Kyiv
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Ministry of Defense: Militants use tanks and mortars, causing military and civilian fatal casualties

Ministry of Defense: Militants use tanks and mortars, causing military and civilian fatal casualties
Kyiv, February 17, 2017.

Militants are active in all the sectors in the ATO zone using heavy weapons and snipers. There are dead and injured among civilians and Ukrainian troops.

“Three Ukrainian soldiers died in combat yesterday and 10 were wounded. Three troops died in Zaitseve, Avdiivka and Vodiane in the Mariupol sector. Four servicemen were wounded in Zaitseve, Pisky, Vodiane and Lebedynske and the rest in Avdiivka,” informed the spokesman of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on ATO related issues Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

The situation in the Donetsk sector escalated in the Avdiivka industrial area and on the flanks. First militants’ attacks between Kamianka and Avdiivka started at night – between midnight and three a.m. They used both light and heavy weapons. Insurgents engaged larger troops in the afternoon.  “Russian proxies opened fire about 3 p.m. and it lasted till the end of the day. The enemy was shooting from south east (Yakovlivka), launching over 100 mortar shells at our positions. Moreover, Russian occupational troops engaged tanks again,” said Col. Motuzyanyk. A civilian died in Avdiivka, and two more sustained light injuries. Three residential buildings were damaged in militants’ shooting attack.

Militants started distracting maneuvers near Kamianka and Butivka coal mine several hours after escalation near Avdiivka started. They used tanks and mortars there. Russian proxies opened fire, namely from heavy armor, in other areas – at the Svitlodarsk bulge, near the Donetsk airport and near Horlivka. All attacks were aimed and rather lengthy. “In total, 21 hostile attacks took place in the Donetsk sector yesterday, and 11 of them involved use of heavy armor,” added the spokesman.

The most intense hostilities in the Mariupol sector continued in the south. Two militants’ mortar attacks took place in Pavlopil, and militants were shooting from tanks and mortars in Shyrokyne.  Moreover, hostile snipers were active along the entire Mariupol sector. Three militants’ provocations happened in Mariinka, Novotroitske and Pavlopil. In total, militants conducted 37 attacks in the Mariupol sector yesterday, and four of them involved use of heavy armor.

Geography of hostilities expanded slightly in the Luhansk sector.  Two brief mortar attacks took place in Krymske.  Moreover, insurgents violated the armistice in Stanytsia Luhanska, Lobacheve and in the Popasna area.  Militants traditionally violate the ceasefire during hours of darkness.  “In total, Russian proxies conducted eight attacks in the Luhansk sector yesterday, and two of them involved use of heavy armor,” said the spokesman.

Report on the military developments as of February 16 is available here. Interactive data on the shelling: chronology shelling chart and the interactive map.

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