from Moon of Alabama
Fighting in east Ukraine has restarted. This is an attempt by “deep state” forces to prevent any rapprochement between the U.S. and Russia under the new Trump administration.
The west-Ukrainian forces under command of the coup government of President Poroshenko started a large attack against the Russian supported Ukrainian self-defense forces in Donetsk and Lugansk governate.
A ceasefire arranged after the Minsk II agreement provided for demilitarized zones along a line of separation. The Ukrainian government has so far avoided to fulfill the Minsk II agreement that would allow a reuniting of the country. An OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), which includes officers from NATO countries as well as Russia, is supervising the ceasefire and issues daily reports.
On January 26 the SMM reported:
The SMM recorded more ceasefire violations  in Donetsk region, including about 420 explosions, compared with 228 in the previous reporting period. More than 160 explosions were recorded around the Svitlodarsk area, with exchanges of fire also recorded around Avdiivka and Yasynuvata.
The Mission revisited a Ukrainian Armed Forces permanent storage site, whose location corresponded with the relevant withdrawal lines and observed that 12 tanks (T-64) and four mortars (2B9 Vasilek, 82mm) were missing, as previously noted.
The SMM followed up on reports of a blockade of a railway track near government-controlled Hirske. The railway leads towards the “LPR”-controlled settlements of Donetskyi and Sentianivka (formerly Frunze) (49 and 44km west of Luhansk, respectively). The Mission had observed a train travelling east through Donetskyi on 23 January. The SMM observed that the tracks had been blocked by tree trunks under a bridge on the southern edge of the settlement. About 20 unarmed men wearing camouflage clothing told the Mission that they were veterans from former volunteer battalions. The SMM observed a tent near the blockade site.
The observations on the 26th pointed to the preparation of a full attack which was launched on January 28:
The SMM recorded fewer ceasefire violations in Donetsk region between the evenings of 27 and 28 January compared with the previous reporting period (including about 330 explosions compared with about 520). In the following 24 hours, however, the SMM recorded over 2,300 explosions, primarily in the Avdiivka-Yasynuvata-Donetsk airport area.
The SMM observed that the intense artillery barrage was launched north to south originating from the government held area.
The NAZI volunteer battalions from west-Ukrainian Galicia are spearheading the attack. There is ongoing fighting with intense artillery usage on several points along the ceasefire line (map). One main battle ground is the city of Avdeevka in the demilitarized zone north-west of Donetzk city…
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