Illegal armed groups in eastern Ukraine continue their provocations against government troops as well as aerial reconnaissance near Mariupol, Donetsk region.
In the small hours of Thursday, they opened submachine-gun fire at Stanytsya Luhanska 10 miles northeast of Luhansk, mortar fire at the village of Granitne in the south of Donetsk region, and artillery fire at the village of Taramchuk 40 miles southeast of Donetsk. The Donetsk Airport controlled by government troops has come under fire twice since Wednesday night. Fortunately, there have been no fatalities," the press center of the Counterterrorism Operation headquarters reported on Thursday. According to the report, Russian-backed militants continue reinforcing their units near Donetsk and Luhansk. A 150-strong task force arrived from Alchevsk, Luhansk region with four tanks, six APCs, and two antitank guns.
The OSCE Monitoring Mission based at two border crossing points in Rostov oblast, Russia reports a growing number of persons in military uniforms crossing the Russia-Ukraine border in both directions.
In its weekly report released on Thursday the Mission said that a total of 739 people in uniforms had crossed the border - both individually and in groups, since December 17th. The mission also reported a large number of heavy trucks carrying coal from Luhansk region to Russia.