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Avdiivka again without electricity amid shelling. Donbas blockade continues #DonbasReports

February 25, a damaged power line near Avdiivka. Credit: FB zhebrivskyi
Avdiivka again without electricity amid shelling. Donbas blockade continues #DonbasReports
In this series, we are teaming up with the tireless social media activist who goes by English Luhansk on twitter to produce open source updates about the military situation in Donbas. We analyze reports from Donbas local twitter accounts and translate it into a comprehensive overview of what’s going on on the ground. Yesterday’s digest can be found here: OSCE under fire. Savchenko in Donetsk. 92 attacks on Ukrainian positions, 16 WIA #DonbasReports

February 25 was mostly quiet in Luhansk and Mariupol. According to reports by local residents on social networks, it was a much quieter day in Donetsk than the 2 previous days of escalation in the area of Avdiivka and Svitlodarsk.

No night reports, the Russian artillery “alarm clock” rings about 7:30 and the inactive cannonade lasts until noon (all time EET, GMT+2):

07:25 Donetsk Kirovskyi district: From west, Kuybyshevskyi district direction, orcs[=RU] are shelling with something heavy
07:25 Donetsk: “The morning begins not with coffee. [RU] fire artillery from the city’s west again”
07:26 Donetsk: The morning “disco” has begun, northwest is rumbling
07:27 Donetsk: Sounds of artillery salvos started to come from Pafilivska mine direction
07:28 Donetsk: A morning shelling has begun. Very heavy sounds
07:29 Donetsk: Suddenly, heavy salvos started in the northwest, some hiss like projectiles flying
07:31 Donetsk Oktyabrskyi: Listening to that loud, with vibration
07:33 Donetsk: Since 07:20 artillery has started to shell from Donetsk
08:00 Donetsk: [Artillery] doesn’t hit Avdiivka, it’s probably Pisky area
08:00 Avdiivka: Strong distant incoming rounds have started in the southwest
08:00 Makiivka: Shootout in Mineralne direction
08:10 Donetsk Kirovskyi district: Sporadic booms in Pisky direction
08:15 Donetsk: It’s not heard, where it lands, but it flies to the northwest [=outgoing artillery]
08:18 Donetsk Kyivskyi district: A series of heavy salvos 07:48-07:51 and 08:03-08:10
08:30 Donetsk: Along Universytetska, a Ural truck went with Vasilek aboard
08:38 Yasynuvata: Artillery
08:54 Makiivka center: A strong boom from south
09:00 Makiivka: “Listening to strong ones” “Mine no. 3/5: powerful and frequent”
09:00 Donetsk: Since morning, one can hear booms
09:04 Makiivka: Outgoing rounds probably from Kanalska road, explosions 10-12 sec after, 152mm?
09:09 Novhorodske: A cannonade became audible here since 08:20, Avdiivka direction. The same as yesterday. As of 9 am it seems to be dying out

Horlivka activates:

09:18 Horlivka: For about an hour, heavy booms in the southwest. And at 09:15, a “bada boom” from Horlivske_More area

A report on an incident in Starohnativka (a village south of Donetsk):

09:57 Starohnativka: “Just now [UA] military [vehicle] has struck and killed a secretary of the village council”

A rare report from Mariupol area (battles occur pretty far from the cities there and the residents usually hear nothing unless the Mariupol outskirts come under shelling or heavy artillery is used):

10:09 Novoazovsk district: “They boom”

Donetsk continues its inactive attacks:

10:21 Donetsk: From 07:20 for more than an hour, orcs were shelling from Zakhidnyi or from VolvoCenter, probably hitting Pisky/Vodyane
10:45 Dokuchaevsk: Olenivka: “Separatists were soliciting [return fire] until 2 am, but they haven’t got it”
10:55 Donetsk: From Oktyabrskyi-airport, the “trade partners” [=DNR] have started to trade [=shell]
11:01 Horlivka [pro-RU source]: Heavy rumble in the northwest. Not frequent so far
11:10 Donetsk: Nothing new. It still rumbles

The lunch break in Donetsk, then a couple of outgoing rounds are heard in Horlivka:

14:13 Horlivka: One single salvo
14:20 Horlivka: Another shot
14:23 Donetsk: The rain merged into snow
14:49 Popasna: It’s snowing great, the temperature has dropped to 0°C

Outgoing rounds are heard in occupied Kadiivka:

14:50 Kadiivka: Outgoing rounds outside the town, from the area of the meat-cutting plant

Towards evening, “ordinary” evening battles erupt near Horlivka and Donetsk:

