systems and preparing them for combat use,” the militia said.

“According to our information, the Ukrainain army command is planning to deploy this formation to Donbass shortly,” it said adding that the Brigade depots had stored 9m79k cluster warhead missiles.

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Donetsk News Agency
February 17, 2022

Ukraine preparing seaborne assault to capture DPR positions on Sea of Azov shore – DPR intelligence

The Ukrainian army is training a tactical amphibious landing party to seize Donetsk People’s Republic militia positions on the Sea of Azov shore, the DPR militia said.

“DPR militia intelligence agents have obtained new information on the Ukrainian army’s planned offensive in Donbass,” the militia said. “Commander of the Operations and Tactical Group “East” Yury Sodol is planning and preparing the landing of a tactical amphibious force to gain a foothold on the Azov shore of the DPR and attack our troops from the rear.”

Last week, the Ukrainian army Joint Forces Operations commander Alexander Pavlyuk visited Mariupol where Sodol reported to him on completing the training for the amphibious raid.

“Under the concept of the operation, Ukraine will deliver a strike on the Sartana-Kominternovo axis.” The amphibious landing force includes a reconnaissance company and a fire support company from 36th Marine Brigade, a joint mortar squad as well as several platoons of 107th Territorial Defense Battalion which will be deployed to Mariupol from Zaporozhye in the nearest future,” the DPR militia said.

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The landing force will use the vessels handed over to Ukraine by the USA as part of military assistance, it added.

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Interfax
February 17, 2022

LPR, DPR report sharp escalation of tensions along contact line

Tensions have drastically escalated on the Donbas contact line, militia spokesman of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) Yan Leshchenko said.

“The situation has tangibly worsened on the contact line over the past day. The enemy is trying to escalate the conflict on direct orders from the Kyiv military and political leadership,” Leshchenko told reporters on Thursday.

The LPR mission to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination reported five attacks of the Ukrainian army at the LPR territory on February 17, he said.

The LPR asked international observers to record the aggressive actions of Ukraine and to take immediate action in order to prevent a bloodshed in Donbas, Leshchenko said.

The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has also reported tensions on the contact line.

“There has been a sharp escalation on the contact line,” the DPR militia said in a statement on Thursday. According to the militia, the Ukrainian army committed four ceasefire violations on Thursday and “the DPR forces had to return fire to protect the civilian population.”

For its part, Kyiv reported eight ceasefire breaches and no casualties on February 16.

The staff of the Joint Forces Operation said that 82mm mortars were fired at Ukrainian positions.

Kyiv also claimed the engagement of “unmanned aerial vehicles, which dropped VOG-17 and VOG-25 munitions,” on Ukrainian positions. Additionally, the positions came under attack of “mounted anti-tank grenade launchers, small arms, heavy machine guns, and automatic grenade launchers,” the staff said.

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Interfax
February 17, 2022

Recognition of DPR, LPR does not correlate with Minsk Agreements – Peskov

The recognition of the self-proclaimed Donetsk (DPR) and Luhansk (LPR) People’s Republics does not correlate with the need to fulfill the Minsk Package of Measures, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“Obviously, their recognition does not correlate with the Minsk Agreements. This is really so,” Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

Journalists asked whether the republics would not be recognized as long as the Kremlin pledged commitment to the Minsk Agreements.

“The president said that the fulfillment of the Minsk Package of Measures was the primary objective,” Peskov said.

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