Kyiv, March 18, 2016. Combat intensity considerably decreased in the Donetsk sector yesterday due to OSCE Special Monitoring Mission visit to Avdiivka and Yasynuvata area. Nevertheless, large-scale attacks at ATO troops’ positions continued in Luhanske and Zaitseve. “The enemy spares no ammunition – over 200 shells were launched yesterday from 82-mm and 120-mm mortars at our positions in these two flashpoints. Our troops came under sniping fire twice in the vicinity of the Donetsk airport,” informed Colonel Andriy Lysenko, Presidential Administration spokesperson on ATO related issues, at a briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. He added that the number of militants’ attacks in the Donetsk sector yesterday totaled 27, one in three involved use of heavy armor.
According to Ukrainian border guards, joint inter-sectoral task force designated to counter smuggling across government- and militant-controlled areas took fire yesterday night. “The incident took place in Bakhmut district of Donetsk region. Russia-backed militant groups were shooting from small arms, name sniping rifle,” explained Col. Lysenko. Moreover, a civil truck came under fire, the driver was wounded.
According to the spokesman, militants used mortar launchers seven times in the Mariupol sector. This took place in Novotroitske, Vodiane and Shyrokyne. Moreover, Russia-backed militant groups used armored personnel carriers and snipers during attacks. “Due to escalation of the enemy’s activity in this sector, ATO troops repeatedly responded with fire,” said Col. Lysenko. According to him, militants conducted 15 attacks at Ukrainian troops’ positions in total in the Mariupol sector yesterday, half of them involved use of heavy armor.
Nevertheless, the armistice held in the Luhansk sector yesterday. One Ukrainian soldier died in combat and three were wounded in the last 24 hours.