Donetsk, Dec 22 – DAN. The 21 December Debaltsevo shelling by Ukrainian forces is a sign of failure to seize this sector on the contact line, DPR Operations Command deputy commander Eduard Basurin told a news briefing at Donetsk News Agency on Thursday.

“After the disastrous Ukrainian army failure to seize a height in the area of Svetlodarsk (the town itself is Kiev-controlled – eds DAN), resulting in heavy losses of manpower and materiel, Ukrainian gunmen, in impotent fury, intensified targeted shelling of neighbourhoods,” Basurin said. “Ukrainian side therefore shows that it is incapable of resisting our units, venting its spite on civilians.”

On Wednesday, Ukrainian forces shelled Debaltsevo neighbourhoods for the first time since February 2015, damaging three houses. One house in the outskirts was fully destroyed.

On 18 December 2016, Ukrainian forces attempted to break through LPR People’s Militia defence lines in Kalinovka village area outside Debaltsevo. As the attack began, Ukrainian units simultaneously shelled DPR forces to penetrate their defence.

DPR and LPR forces, positioned close to each other at this juncture, thwarted the enemy attack by combined efforts. According to LPR People’s Militia, Ukrainian losses amounted to 40 killed and 50 wounded, and LPR losses to four killed and five wounded. DPR reported no casualties. *jk