Kyiv, March 29, 2016. The situation is escalating in the Donetsk sector in the ATO zone yesterday. It was comparatively calm only between Horlivka and Yasynuvata. Nevertheless, combat activity lasted non-stop in separate sections of the contact line. Militant shot at ATO troops’ positions over 60 times in the past 24 hours. “Militants used cannon artillery (152-mm cannons). The incident took place in Mayorsk. Moreover, intense mortar attacks at ATO troops’ positions continued – occupants launched over 230 mortar shells, which is the record number since last summer. Svitodarsk bulge (Luhanske village), the outskirts of Horlivka (Zaitseve, Mayorsk, Leninske) and Avdiivka became the main flashpoint,” said Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, Presidential Administration spokesperson on ATO related issues during a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
He added that the intelligence informs that Russia-backed militant group deployed battery of Gradmulti-launcher rocket systems.
Militants violated the ceasefire in the east and west of Luhansk region, in Bolotene village of Stanytsia Luhanska district and Popasna. “Both attacks took place in the afternoon, after the sunset,” said Col. Motuzyanyk. In the Mariupol sector militants shot at ATO troops’ positions four times in Mariinka and Shyrokyne. Col. Motuzyanyk explained that all the attacks were aimed, so Ukrainian troops responded with fire.
Ukrainian Armed Forces incurred no losses in combat yesterday, but six troops were wounded. One serviceman died in a car crash. Moreover, a civilian from Avdiivka was wounded as a result of militants’ shelling. According to the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the so-called “11th motorized rifle regiment of Donetsk People’s Republic” had four militants wounded two days ago. Moreover, two militants of the so-called “5th separate motorized rifle brigade of Donetsk People’s Republic” (home base – Donetsk) died and three were wounded as a result of careless mining of the area. According to the intelligence, “due to active combat activity militants from the so-called “2nd battalion of the 3rd separate motorized rifle brigade” of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) (home base – Horlivka) refused to engage in forward position yesterday and threatened to kill the brigade commander, major general of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Igor Timofeev for his cruel treatment and useless command,” said the spokesman. According to the intelligence, militants from the so-called “100th separate motorized rifle brigade of Donetsk People’s Republic” (home base – Donetsk) started dismantling rails of service roadway at Skochynskyi coal mine yesterday. “It is planned to sell the rails and wagons for scrap,” added Col. Motuzyanyk.
Military counterintelligence officers of the Security Service of Ukraine jointly with troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine prevented militants’ subversive act. “Law enforcement officers found a rocket-propelled anti-personnel flame thrower “Shmel’ made in Russia near Orikhove in Popasna district, Luhansk region. It was battle-ready and channeled at the road regularly used by ATO troops,” explained Col. Motuzyanyk. He also informed that a raid by 90 policemen and National Guard troops was conducted in Mariinka district, Donetsk region. “Identities of 17 members of Russia-backed militant groups were established. Moreover, law enforcements received information on 16 people who are enemy’s informants. A weapons cache containing explosives and ammunition was found,” informed the spokesman.