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Situation report for February 4: Civilian casualties in the Donbas

Situation report for February 4: Civilian casualties in the Donbas
Photo: Press-center ATO

Today, combat activities in the ATO zone led to civilian casualties and multiple destructions in civilian sector.

The Ministry of Information of the breakaway Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) announced a powerful artillery strike, which damaged three schools and hospital #27 in the Kirovskiy district of Donetsk. Different sources reported 3 to 15 victims.

Editor-in-chief of the online publication Donbas News Oleksiy Matsuka told Capital that on Wednesday artillery shelled three districts located on the outskirts of Donetsk. Their residents suffer from lack of power and water shortages. Food rationing from Rinat Akhmetov's Foundation and other charities were suspended in all city districts. Public transport runs only in the center of Donetsk.

Representatives of the ATO Press Center assured Capital that there was no fire from positions controlled by Ukrainian authorities. “The ATO forces do not shell settlements occupied by the terrorists. Even if we have operational information and intelligence data about their positions, there is high probability of civilian casualties. I can guarantee that there was no fire on our part,” said Director of the Press Center of the ATO Oleksandr Motuzyanyk.

He also mentioned the changing nature of military operations in Debaltsevo direction (Donetsk oblast). First of all, there is the increased number of attacks on the part of the DPR compared to the last few days. In other areas of the front there is intensive shelling of Ukrainian positions and settlements.

In the Luhansk direction militants used Grad multiple rocket launchers. Soldier of the Aidar battalion Andriy Lebid, currently deployed near the village of Shchastya in Luhansk oblast, said in a conversation with Capital that on Wednesday positions of the Ukrainian army were shelled with some unknown ammunition. Shell hits caused more damages than Grad rockets.

In Mariupol direction the situation remained relatively calm. Officer of the press group in the M sector of the ATO zone Dmytro Chaliy told Capital there were three mortar attacks on the village of Pavlopol. There were no casualties or wounded people.

Civilians leave affected areas because of shelling of settlements and complex situation in the near-front zone. In Luhansk oblast people are evacuated in armored vehicles due to heavy shelling. Representatives of the press service of the local administration say people are evacuated from Krymske and Zolote settlements.

In turn, representatives of the Donetsk Oblast State Administration noted that willing people were evacuated from villages not exposed to active hostilities. Head of the Press Service of the State Administration Ilya Suzdalev says that so far the administration is unable to transport people from Vuhlehirsk, which is only partially controlled by the ATO forces.

“Anyone may get to Debaltseve on their own, where they will be picked up. There is combat activity in Vuhlehirsk, therefore, we cannot provide centralized evacuation,” he said.

Suzdalev did not comment on the information posted in social networks according to which residents of Vuhlehirsk are evacuated to the territory controlled by the DPR.

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