Donetsk, May 22 - DAN. Ukrainian forces suffered the largest losses over the past weeks in the attacks in the Gorlovka area which left 18 servicemen killed and more than 20 wounded, DPR Operations Command deputy commander Eduard Basurin said on Tuesday.

“In the Golmovskiy settlement area (northern Gorlovka - eds Donetsk News Agency), the enemy losses amounted to five dead; a mortar was lost as well. In the Chigari settlement area (west of Gorlovka - eds DAN), Ukrainian terrorists lost 13 servicemen and more than 20 were wounded,” Basurin said.

DPR servicemen destroyed a Ukrainian tank, an infantry fighting vehicle and a US-made counterbattery station ANTPQ-48 which Kiev forces had used to adjust artillery fire.

According to Basurin, the heavy losses foiled Kiev’s original plan to gain a foothold in the dominant terrain and enter Gorlovka.

The DPR Operations Command reported that Ukrainian gunmen shelled nine settlement areas with 11 122mm artillery rounds, 77 120mm mortar rounds and 31 82mm mortar rounds over the past 24 hours. They also used infantry fighting vehicle cannons and all types of grenade launchers and small arms.

Tensions heightened on the Donbass frontline over the past week. Gorlovka remains one of the worst trouble spots in the region with strikes recorded even in daytime. Four civilians were wounded on Monday afternoon. Over the past week, four people were killed and another 11 were wounded in the area in the period from May 13 till May 21, according to DAN estimates.*jk