Kyiv, March 19, 2016. Ukrainian Armed Forces incurred no casualties in combat yesterday, informed Colonel Andriy Lysenko, Presidential Administration spokesperson on ATO related issues, at a briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. In the Luhansk sector Russia-backed militants shot from machine guns and armored personnel carrier in Popasna district. Moreover, militants conducted 15 attacks in Popasna district. Insurgent violated the armistice the most often near Mariinka. Mortar attacks took place in Krasnohorivka, Hnutove and Shyrokyne. 36 militants’ attacks took place in the Donetsk sector in the last 24 hours. Russia-backed militant groups repeatedly used 82-mm and 120-mm mortar launcher east of Avdiivka. “Nevertheless, militants’ attempts to capture Avdiivka are absolutely unsuccessful. According to the recent information, ATO troops liquidated more that 10 militants in this area in the past several days, responding with precision fire. Another flashpoint is Zaitseve, where militants use 122-mm cannons, in addition to mortar launchers. The situation is difficult at the Svitlodarsk bulge, but armistice holds in the Donetsk airport,” explained Col. Lysenko.
According to the spokesman, the Security Service of Ukraine held a Special Forces raid in Starobilsk, Bilovodsk and Markivka in Luhansk region. It resulted in arrest of 12 informants who were members of a criminal organization ‘Ministry of State Security of Luhansk People’s Republic’. The spies were transferring information on location and proceedings of ATO troops to two curators supervised by Russian Special Forces. Militants used this information to prepare subversive acts. For instance, last January they tried to blast Starobilsk military procurator’s office. Recruiting Ukrainian troops was the Russian curators’ primary task. “Moreover, five members of subversive reconnaissance group of self-proclained “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) were detained in Odesa. The criminal’s aim was to destabilize the situation in the city and provoke ethnic conflicts. One kg of plastid, two anti-personnel mines, four grenade launchers, two grenades and small arms were seized from the subverters during search,” elaborated Col. Lysenko.