Command of the Ukrainian Joined Forces Operation has reported a significant escalation at several sections of the demarcation line in the Donbas.
According to the report, "armed formations of the Russian Federation" stationed in the territory of the so-called Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), went on an offensive near the settlements of Novotoshkivske, Orikhove, Krymske and Khutir Vilny in the early morning of Tuesday, February 18.
According to the Ukrainian military command, LPR militants, with the support of Russia, used weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements, including 120 millimeter caliber mortars . They also fired large-caliber machine guns.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense stressed that the Ukrainian military repelled the attack and retained full control over their positions. During the battle, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and four were wounded. The number of militants killed is not reported.
This is the most significant escalation in the south-east of Ukraine since 2018. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, called the incident a "cynical provocation" and "an attempt to derail the peace process in the Donbass, which began to move forward, though in small but steady steps."