Ukraine’s military said on Tuesday (February 22) that the front-line town of Shchastya in eastern Luhansk region was continuously caught up in shelling by Russian-backed separatists. The defense ministry said it recorded 80 violations of the ceasefire across the ceasefire line in eastern Ukraine. According to the statement, separatists fired mortar launchers, anti-tank grenade launchers, machine guns, and small arms.
Kyiv government says Shchastya has been under artillery fire for several days. Located between the Kyiv-controlled territories and those of the self-proclaimed republic of Lugansk, Schastya has been on the front-line of Ukraine-Russia tensions since Russia deployed tens of thousands of Russian soldiers to Ukraine’s borders.
The Ukrainian State Emergency Service in the Luhansk region said earlier on Tuesday that a local thermal power plant on the front-line caught fire after artillery shelling, and emergency services were unable to access the power plant to extinguish the fire as there is no ceasefire.
Footage published by Ukrainian authorities as early as February 18 showed a humanitarian checkpoint at the outskirts of Shchastya being hit by artillery fire. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees on Monday (February 21), recognizing the independence of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, and the Luhansk People’s Republic.