Oleksandr Motuzyanyk: Russia-backed militants keep violating Minsk agreements: use mortars, artillery, Grad missile systems

Kyiv, May 4, 2015. Russia-backed militants keep violating ceasefire in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, using small arms, mortars and grenade launchers. Moreover, militants used arms banned by the Minsk accords such as 120-mm mortars and 122-mm and 152-mm artillery. They have also fired three times from Grad multiple rocket launchers, said Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, spokesman of Administration of the President of Ukraine on issues connected with ATO, at the press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.


“The enemy has been amassing additional manpower, military equipment and was reinforcing fortifications on the frontline yesterday. Militants engaged increasing numbers of reconnaissance groups as well,” noted Col. Motuzyanyk.

In the Donetsk sector, Ukrainian servicemen noted highest number of firing incidents in the airport area: militants fired at the Ukrainian military positions near Avdiivka, Opytne, Pisky, Vodyane and Putylivska mine. Ceasefire violations have also occurred near Horlivka and Hranitne. Ukrainian servicemen successfully repelled the attack of hostile reconnaissance group of 10 militants near Novoselivka at midnight.

The number of attacks in the Luhansk sector has slightly increased. Ukrainian border guards noted flights of two enemy UAVs in the region.

In the Mariupol sector, Russia-backed militant groups fired at the Ukrainian troops 10 times in vicinity of Shyrokyne village.

Two Ukrainian servicemen were killed in action and five got wounded in the last 24 hours.

According to Col. Motuzyanyk, some of these losses were due to the incident that occurred near Katerynivka village, Luhansk region. “A Ukrainian BRDM [Combat Reconnaissance Patrol Vehicle] rode over a mine. Two servicemen were killed and three got wounded as a result of explosion. They were taken to hospital. Two other servicemen were wounded in action in a combat engagement by Shyrokyne in the Mariupol sector,” Col. Oleksandr Motuzyanyk specified.

Ukrainian border guards in joint operation with the security services and soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces detained a person was gathering intelligence in the area of Kolesnykivka village, Luhansk region. A topographic map and flash drives have been confiscated from him. One more citizen of Ukraine was detained at “Novotroyitske” checkpoint in Donetsk region. He tried to get pro-Russian propaganda leaflets to Mariupol under orders of the “DPR” insurgents.

According to Col. Motuzynayk, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spread disinformation, claiming that Ukrainian troops shelled a residential district of Donetsk from heavy weapons. Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov told this to the OSCE Chairperson Ivica Dacic on May 3. “Traditionally, Russian so-called “diplomacy” spreads information which is not true. Ukraine adheres to Minsk agreements and does not open fire at cities, while the heavy arms had long been withdrawn according to the peace plan,” Col. Motuzyanyk concluded.