Donetsk, Apr 20 - DAN. Ukrainian forces have begun active preparations for an offensive on south axis, planning to carry out strikes on Shirokino village area ahead of May holidays, DPR Operations Command deputy commander Eduard Basurin told reporters on Thursday.

“A source in Odessa-based unit A0456 command said a Ukrainian combined marines brigade is planning military operations in Volnovakhskiy and Novoazovskiy districts,” Basurin said.

“According to their plans, two mobile sabotage groups will advance to Shirokino village area on 23-24 April,” he said.

Ukrainian gunmen plan to fire at their own decoy positions in order to open "retaliatory" fire on DPR positions. DPR authorities believe that the enemy might take advantage of the incident in the attempt to launch a large offensive.

“At present, saboteurs are readying their weapons. To ensure operation secrecy, it is planned to employ civil cars with mounted mortars,” Basurin added.

During the 14 April question and answer session with Ukrainian residents, DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko said the Republic was expecting a new Ukrainian army offensive in the nearest future. Zakharchenko underlined that the enemy had formed strike teams on the key axes. *jk