Taro: Firefights show Russia wants to conquer more territory ({{commentsTotal}})

The firefights in eastern Ukraine may have become routine, but the latest intensity shows Russia wants to increase its territory, says Estonian journalist Igor Taro.

Russia has again began to fire on Ukrainian positions with artillery based in Russia and the attacks appear to be preparation for a larger operation, Taro told ETV on Tuesday.

“The Russian army used the same tactic in summer to deter the Ukrainian forces from border areas while they were trying to keep cross-border activity in check,” he said, adding that Russian artillery is based near the villages of Patronovka and Mozhaevka some 30-40 kilometers from Luhansk.

He said the Ukrainian government forces are in control of the border northeast of Luhansk, and Russian artillery is trying to scare them off so more units can be brought over.

Battles around Debal'tseve, a 25,000 population town right between Luhansk and Donetsk, have intensified, but the front line is stable, Taro said.

“Russians have attempted to capture the Donetsk airport from north through the Opytne village, which is between the airport and Avdiivka,” he said. Avdiivka is the site of Ukrainian artillery, which is shielding units defending the airport.