Kyiv, February 25, 2016. Over the previous and this night, the most restless situation was near Zaitseve in Donetsk sector. “The militants attempted to attack and repeatedly used 82-mm mortars, grenade launchers, small arms and especially heavy machine guns. The battle lasted almost twenty-four hours. The Ukrainian soldiers fought out bravely and flung the enemy forces back from the high ground from which they attacked,” said Colonel Olexandr Motuzyanyk, Presidential Administration spokesperson on ATO related issues, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. In this battle, no Ukrainian military was killed in action. According to Col. Motuzyanyk, soldiers found a lot of weapons in the place where militants had abandoned their positions. “In particular, these are antitank guided missiles and flame throwers “Dzhmil (Bumblebee)” produced in 2000,” said Col. Motuzyanyk. “All weapons are marked as belonging to the Russian Federation Armed Forces, which once again proves how Russia supports the militants with money, weapons and other material security.”
Meanwhile, according to the Defence Intelligence, military assistance from Russia again arrived in the Donbas territory, which is temporarily controlled by militants. “In particular, 120 Russian servicemen arrived at Sverdlovsk, Luhansk region. Also, 250 Russian military arrived at the village of Kachkarske, which is in Novoazovsk district Donetsk region. Russia delivered 420 tons of fuel by a special train to Rovenky, and seven railway platforms with military equipment, three tanks with fuel and four wagons with ammunition to Ilovaisk,” said Col. Motuzyanyk.
Yesterday, militants left Shyrokyne. “The village is totally under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Now our people work there to clear and remove mines from the territory, because when leaving, the militants put numerous trip wires there,” said Col. Motuzyanyk. He reminded that under the Minsk agreements, Shyrokyne should be under the control of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Over the past day, it was restless in other sectors, too. Only in Luhansk sector there were no provocations. In Donetsk sector, except Zaitseve, militants violated ceasefire near Novhorodske and Mayorsk close to Horlivka. They used grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and small arms. Unrest was also observed in the vicinity of Donetsk airport. “Militants used small arms, grenade launchers and heavy machine guns near Pisky, Opytne and Avdiivka, and fired from mortars at Pervomayske. In addition, illegal military groups, based in Staromykhailivka, fired from anti-aircraft installations and mortars at our positions not far from Krasnohorivka and Nevelske,” said Col. Motuzyanyk.
In Mariupol sector, most shelling was recorded near Maryinka. “Over the day, militants fired from small arms, heavy machine guns and grenade launchers, and at 23:40 at night, they shot four mines from an 82-mm mortar,” said Col. Motuzyanyk and added that Ukrainian military opened fire in response, using small arms. Also, militants fired three mines near Chermalyk and one near Hnutove. One armed provocation was also recorded near Hranitne.
“Over the past 24 hours, Ukrainian Armed Forces did not incur any lethal casualties, two were wounded,” noted Col. Motuzyanyk. Meanwhile, according to the intelligence, “On February 23, two coffins with dead bodies of Russian officers and five bags with the remains of soldiers were taken through Dovzhanskyi checkpoint to Russia. Currently, we verify the information regarding delivery of 60 dead bodies of Russian military to Donetsk morgue on Feb. 23,” said Col. Motuzyanyk. In addition, the intelligence reports of frequent desertions in the so-called “1st battalion of territorial defense of DPR” and “5th separate motorized rifle brigade of DPR “, located in Obilne.
In Volyn region a militant of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) nicknamed “Commissar” was sentenced to 12 years in prison. “During the annexation of Crimea, the militant was involved in blocking units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. For his crimes, he received an award from the Russian Ministry of Defense – a medal “For the Return of Crimea”, said Col. Motuzyanyk. Besides, a Russian citizen Denis Ivanovich Kudrin nicknamed “Hooligan” was informed of suspicion in his absence. “In April 2014, he headed an illegal military group in the so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”), which subordinated to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian Ministry of Defense. Kudrin, together with other militants, was involved in murdering and torturing Ukrainian soldiers and looting civilians. During the attack at Debaltseve, the Russian was in charge of the so-called “3d motorized rifle battalion of 2nd separate motorized rifle brigade of LPR,” reported Col. Motuzyanyk.
In the village of Volodarsky district Kyiv region, law enforcement officers found a large arsenal of ammunition taken from ATO zone. “They withdrew nearly 150 RHN, RGD-5 and F-1 grenades with fuses, 87 rounds for RPG-7B grenade launcher and more than 20,000 rounds of ammunition of various calibers,” said Col. Motuzyanyk.