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Ministry of Defense: Russia-backed militants use heavy artillery and mortars

Ministry of Defense: Russia-backed militants use heavy artillery and mortars
Kyiv, February 16, 2018.

Russia-backed militants made 10 precision attacks in the combat zone yesterday. They fired a total of ten 122-mm artillery rounds, around seventy 120-mm and over forty 82-mm mortar rounds at Ukrainian positions, reported Ukrainian Ministry of Defense spokesman on ATO Colonel Dmytro Hutsulyak at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

In Luhansk sector, Russian proxies attacked Ukrainian troops’ positions near Luhanske twice using 82-mm mortars, IFV mounted weapons, and heavy machine guns.

In Donetsk sector, Russia-backed militants violated the ceasefire eight times. In the morning near Taramchuk they fired ten 82-mm mortar rounds and used grenade launchers and small arms. They also attacked Vodiane three times having launched ten 122-mm artillery rounds and about twenty 120-mm mortar rounds. Militants also used IFV mounted weapons, grenade launchers, and small arms several times.

“The enemy shelled Ukrainian troops’ defensive positions near Pavlopil, Chermalyk, Shyrokyne, and Shakhta Butovka with 82-mm and 120-mm mortars. Outside Shakhta Butovka Ukrainian troops also recorded hostile attacks involving grenade launchers and a ZU-23-2 antiaircraft system,” the ATO spokesperson added.

Ukrainian troops returned fire twice using infantry weapons.

Unfortunately, one Ukrainian serviceman was killed and one more was wounded in action yesterday.

According to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the command of the Russian occupational troops plans instigating provocations at the contact line in the coming days in order to blame Ukraine for \ violation of the Minsk agreements during the Normandy format meeting which is to take place on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on February 16-18. “Thus, the enemy intends to make a series of attacks upon the residential areas to then provide fabricated photo and video materials as alleged proof that would misguide representatives of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission towards taking the ceasefire violations as an action on the part of Ukrainian troops,” Colonel Hutsulyak elaborated.

Report on the military developments as of February 15 is available here. Interactive data on the shelling: chronology shelling chart and the interactive map.

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