: Surge in fighting near eastern Ukrainian town of Maryinka
Politics14:08 Apr. 3, 2016
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Surge in fighting near eastern Ukrainian town of Maryinka

Ukrainian reconnaissance spots enemy sniper unit in the area

Ukrainian troops are returning fire against Russian-backed separatist forces near the eastern town of Maryinka. A spike in fighting in eastern Ukraine has been recorded by Europe's watchdog on the ground - the OSCE.

Ivan Hrebenyuk, UT Correspondent"At this moment our boys are firing back because from the very morning Ukrainian positions were being shelled. After this I think there will be silence."

A Ukrainian reconnaissance team working near Maryinka reported seeing a unit of enemy snipers in the area.

‘Bulivar', 14th Detached Mechanized Brigade soldier: "Yesterday our boys noticed them from a high point. Four men were heading to the plant there. We knew they would be firing. And they have been since yesterday and now as well."

Read also Russia deploys military equipment and special forces to Donbas - Ukraine intel

A few days ago, sporadic fighting erupted in the same area, leading to the death of a militant leader. Now Ukrainian soldiers believe Russian-backed separatist forces are trying to get revenge.

‘Sanitar', 14th Detached Mechanized Brigade soldier: "It depends what each one of us will leave with. We don't know if they're regular troops or Kadyrov's men."

Over the course of the nearly two-year war in eastern Ukraine Western officials and media have reported of regular Russian soldiers fighting alongside militant forces in the region. Ukraine says a large number of Russian troops are now concentrated at the hottest point of fighting on the frontline - near the villages of Avdiivka and Pisky.

Watch also Dispatch From Avdiivka: Hottest point of fighting on Ukraine's front line

Vladyslav Yakushev, 14th Detached Mechanized Brigade press officer: "Their unit cannot take our positions. I think if they went on the offensive it would be a gift for us. Because it's unlikely they would return from that attack."

More than 9,100 people have been killed and 21,000 wounded since the conflict broke out in 2014.

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