Kyiv, August 23, 2014. Almost 180,000 people have fled the ATO zone and the occupied territory of Crimea, reported Colonel Andriy Lysenko, spokesperson of the Information and analytical center of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine during a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Colonel Lysenko said that the illegal crossing of the Russian-Ukrainian border by the “humanitarian convoy” is a blatant fact of Russian aggression, which was strongly condemned by world leaders, particularly by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and others. According to the representative of the NSDC 184 trucks have returned from Ukraine to Russia (without inspection by representatives of Ukraine). Reportedly, some of these trucks have been loaded with equipment of the Ukrainian arms company “Topaz” (manufacturer of ESM “Kolchuga”) and of Luhansk Cartridge Factory.
Andrei Lysenko said that in the last 24 hours the ATO forces engaged the terrorists 27 times near Saur-Mohyla, settlements of Petrivske, Verhunsky Rozyizd, Blahodatne, Mariinka, Vesela Tarasivka, Krasna Poliana, Cherevkivka, Vasilivka, Kuteynikovo, Trudovske, Chelyuskinets, Malonikolaevka, Avdiyivka, Krinichnaya as well as destroyed several military vehicles of the terrorists. Yesterday at 20:00 near the village of Derkulske, Luhansk region, the border guards discovered and prevented the illegal crossing of the state border by the subversive and intelligence units of the terrorists.
Colonel Lysenko said that Russia continued attacking the Ukrainian territory. The particular incidents have been recorded near the villages of Kuteynikovo, Obryv and Markino. The shelling of the vicinity of Amvrosiivka village in the Donetsk region apparently has originated from the area of the Gelmanovo village in Russia. Particularly noteworthy was the shelling near Novoazovsk, which is located on the coast of the Azov Sea, at a distance of 100 km from the area of combat operations against terrorists. Total length of the Ukrainian border, which is regularly fired upon from the Russian territory extends for about 400 km. Some 100 km of this territory is still under the temporary control of the terrorists – said the speaker of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.
Andriy Lysenko also reported that the terrorists regularly shelled residential areas and civilian districts in Donetsk, Luhansk, Makiivka, Yasinovata, Alchevsk, Krasny Luch, Lutuhino and village of Heorhiivka (Luhansk region).
NSDC spokesperson has noted of the kidnapping and the tragic death of the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Lithuania in Luhansk Mykola Zelenets, emphasizing that the EU has recognized this tragedy as an act of terrorism.
Andriy Lysenko also notified of five transit stations which have been deployed at the border of the ATO zone to meet internally displaced persons. They are designed to service between 70 and 400 people each and are located near the towns of Krasnoarmiysk, Volnovaha and Mariupol, Donetsk region, as well as near Svatovo and Lisichansk, Lugansk region.