Pro-Russian separatists have strengthened their position near Mariupol with two generals of the Russian Armed Forces coordinating their activity, the Press Service of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry reported.
"The most alarming situation is near Mariupol. At the direction of the Commander of the First Army Corps (Donetsk), the General Major of the Armed Forces of Russia, Valery Asapov (according to the document cover – Valery Primakov), the ninth special motorized regiment of marines (Novoazovsk) is reinforced by a special army weaponry and vehicles, as well as additional ammunition including missiles and artillery shells", the department noted.
According to Ukrainian Intelligence, measures to improve the military capability of the sixth motorized regiment (Stakhanov) and the Second Army Corps (Lugansk) are ongoing. "The Commander of the Corps, the General Major, Evgeny Nikiforov (according to the document cover – Evgeny Morgun), took direct control over the events on the ground. He is the Deputy Commander of the 58th Army (Vladikavkaz) of the southern military district in the Russian Armed Forces ", the Defense Intelligence claims.
Since April of 2014, fighting has continued in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. A number of settlements in the Donbas, in particular Donetsk and Luhansk, are occupied by separatists. Since then, according to the UN, more than 9,000 people have been killed and another 21,000 have been wounded.
On January 14, the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk announced another ceasefire agreement in the combat area in eastern Ukraine. However, since then, parties to the conflict have repeatedly accused each other of violating the agreement.