LUGANSK, December 21. /TASS/. The Kiev regime’s troops stationed in the city of Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut in Ukraine) in the Donetsk People’s Republic are fortifying their positions for urban battles, Andrey Marochko, an officer of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) militia, told TASS on Wednesday, citing LPR intelligence information.
As the militia officer specified, Ukrainian troops are engaged in active preparations for urban warfare.
"They were observed erecting fortifications, creating strongholds and digging trenches. They are also setting up fire emplacements in the apartments of civilians. The basements of social facilities are used as missile/artillery armament depots," he noted.
The Ukrainian military is involving civilians, including women, in the trench work, he added.
"They are largely being coerced to work under the threat of violence but there are instances when they are paid with food and hygienic parcels supplied by international humanitarian organizations as free aid," Marochko revealed.
Commander of the Akhmat special operations battlegroup, Deputy Commander of the 2nd LPR People’s Militia Army Corps Apty Alaudinov said on December 20, commenting on the situation in Artyomovsk and Soledar that Ukrainian soldiers were refusing en masse to participate in combat operations and stay on the frontline.