The Ukrainian military has taken back the Rozsadky settlement in the neutral strip of the Debaltseve region (Donetsk region), the press service of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) reported on Facebook.
Rozsadky, located at the Svitlodarsk Salient, had been held previously by the Ukrainian army, and formed part of a supply route to the groups near Debaltseve. However, after the battles in the winter of 2015 and the agreements which ensued, the town fell under the neutral strip, where no armed forces were permitted to be stationed. The forces of the unrecognized Donbas republics held positions on its outskirts.
The operation was planned for four months, the JFO notes. Under the cover of the 72nd Ukrainian special forces brigade, Ukrainian troops were able to clean up the village and raise the Ukrainian flag there. The regiments of the unrecognized republics who had been bombarding them from the town were driven out.
The JFO notes that it will be difficult to establish a full-fledged position in the village due to its proximity to the enemy. Nevertheless, Rozsadky will be under the firing control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from now on.
In February 2018, Oleksandr Turchynov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, said that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had been able to progress by as much as 10 km in certain areas in 2017, capturing a number of town and “improving its positions”. He noted that the progress was made in the “gray zone”, and that no changes could be made to the demarcation line with the occupied territory. In November 2017, the Ukrainian military captured two neutral towns at the Svitlodarsk Salient – Maiske and Hladosove. On February 1, 2018, the Ukrainian army announced that it had recaptured the town of Novooleksandrivka on the demarcation line with the Luhansk province.