Briefly about the most important today's events in our digest of events
that have happened in Ukraine today
Russia is unashamed of sending militants to Donbas solemnly
50 mercenaries have been publicly and solemnly dispatched from Yekaterinburg to Donbas to fight against Ukrainians, the periodical " Yekaterinburg online" reports.
50 People left Yekaterinburg heading to Ukraine on the night of 11 to 12 March; it has been the largest group of local volunteers publicly and solemnly sent to Donbas since the armistice was announced in Ukraine.
Militants were seen off with allocutions directly on a square in front of the railway station.
"It has been the largest expedition of volunteers - 50 soldiers - to the "PRL" since the beginning of the truce," the head of the Sverdlovsk Union of Special Forces Veterans, Vladimir Yefimov, said.
"These guys are mainly veterans of the Russian Special Forces; half of them have already fought in Ukraine. We are going to help restore the republic during the armistice. Why are they wearing neck face masks? Because they are so shy! They will be serving in the "Ghost brigade" under the command of Oleksiy Mozgovoy," he said.
However, gunmen who had gathered on the square claimed they were going "to fight for the brotherly people".
"Those are not mercenaries! They are only volunteers! Only free of charge! I want to tell you straight away," Yefimov, who had previously spoken about schemes to dispatch fighters to war, asserted.
Rebels attempt to go on the offensive in the Artemivsk direction,
and bring up their forces to the sea
Insurgents tried to advance in the Artemivsk direction in the past 24 hours, the head of the Information Resistance Group, Dmytro Tymchuk, posted in Facebook on the morning of March 12.
"Russian and terrorist forces made a number of attempts to move forward in the Artemivsk direction in the past 24 hours with attacks on positions of Ukrainian forces near the settlements of Schastya, Donetsk, Marianivka, Krasnogorivka and in a sector between Avdiivka and Pisky," he writes.
The enemy moves up reinforcements and additional equipment to front lines in the Prymorsky direction.
"In particular, tactical task forces of Russian and terrorist troops deployed to the north of Novoazovsk were reinforced with 4 tanks, 3 APC-80s, 1 APC-82A, 2 ICV-2s and 4 army trucks with personnel," Tymchuk says.
ATO Headquarters: Rebels use artillery at front lines
Gunmen violated the ceasefire deal 28 times on the evening of March 11 and on the night of March 12, a spokesman for the General Staff, Anatoly Stelmakh, reported during a phone conversation from Donbas on Thursday morning.
"The enemy violated the ceasefire 25 times in the period of time between 7 p.m. March 11 and midnight March 12. Three additional attacks were registered at midnight," he said.
"The Donetsk direction remains a hot spot. Rebels carried out several attacks on the town of Avdiivka with 152mm artillery systems at 7.05 p.m.," Stelmakh said.
In addition, outlawed units of gunmen were firing upon the villages of Pisky and Vodyane with artillery from 9.20 to 9.50 p.m.
The ATO spokesman stressed that that all proved rebels' statements about the withdrawal of heavy armaments from front lines had no credibility.
Also, the villages of Pisky, Avdiyivka, Opytne, and Vodyane were shelled and mortared.
"In the Mariupol direction, the enemy fired at our positions in Shyrokine with machine-guns. A rebel sniper was working near this settlement between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on March 11," Stelmakh said.
In the Artemivsk direction, rebels attacked the village of Leninske 4 times with small arms and mortars.
In the Lugansk direction, insurgents were placing fire on Ukrainian army checkpoints situated near Sukhodol with small arms from 8.50 to 9.50 p.m.
"Despite provocative attacks, ATO forces bring down fire only in response. . Also, we carry on building defensive works at front lines," Stelmakh said.
A spokesman for the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Vladislav Selezniov, said in his turn that 49 strikes on ATO forces were registered during the past 24 hours in Donbas.
Lawyer: Doctors from Ukraine are not allowed to Savchenko to prevent her from being released
The Russian authority does not allow Ukrainian doctors to examine Savchenko because of fears they could afford ground for her dismission, Savchenko's lawyer Mark Feigin said at a live broadcast of "Hromadske TV".
According to Feigin, this is why prison doctors always issue papers verifying her satisfactory health conditions.
Tymchuk: 30 to 33 thousand militants fighting in Donbas,
80-85% of whom are mercenaries from the Russian Federation
2 rebel army corps accounting for around 30-33 thousand people have been deployed in Donbas; 80-85% of them are Russian mercenaries, the head of the Information Resistance Group, Dmytro Tymchuk, posted in Facebook on March 12.
At the same time, according to the IRG, the leadership of militants continues to carry out "mobilization measures".
"So-called mobilization lists of workers are made up in works and mines situated in the occupied territory under the pretext to prepare for "Ukrainian army's offensive," Tymchuk said.
Meanwhile, artillery systems are secretly repositioned closer to front lines in several districts of Donetsk simultaneously using a "rolling method" (in small groups or separately).
The IRG has spotted intensive combat training of "Russian and terrorist forces" conducted mainly at four equipped training camps across rebel-held territories of Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
Militants attack border guards in Donbas for the first time in three weeks
Rebels have resumed attacks on positions of Ukrainian border guards and intensified air intelligence in Donbas, a spokesman for the State Border Service of Ukraine, Oleg Slobodian, announced as reported by Interfax-Ukraine.
"A border guards' checkpoint was attacked with small arms near the settlement of Mayorske from 1.45 to 3 p.m. yesterday. No casualties reported. It should be mentioned that this is the first assault on positions of border guards in the past three weeks," Slobodian said.
He also stressed that a sharp increase in the number of unmanned aerial vehicles used for aerial reconnaissance purposes had been detected.
"61 UAVs were detected over the buffer zone along the demarcation line between 8 and 12 March. The largest number - 27 UAVs - was spotted on March 11," he said.
Also, border guards often observe helicopters flying by along the Ukrainian border.
ATO Headquarters: No casualties in the ATO area in the past 24 hours
No servicemen were killed or wounded in the ATO area in the past 24 hours, a spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council, Andriy Lysenko, reported at a briefing on Thursday.
At the same time, the governor of the Lugansk Regional State Administration, Gennady Moskal, has informed about 2 people wounded as a result of hostilities near Krymske, Lugansk region.
According to him, a number of fights broke out again last night in government-held territories of Lugansk region near settlements located along the Bakhmutka highway.
ATO Headquarters: Rebels train mercenaries at two camps in Lugansk region
Militants continue to mass forces in the Artemivsk, Lugansk and Mariupol directions, and have set up two training camps in Lugansk region, a spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council, Andriy Lysenko, reported at a briefing on Thursday.
"The main task for today is monitoring the situation in order not to miss a possible offensive of the enemy, so that we could adequately respond to rebels' actions," the ATO spokesmen said when answering a question about Ukraine's reaction against rebels’ activities.
"We are observing for the time being, and rely on our international colleagues from the OSCE mission, who report daily on the situation at frontlines," Lysenko added.