DONETSK, July 16. /TASS/. The Ukrainian military suffered over 50 casualties in clashes with forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in the past day, the DPR people’s militia reported on Saturday.
"Fighters of the Donetsk People’s Republic operating jointly with the Russian armed forces eliminated the following enemy armaments and military hardware: five motor vehicles, five armored personnel carriers, two artillery mounts and 54 personnel," the statement says.
The DPR people’s militia reported on July 15 that the Ukrainian military had sustained over 60 casualties in battles with the militia forces over the past day.
The situation at the line of engagement in Donbass escalated on February 17. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) reported the most massive bombardments by the Ukrainian military in recent months, which damaged civilian infrastructure and caused civilian casualties.
On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Russia signed agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with their leaders. Russia recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions as of the beginning of 2014.
Russian President Putin announced on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics for assistance he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.
The DPR and the LPR launched an operation to liberate their territories under Kiev’s control.