The situation in eastern Ukraine keeps escalating, particularly in Svitlodarsk area. Russia-backed militants committed seven ceasefire violations yesterday all along the contact line, using mortars in all attacks in Svitlodarsk area, reported Ukrainian Ministry of Defense spokesman on ATO Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
The first militants’ attack took place near Novoluhanske in the morning and continued for 90 minutes. Militants fired twenty 120-mm mortar rounds and fifteen 82-mm mortar rounds, in addition to small arms and grenade launchers fire. Between 13:00 and late night, there were three periods of active armed provocations near Luhanske and Troitske. “During almost nine hours pro-Russian militants fired twelve 120-mm and the same number of 82-mm mortar rounds, accompanied by heavy machine gun fire,” noted the spokesman.
In Donetsk sector, militants violated the ceasefire twice near Verkhniotoretske and Shakhta Butovka using mounted automatic grenade launchers.
Ukrainian servicemen returned fire only once, in Luhansk sector, using weapons not proscribed under the Minsk. “Ukrainian artillery batteries are withdrawn from the contact line in accordance with the withdrawal lines defined by the Minsk agreements. However, they are ready to come back if the situation requires it and constantly undergo training,” noted Col. Motuzyanuk.
Unfortunately, three Ukrainian troops were killed in action yesterday: one during militants’ attack on Novoluhanske and two in a mine-related accident near Pisky. Four more servicemen were wounded in action – near Novoluhanske, Verkhniotoretske, and Shakhta Butovka.