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Ministry of Defense: Largest number of militants’ attacks registered in Hnutove and Shyrokyne, Vodiane virtually ruined

Ministry of Defense: Largest number of militants’ attacks registered in Hnutove and Shyrokyne, Vodiane virtually ruined
Kyiv, February 24, 2017.

The situation in the Mariupol sector is restless along the entire frontline. “The largest number of militants’ attacks was registered in Hnutove and Shyrokyne. Ukrainian troops are actively firing in response. Vodiane is virtually destroyed as a result of insurgents’ barbarian attacks at the settlement. All buildings and large number of fruit trees are damaged by hostile shells and bombs. Almost all civilians have left the settlement,” informed the spokesman of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on ATO related issues Colonel Andriy Lysenko during a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Russian proxies used mortar launchers in Krasnohorivka, Novotroitske, Taramchuk and Shyrokyne. Militants’ mortar attacks almost always were accompanied by fire of light weapons and armor. They are shooting before the dawn and after the sunset. Around 85% of all armed incidents happen during the hours of darkness. In total, 37 militants’ attacks took place in the Mariupol sector, and four of them involved use of heavy armor. 52 mortar shells were launched at Ukrainian positions.

One Ukrainian serviceman died of wounds yesterday and two more were wounded. “An airborne troops officer died in Dnipro hospital yesterday. He was severely wounded in Opytne two days earlier,” informed Col. Lysenko.

In the Luhansk sector hostilities were especially active in Popasna district. Russian proxies started provoking Ukrainian forces just after midnight, opening fire from machine guns. Following a relatively calm morning, militants continued shelling Ukrainian positions in Novozvanivka in the afternoon using armored personnel carrier and machine guns. Insurgents opened fire from mortars in Troitske around 5 p.m., and launched over 20 mortar shells till the end of the day. “Armistice fully held in other frontline areas, except for Krymske north of Bakhmut road. One armed provocation involving use of grenade launchers took place in Krymske during the day,” added Col. Lysenko. In total, militants conducted 15 attacks in the Luhansk sector yesterday, using mortars in half the cases.

There were no calm areas in the Donetsk sector in the last 24 hours. Militants widely used small arms during the day in Luhanske at the Svitlodarsk bulge to shoot Ukrainian positions. They also used armored personnel carrier after the sunset. One of the shooting attacks in this area lasted almost three hours. “The situation was difficult for the defenders of Zaitseve north of temporarily occupied Horlivka. Hostilities continued in the morning, during the day and in the evening. Militants conducted massive mortar attacks at Ukrainian positions there, together with using light weapons against ATO troops. According to the General Staff’s estimates, adversaries launched about 100 mortar shells there,” said the spokesman. Hostile sniper attacked Ukrainian positions in Novhorodske after midnight, and militants performed one brief armed provocation there after 7 p.m.

According to Col. Lysenko, hostilities escalated in Avdiivka once again. In total, Russian proxies were shelling the industrial area over 10 hours yesterday. Almost every incident of ceasefire violation involved the use of mortar launchers. “Adversaries opened fire from tanks located on the frontline in violation of the Minsk agreements. In total, militants launched 80 mortar shells and about 20 tank projectiles at Avdiivka defenders’ positions yesterday,” summarized Col. Lysenko. Ukrainian positions on the flanks of Avdiivka in Kamianka and Butovka coal mine position also came under militants’ fire. Russian proxies were using mortar launchers together with small arms there. The situation in the vicinity of the Donetsk airport was restless at ATO troops’ positions in Pisky. In total, militants attacked 31 times in the Donetsk sector yesterday, and used heavy armor in overwhelming majority of cases.

Report on the military developments as of February 23 is available here. Interactive data on the shelling: chronology shelling chart and the interactive map.

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