Kyiv, February 24, 2016. Situation in ATO escalated yesterday. “Adversary used heavy weapons in the Donetsk and Mariupol sectors over 20 times. As per preliminary data over 160 mines were fired upon Ukrainian positions. Ukrainian positions on the western outskirts of Donetsk were fired upon several times by snipers,” said Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, spokesman of the Presidential Administration on ATO-related issues at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
In the Donetsk sector low-intensity combat actions continue all along the frontline, most turbulent situation is observed in Zaitseve, Novhorodske and Avdiivka. In the Mariupol sector militants violated ceasefire in Krasnohorivka, Maryinka and on the contact line between Chermalyk and Talakivka. “In addition to small arms and grenade launchers occupants used 82-mm and 120-mm mortars. Almost all attacks were made with precision fire,” said the ATO spokesman. In the Luhansk sector it was calm over the last day however a flight of a militant unmanned aerial vehicle was registered near Stanytsia Luhanska.
“Ukrainian troops incurred no fatalities over the last day, two servicemen were wounded in action,” said Colonel Motuzyanyk.
Main Intelligence Department of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry reported that another consignment of military assistance for militants arrived from the territory of Russia. “Thus trucks with personnel (60 servicemen) and ammunition (30 tons) entered through Izvaryne; three tanks, two infantry fighting vehicles and three trucks with ammunition entered through Amvrosiivka; four trucks with personnel entered through Novoazovsk,” said Colonel Motuzyanyk. It is also reported that a combined operative unit composed of the Special Forces of the Main Intelligence Department and of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation consisting of 150 servicemen arrived in Donetsk “to physically eliminate militant field commanders who do not follow orders of the central command.” Ukrainian intelligence also reported that “on February 22 troops of the Russian Federation Armed Forces dismantled metal constructions of former wholesale trade base “Rondo” in Horlivka and were in try to sell the metal pieces as metal scrap. On February 23 eight big trucks with metal scrap stolen from industrial objects of Donbas left to Russia through Izvaryne,” noted Colonel Motuzyanyk.
Law enforcement staff detained a resident of Kramatorsk who was actively taking part in seizure of administrative buildings in 2014. He was also patrolling the streets with weapons before government control was restored in town. “Another militant surrendered to law enforcement using the opportunity provided by Security Service’s program ‘They are waiting for you at home’,” said Colonel Motuzyanyk. Law enforcement also discovered a large weapons cache in Vodyane. “Sixteen antitank guided missiles, six RPG-22 grenade launchers, RPG-7 grenade launcher with five rounds, 15 rounds to SPG-9 grenade launcher, 19 under-barrel grenade launchers as well as 22 grenades, two hand-held Kalashnikov machine guns and Dragunov sniper rifle,” said ATO spokesman.
Oleksandr Motuzyanyk also reported that six trucks crossed through Zaitseve checkpoint to occupied areas. The trucks were carrying cargo from charity organizations for residents of occupied territories. Officers of the civil-military cooperation group brought clothes and toys for a kindergarten in Hranitne as well as food, clothes and coal for residents of Novohryhorivka.