Kyiv, 28 July 2014 – The Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 was destroyed and crashed because of “massive explosive decompression” due to multiple fragmentation damage caused by a missile explosion. This conclusion was made by the experts of a commission for the investigation of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 crash after processing of the data retrieved from flight recorders, said Colonel Andriy Lysenko, Speaker for the Ukrainian Security and Defense Council Information Center, during a press briefing at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Terrorists continue to restrict access to the crash site. “Yesterday, terrorists did not allow a group of international experts and OSCE personnel to access the Malaysian Boein-777 crash site near Shakhtarsk in the Donetsk region. The Ukrainian army has come close to the crash site, but they do not undertake any active military actions,” said the spokesman. Andriy Lysenko added that Europol released a communique in which it expressed hope for immediate improvement of working conditions for investigators at the Malaysian airplane crash site in Ukraine.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to carry out active offensive operations in the areas temporarily controlled by Russian mercenaries. Yesterday, Ukrainian military aircrafts delivered airstrikes on groups of terrorists destroying a lot of armored vehicles and killing many militants. “This allowed the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) forces to step up offensive and retake Debaltseve and Savur-Mohyla, an important high ground from which militants had been constantly shelling Ukrainian army positions. Also, our troops have entered Shakhtarsk, Torez and Lutuhine. Fighting continues to fully liberate Pervomaysk and Snizhne,” said Colonel Lysenko.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces and the National Guard have taken strong positions at the outskirts of Horlivka and are preparing to liberate the city. Control over this territory will enable the army to surround and neutralize Donetsk and Horlivka terrorist groups. Also, high-mobility airborne troops have carried out raids towards the villages of Ridkodub, Lohvino and Ternove and destroyed enemy’s checkpoints and firing points.
In Horlivka, remaining armed gangs are chaotically firing at residential quarters with Grad rocket launchers and mortars causing casualties among civilians. “They try to pass this shelling as the actions of the Ukrainian army. However, militants’ provocations have already been uncovered by local activists who promptly report to the ATO representatives on any crimes and inform them of the bandits’ intentions,” emphasized the security and defense spokesman.
Also, there are data suggesting that terrorists have mined the industrial premises of Stirol Concern in Horlivka.
As they retreated, terrorists opened fire 24 times at the checkpoints and positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Luhansk, Novyi Svit, Marynivka, Amvrosiyivka, Komisarivka and Prydorozhne. Terrorists continue to destroy local infrastructure. In Horlivka, terrorists blew up a railway track 2 km into the Mykytivka-Bayrak railroad and destroyed a bridge to the Mykytivka village. Some structural elements have been torn down obstructing railway traffic between Mykytivka-Horlivka and Mykytivka-Bayrak stations.
Terrorists continue to fire at the positions of the border guard units and ATO forces at the Ukraine-Russia border in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. “Firing comes from the side of the Russian Federation as well, using small arms, mortars, artillery and multiple rocket launchers,” added Andriy Lysenko.
For four and a half hours yesterday, the Dovzhanskyi border checkpoint was under mortar and howitzer fire shot from an area near the Chernikov village in the Russian Federation. A total of 250 shells were shot at the Ukrainian border guards. As a result, 4 border guards were killed and 2 injured.
According to a NATO representative, the USA have provided NATO with intelligence data providing evidence that rocket strikes were launched at Ukraine from the territory of Russia. The US President Administration has provided 4 satellite images declassified by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirming that the Ukrainian territory was shelled from the Russian side (dated 21 – 26 July).
There is still a threat of artillery strikes on the ATO forces operating near the Ukrainian border using the artillery scattered around the Russian towns and villages of Matveyev-Kurgan, Kuybysheve, Millereve and Novoshakhtynsk.
Near the Novy Svit village in the Donetsk region, Ukrainian troops engaged in fighting with a group of militants. During the fighting, our troops managed to destroy a team of terrorist snipers.
According to the Ministry of Defense, supply of food, water, medication and ammunition has been restored to the brigades courageously defending border areas in the Luhansk region (72nd infantry brigade and 79th air mobile brigade).
Russian Su-24MR reconnaissance aircrafts are carrying out reconnaissance flights along the Ukrainian border to monitor the actions of the ATO forces and to identify and update the positions of targets for terrorist groups.
Work is ongoing to restore broadcasting of Ukrainian TV channels in the liberated areas. Since the beginning of the ATO, 7 out the 10 TV towers seized by terrorists have been brought under the control of Ukraine. Broadcasting of Ukrainian TV channels resumed yesterday in Lysychansk (Luhansk region).
Resistance of local population to Russian mercenaries is getting stronger. Members of the Donetsk branch of a Ukrainian NGO for people with disabilities caused by the Chernobyl disaster called “Chernoby Unity” have called on terrorists to surrender their weapons and leave Ukraine.
In the Donetsk region, terrorists continue to hold orphans hostage. These are 135 ill children from the Donetsk city and regional orphanages and also from Makiyivka’s Malyatko hospital for children with HIV. Militants categorically refuse to allow the evacuation of children from the ATO area.
President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy urged the prime ministers of EU member countries to instruct ambassadors in the European Union to vote on 29 July in favor of additional sectoral sanctions against Russia on behalf of their countries. This way the expansion of restrictive measures against the Russian Federation will be decided on at the level of permanent representatives without holding an extraordinary EU summit.
German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank Steinmeier said that despite obvious economic losses for the German business, the official Berlin is ready to impose sectoral sanctions if Russia continues to destabilize the situation in Ukraine. German Vice-Chancellor, Minister of Economy Sigmar Gabriel also called upon the EU to immediately approve further sanctions against the Russian Federation and Russian officials, oligarchs and entrepreneurs who support the activities of the so called Dontesk and Luhansk People’s Republics.