16:18 Horlivka: It’s not quiet anymore, so far pretty far away
16:20 Yasynuvata: “Disco” begins
16:31 Avdiivka: [officially]: RU side’s refused to give written guarantee regarding ceasefire in the area of broken power lines
16:45 Yasynuvata: A battle has started at Promka and Hospodar, it’s heard from afar
17:44 Yasynuvata: “Lager: Well, let’s go. Close impacts are heard”
17:50 Donetsk Kirovskyi district: Water supply is ok as of now… “DNR” TV lies [about it]
17:52 Horlivka Stroitel: Southwest: they shoot from time to time
18:18 Horlivka: It seems rumbling somewhere
18:20 Donetsk: Double booms [are heard] through double glass units and the noise of the rain. Not intense, but loud
18:21 Donetsk Shakhtarska square: Outgoing rounds are heard, so far not loud, singles
18:22 Donetsk: A covered truck with flashers towed Nona along Kyivskyi towards airport
18:31 Horlivka: #Holmivskyi became noisy too
18:39 Donetsk Kirovskyi district: Very far barely heard cannonade comes from the north…
18:39 Donetsk Kalinisnkyi district: Artillery in the north, pretty strong
18:40 Makiivka: “Far outgoing rounds are heard”
18:40 Donetsk: YaBP: the evening artillery
18:41 Nyzhnya_Krynka: Great rumble, and it seems close
18:51 Horlivka: Some growls are heard in southwest Horlivka

As usual, the harassing shelling from north Donetsk escalates at 20:00 (it always begins at 8 pm ±1 hour):

20:00 Donetsk: “North/Northwest – a “capital” battle, horrible sounds” “Machinery plant: it started to rumble in the north”
20:03 Donetsk: Heavy outgoing rounds started, then far hits. Small arms. Far from Shakhtarska, Azotnyi
20:05 Makiivka: “Burnt odor outdoors, the black smoke in the north”
20:05 Donetsk Voroshylovskyi: fire dept can hear heavy booms from north
20:06 Donetsk: We’re listening to Spartak or Mineralne [=outgoing artillery]
20:06 Makiivka Vostochnyi: It’s kind of a timetable: 20:00 sharp and loud salvos in the west from the bypass area
20:07 Donetsk: The north started to rumble tough
20:14 Yasynuvata: YaBP-vineyards direction rumbles by times
20:15 Makiivka: “I was outdoors, the sky is black in Gvardeyka direction”
20:15 Makiivka Vostochnyi: They fire some “flowers” – Gvozdikas [‘carnation’] or Pion [‘paeony’]
20:15 Donetsk: “Mahystralnyi can hear it along the entire line PiskyYaBP, a serious battle there”
20:15 Donetsk: “Gladkovka: horrible. everything and anything is heard, and nearby”
20:16 Donetsk Kyivskyi district: We’re listening to the north, everything is rumbling, so far no MLRS, flashes in Promka direction?
20:20 Donetsk Kyivskyi district: Heavy strikes from Makiivka direction, anti-aircraft gun fired a bit from Spartak direction, rare incoming fire
20:23 Donetsk Kyivskyi district: Flashes were probably in Butivka airshaft direction, not Promka

And the “battle” ceases earlier than usually (such evening pointless attacks may last until midnight – 1 a.m. with separate rounds until morning):

21:10Marinka: Sporadic gunfire
21:37Horlivka: Sporadic distant [sounds of war] are heard from the southwest. Quiet in the city
22:21Horlivka[pro-RU source]: Again loud impacts in the north of the city, Ukrs [=derogatory for ‘Ukrainians’] are messing

The situation in the Donbas on February 26, 2017, according to reports by local residents on social networks (red), ATO HQ (green), OSCE (blue). Updated according to the Feb27 OSCE SMM report.

Ukrainian military: 49 attacks, 5 wounded

The ATO Headquarters recorded 49 attacks on Ukrainian positions in the Donbas on February 25, no fatalities reported, 4 soldiers were wounded in action, one more injured.

Blackout in Avdiivka

On February 23 a power line feeding Avdiivka was damaged in the recent shelling, leaving the town without electricity again. As of February 26, the Russian side in the Joint Coordination Center for Ceasefire Monitoring (JCCC) still provided no ceasefire guarantees for Ukraine to repair power lines, as reported by the Head of the Donetsk regional military and civil administration Pavlo Zhebrivskyi.


Donbas blockade continues

The civil blockade of the railway communication between the government-controlled territories and occupied areas of the Donbas continues.

The Russian state-funded news channel RT has posted an aerial video of coal trains in the occupied town of Yasynuvata (a ‘village‘ in RT’s opinion), unable to leave the occupied Donbas because of the blockade:

Meanwhile, activists set another checkpoint near Novotroitske settlement, 34 km south of Donetsk, “to block the trade on blood, smuggling and counterfeit on the line Donetsk -Mariupol“, the statement published by the Headquarter of the blockade reads.

Earlier the campaigners blocked several railways and highways in the Donbas, they believe the blockade can cut off the funding to LDNR (“Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics”), and that the war can be stopped in this way. Authorities are of the opinion that the blockade should be ceased as the country’s energy security is under a threat.



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