Kyiv, August 2, 2015. Ukrainian military aviators as well as paratroopers mark their professional holidays – Air Force Day and Airborne Forces Day. The Air Forces Command leadership and veteran pilots laid flowers on the monument to defenders of the Fatherland. “Over 110 military pilots were decorated with Ukraine’s awards for courage and heroism demonstrated in combat for the liberation of eastern Ukraine. Lieutenant Colonels Kostiantyn Mohylko and Dmytro Mayboroda were awarded posthumously the tiles of Hero of Ukraine,” noted Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, spokesman of the Administration of the President of Ukraine on ATO-related issues, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Ukrainian pilots demonstrated high professionalism while on extremely complicated missions in actual combat during the spring and summer of last year. “On this occasion we wish our paratroopers and pilots a successful take-off and soft landing, health, energy and a peaceful sky above,” Col. Motuzyanyk toasted to Ukrainian troops.
Over the last 24 hours, militants slightly decreased the intensity of their attacks on Ukrainian positions compared to previous days. “The enemy has decreased the number of military provocations in the Luhansk sector. However, a complicated situation still remains near Donetsk and on Horlivka’s western and northern outskirts,” said Colonel Motuzyanyk.
In the Luhansk sector, Russia-backed militants keep concentrating fire on the positions of Ukrainian troops in the area of Stanytsia Luhanska. “Over the last twenty-four hours, Russian mercenaries mortared the positions of Ukrainian forces in the proximity of Orikhove and Zolote, and used small arms near Krymske village,” noted Colonel Motuzyanyk.
Fighting in the Donetsk sector was the most intense over the last day. Militants attacked Ukrainian positions near Kurdyumivka on the bank of Siversky Donets river with 152-mm artillery. “The enemy keeps using heavy artillery prohibited by the Minsk agreements. Thus, an incident involving the use of heavy artillery by militants was registered near Semyhirya village close to Artemivsk,” elaborated Col. Motuzyanyk. Militant groups kept firing upon Ukrainian forces with mortars, mounted grenade launchers and small arms on the western outskirts of Horlivka.
In the area of the Donetsk airport, militants fired upon Ukrainian positions near Opytne with 82-mm and 120-mm mortars, anti-tank grenade launchers and small arms. According to Col. Motuzyanyk, the positions of Ukrainian troops in the area of Avdiivka and Pisky came under mortar fire.
The situation West of Donetsk yesterday was not calm.. At night, militants instigated a series of armed provocations using light weaponry in the area of Krasnohorivka, and later in the evening fired at Ukrainian troops from tanks, and using grenade launchers and 120-mm mortars. Attacks on Maryinka itself did not cease, where militants used mortars, grenade launchers and small arms against the ATO forces.
According to Col. Motuzyanyk, combat actions resumed in the Mariupol sector yesterday. Militants fired from tanks on Ukrainian positions near Volnovakha during the first half of the day. “In the morning, an enemy sniper fired upon the positions of Ukrainian troops near Shyrokyne, late in the evening militant groups fired upon them with anti-aircraft guns and large-caliber machine guns,” said Col. Motuzyanyk. Additionally, militants fired upon the positions of Ukrainian troops near Chermalyk using grenade launchers and small arms.
Ukrainian border guards noted three flights of militant UAVs over the last day.
Ukrainian Armed Forces incurred no casualties over the last twenty-four hours, though eight servicemen were wounded in action.
Mobile military groups detained two vehicles at the railway crossing near Loskutivka and Myrna Dolyna in Luhansk region. Border guards discovered five tons of smuggled goods in one of the vehicles during the search. The driver of another vehicle was trying to transport seven individuals with no documents from the occupied territories to government-controlled Lysychansk. Summarizing, Col. Motuzyanyk noted the successful cooperation of joint mobile groups that comprise representatives of Ukraine’s Security Service, State Fiscal Service, Military Prosecutor’s Office and volunteers. “By uniting our efforts, over the last day we managed to prevent the smuggling of over 20 tons of goods, including alcohol and cigarettes worth of over one million hryvnia in total,” said Col. Motuzyanyk.