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Ministry of Defense: Militants use heavy armor and artillery 

Ministry of Defense: Militants use heavy armor and artillery 
Kyiv, March 02, 2017.

The situation escalated in the ATO zone. “Russian proxies brought up a large number of heavy weapons to the frontline, namely 152-mm artillery, and started engaging it. Intense occupants’ attacks continue along the entire frontline. Humanitarian situation in Avdiivka, as before, is difficult,” said 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.

Militants’ attack took place in Malynove village of Stanytsia Luhanska district in the Luhansk region. It lasted over one hour. Militants were shooting from cannons and mortar launchers from the opposite side of the Siverskyi Donets River. Later militants performed armed provocations involving use of small weapons in this area and in Stanytsia Luhanska. Krymske was the main hot point in the Novyi Aidar district yesterday. Russian proxies launched 20 122-mm shells there. It happened just after the dawn. “The enemy shelled our positions from armored personnel carriers soon after. Russia-backed militant groups conducted mortar attack in Orikhove in the Bakhmut road,” added Col. Lysenko. Militants used tanks, cannons and mortar launchers almost along the entire frontline from Katerynivka to Troitske in the Popasna district. They were shooting from temporarily occupied Pervomaisk and the adjacent villages. Most attacks were short, lasting not more than 30 minutes. 20 militants’ attacks took place in the Luhansk sector yesterday, and nine of them involved use of heavy armor.

One Ukrainian serviceman was killed in combat and nine were wounded yesterday.

In the Donetsk sector militants used no heavy armor at the Svitlodarsk bulge before noon and focused on shooting from machine guns. Nevertheless, intense mortar attacks started at the sunset and lasted at least six hours. “Occupants launched over 100 mortar shells. The enemy shelled several strongholds at once to disorganize our defense activity. This tactic was not successful,” said the spokesman. Hostilities continued in two places in Horlivka perimeter yesterday: in Zaitseve and Novoselivka Druha. About 10 militants’ attacks took place in this area yesterday, and mortar launchers were used twice. The attacks were quite lengthy and took place after the sunset.

Hostilities continue in Avdiivka almost non-stop again. Militants are shooting from two main directions: eastern (Yasynuvata) and southern (Spartak). “Occupants are massively using mortar launchers, cannons and tanks. They launched hundreds of projectiles,” emphasized Col. Lysenko. Should Russian proxies hold the ceasefire, water supply in the town can be resumed after serious repairs which would require 2-3 days. Two militants’ attacks took place in the vicinity of the Donetsk airport, near Nevelske and Pisky. In total, militants attacked 46 times in the Donetsk sector yesterday, and used heavy armor 21 times.

In the Mariupol sector Russian proxies started actively shelling Krasnohorivka from mortars after 5 p.m.  “They were shooting from mortar launchers for the first several hours. Having launched about one hundred shells, the enemy engaged additional resources: at least one mortar battery, tanks and cannons. They were attacking from three different places, Staromykhailivka village and two areas in Donetsk. One woman sustained injuries, she was taken to a hospital in Kurakhove,” said Col. Lysenko. Militants’ attack involving use of armor took place in the adjacent Mariinka. Moreover, Mariinka checkpoint came under fire. The situation was also restless in Paraskoviivka – Chermalyk frontline area. Militants were active near Bohdanivka. They also used mortars. “Moreover, two hostile mortar attacks and two provocations involving use of small weapons took place in Chermalyk,” added Col. Lysenko. Over 70 % of militants’ attack in the Mariupol sector took place in Pavlopil – Shyrokyne frontline area. Insurgents are massively using mortars and 122-mm cannons. 12 armed incidents took place in Vodiane, and 14 more were recorded in Hnutove and Shyrokyne, 7 in each of them. The number of shells and projectiles launched in this 20-kilometre section reaches hundreds. Ukrainian troops are actively responding with fire. 52 militants’ attacks took place in the Mariupol sector yesterday, and 17 involved use of heavy armor.

Report on the military developments as of March 1 is available here. Interactive data on the shelling: chronology shelling chart and the interactive map.

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