Ceasefire has been declared for the second time in September. According to the Ukrainian intelligence, sabotage groups of the Russian military personnel provoke Ukrainian troops to ceasefire violations. The report shows that Russia returns heavy equipment and artillery systems to the contact line.
Ceasefire and orders to provocations
Kyiv, September 16, 2016. Despite the ceasefire, introduced on September 1, militants continued intensive shelling of Ukrainian positions. The most intensive attacks with the use of 122 and 152 mm artillery systems and 82 and 120 mm mortars were recorded close to Zaitseve and Avdiivka (Donetsk region). 363 rounds and 276 mines were recorded in the latter. Despite the so-called full ceasefire, militants carried out 268 attacks and assault operations against ATO positions over a week. This was stated by Vadym Skybytskyi, Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Chief Intelligence Directorate, at a briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “The Russian Federation Armed Forces Command once again gave an order to cease fire from 00:00 September 15. However, sabotage and reconnaissance groups, staffed by military personnel from Russian regular troops of special purpose, received another task to provoke ATO forces to ceasefire violations in the area of Novotroitske, Avdiivka, Luhanske and Maryinka (Donetsk region),” noted the representative of military intelligence.
According to him, Russian handlers of militants set the limits on the use of artillery ammunition. Thus, over the period from September 15 to 23, 2016 units 1 and 2 AK had a “limit” at up to 500 rounds, including 300 rounds of caliber 122 mm. With this in mind, the ceasefire may be selective.
Heavy equipment and artillery systems return to the contact line
Military intelligence has recorded an increase in violations of the Minsk agreements on withdrawal of weapons and military equipment. In particular, it is 49 tanks and more than 56 units of artillery systems and self-propelled artillery system. “MLRS (multiple launch rocket systems) continue returning to the contact line. In particular, we detected 16 units of 122 mm Grad systems near Alchevsk, Horlivka, Makiyivka, Rozdolne, Staromykhailivka, Oktyabr,” said Vadym Skybytskyi. Russia also continues to supply weapons and military equipment to Ukraine, including directly to the contact line. “Over the last week, 2,500 tons of fuel and more than 400 tons of ammunition, 15 tanks, 25 armored vehicles, 4 artillery systems and 5 MLRS BM-21 Grad were delivered to the units and depots of the 1st and 2nd army corps by rail and road routes,” specified the representative of the military intelligence.
Russian military forces in Crimea after exercises “Caucasus-2016”
According to Mr. Skybytskyi, after the strategic command and staff exercises “Caucasus-2016”, the Black Sea Fleet command, formations and units, stationed in the territory of temporarily occupied Crimea, were shifted to everyday mode of service. Since September 11, participants of the exercises have been returning from training grounds to the bases. However, the Russian command intends to move small rocket ships “Serpukhov” and “Zelyonyi Dol” and their crews from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea.