Donetsk and Luhansk have demanded that Kyiv lift the transport blockade of Donbas before spring. “By using radicals, Kyiv has organized and is maintaining the railroad blockade and is threatening to block motorways connecting the Donbas republics to Ukraine”, Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky, heads of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, said in a joint statement posted on the Luhansk information center’s website. “We have to declare that, unless the blockade is lifted by 00:00 a.m. on Wednesday (March 1, 2017), we will appoint external management at every enterprise under Ukrainian jurisdiction operating in the DPR and the LPR,” the statement said
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry will conduct over 100 exercises this year, to practice coherence among antiaircraft missile units, in particular, a live fire exercise with Buk-M1 surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems will take place in Kherson region. “To ensure coherence among our anti-aircraft missile units, we are planning to conduct around 50 tactical exercises with command staffs of brigades, regiments and core units, almost 25 tactical exercises with Buk-M1 surface-to-air missile batteries and around 35 tactical-specific exercises with logistic units”, Hutsuliak said at a briefing in Kyiv on Friday.
Kyiv reports 15 attacks on its positions in Donbass in past 24 hours. The Ukrainian military press office said on Facebook that Ukrainian army positions came under attack of 120mm mortars near Pisky. Grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and small arms were fired in Avdiyivka in the Donetsk sector, the report said. In the Mariupol sector, mortars, grenade launchers, infantry combat vehicles and small arms were engaged in attacks on Shyrokyne, Talakivka, Maryinka and Vodiane, the press office said.