National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov said in a comment, Censor.NET reports citing the NSDC press service.
According to him, only yesterday, more than 2,000 shells were fired by militants as they tried to break through our defenses. Three Ukrainian soldiers died, sixteen received wounds.
The NSDC secretary stressed that Russian-terrorist groups openly and deliberately employ heavy 152 mm artillery, 120 mm mortars, tanks and multiple launch rocket systems.
"War criminals that are directly supported and controlled by the Kremlin delivered aimed fire on civilian facilities, including in downtown Avdiivka, (the tent camp, where locals come to eat and warm themselves, the school, where humanitarian aid point operates, etc.)," he said, adding that the shelling again damaged communications and city infrastructure.
Turchynov said the attack killed the driver of an emergency service car and wounded the chief of the local fire and rescue team. Multiple injuries were also inflicted on a British photojournalist. 76 residential houses have been damaged in the territory of Avdiivka, including 69 private homes and seven apartment blocks. In addition, hybrid Russian troops hit civilian targets in Marinka, Krasnohorivka, Halytsynivka, Sartana and other settlements. 11 residential buildings and a school came under fire in Marinka.
"The Ukrainian intelligence has documented an increase in the number of military vehicles (tanks, self-propelled guns, multiple launch rocket systems), ammunition, weapons and Russian troops entering the occupied territory of the Donbas through uncontrolled parts of the border," the official said, adding this signaled intentions of Russia's military-political leadership to further escalate fighting in the east of Ukraine.
He stressed: "This escalation coincided with Putin's perverse and aggressive statements about the situation in the Donbas, which again indicates who is directly responsible for the bloody crimes and attempt to reverse the Minsk agreements and launch a full-scale military action."
"Ukraine is ready to provide international observers and international community with all the necessary proof of aggression and war crimes against Ukrainians by Russian hybrid troops," Turchynov stated.
"The Ukrainian army and other military units with dignity, courage and professionalism thwart brazen attempts of Russian hybrid forces to launch an offensive. They will adequately and decisively rebuff any aggressive action of the enemy," the NSDC secretary summed up.