Kyiv, August 11, 2015. Russia-backed militants violated the ceasefire established by the Minsk Accords 434 times between August 7 and 10, said ATO Staff spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Anatoliy Stelmakh at a press briefing via Skype at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “On August 9, Ukrainian positions were fired upon the highest number of times in recent weeks. Militants violated the ceasefire 127 times. The enemy shelled Ukrainian troop positions in Orlovske with 152-mm artillery, and both the positions of Ukrainian troops and civilian houses in Lebedynske with 122-mm artillery and mortars. In the Mariupol area, militants also shelled civilian houses in Vodyane and the town of Pryovrazhne with artillery,” added the ATO Staff spokesman.
On August 9 in the Artemivsk sector, militant groups shelled Ukrainian positions in Troyitske with BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers from the area of Kalynove. Militant groups also fired from Grad launchers in Rozsadky. “The most active fighting started in the area of Starohnativka in Mariupol sector between August 9-10 during the night. Militants attacked our positions with mortars and undertook massive preparations for further artillery attacks.. Afterwards militant groups numbering 400 supported by 10 tanks, 10 infantry fighting vehicles and other equipment made an offensive on the stronghold of the 72nd mechanized brigade in the area of Starohnativka,” noted Lt. Col. Stelmakh.
Lt. Col. Stelmakh attributed the intensification of militant attacks observed over the last several days to the arrival of Aleksandr Lentsov, Colonel-General of the Russian Federation Armed Forces. Lt. Col. Stelmakh cited Ukrainian intelligence report that claims the arrival of the Russian commander. “It is under his command that militants have once again begun using Grad multiple rocket launchers. Combat engagements between our troops and enemy subversive reconnaissance groups have become more frequent. As such, four OSCE vehicles were destroyed in Donetsk, and the provocation was registered on the night of August 8-9. In this way, militants are trying to intimidate representatives of the international organization, putting pressure on monitors impeding them by objectively presenting information on the state of play in the region,” summarized Lt. Col. Stelmakh.