Kyiv, December 25, 2015. Militants completely disregard the results of latest negotiations held by trilateral contact group. Despite the fact situation in the ATO zone was complicated lately, it has stabilized by the end of the previous day. Militants instigated almost 140 armed provocations. Three firefights also took place, said Major Anton Myronovych, ATO spokesperson, via Skype at Ukraine Media Crisis Center. “Pro-Russian militant groups treacherously entered Kominternove settlement located in the so-called ‘grey zone’ on December 22, on the last day of trilateral contact group meeting on regulating the situation in Donbas. Moreover, militants entered brought armour and military equipment into Kominternove, though these were supposed to be withdrawn to the demarcation line in compliance with all the agreements,” emphasized Major Myronovych. He said Ukrainian troops defending Kominternove did not respond to provocations. They promptly informed Joint Center for control and coordination of ceasefire and stabilization of the demarcation line, as well as representatives of the OSCE Joint Monitoring Mission. As a result, insurgents hastily withdrew all the equipment and heavy armour, following which the militants themselves abandoned the settlement. “From the military viewpoint, holding Kominternove has neither strategic nor operative significance. On the contrary, during the provocation militants planned to destroy civilians together with Armed Forces, demolishing the settlement using multiple rocket launch systems (MRLS) and artillery,” said the spokesperson. At present the situation in the vicinity of Mariupol is under Ukrainian troops’ control.
Major Myronovych also explained the situation with shelling in the ATO zone. On December 24, militants shot at Ukrainian positions 35 times, and instigated two firefights.
“A Russia-backed militant group consisting of up to 30 people supported by 82-mm mortar launchers tried to break through the line of our defense near Maiorsk. Insurgents incurred losses in a two-hour fight and retreated. At the same time, a small group of militants made a similar attempt in the vicinity of Mariinka, but stayed no chance against our troops,” said the spokesperson.
Militants mostly fire at Ukrainian positions near Donetsk and Horlivka, shooting from small arms, grenade launchers of various systems and large machine guns near Luhanske, Troitske, Maiorsk, Zaitseve, Mariinka and Opytne. Snipers are working too. Militants delivered precision fire from APCs and anti-aircraft mounts at ATO forces positions near Novhorodske. Militants used GRAD MRLS three times in the vicinity of Troitske in Luhansk region, and an anti-tank rocket launcher near Hranitne. In total, about 40-50 armed provocations are recorded every day, partially using weapons prohibited by Minsk agreements.