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MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. Marines of Ukraine’s Armed Forces have engaged in a shootout with volunteer battalions near the city of Mariupol which left 26 soldiers wounded, the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic (DPR) reported Wednesday.
"According to our data, the inhabited locality of Shirokino saw a regular firefight between nationalistic battalions and marine units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which left people wounded on both sides," the ministry said.
"Up to 26 seriously wounded servicemen were delivered to the Dnipropetrovsk hospital," the Donetsk News Agency cited a ministry spokesman as saying.
The ministry said the possible reason for the shootout could have been "unwillingness of marines to take part in shelling of DPR localities conducted by nationalists from the buffer zone."
DPR defense ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin on January 12 reported on a conflict between the Right Sector extremist organization with marines near Mariupol. He said the armed clashes were caused by the fight for control of cargo transportation in the area.
The ministry has repeatedly reported on similar clashes in Donbas. In particular, the Armed Forces of Ukraine and various volunteer formations allegedly clashed on the Gorlovka and Donetsk directions.