ATO Staff spokesman: Russia-backed militants fired upon positions of ATO forces 400 times over the last four days targeting industrial infrastructure


Kyiv, August 4, 2015. The situation in the ATO zone remained tense between July 31 and August 3, with militant groups firing upon the positions of ATO forces and towns a total of 400 times. Militants most frequently used small arms, mortars and artillery systems with caliber exceeding 100mm, stated Lieutenant Colonel Anatoliy Stelmakh, ATO Staff spokesman, at a press briefing via Skype at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. On August 3, Russia-backed militants fired upon Avdiivka twice with 120-mm mortars and attacked the positions of Ukrainian forces in Pisky three times using tanks. “Vodyane came under fire from 152-mm artillery, and militants also attacked Pervomaysk from 122-mm artillery and tanks. Moreover, the enemy fired upon homes in Opytne with 120-mm mortars,” added Lieutenant Colonel Stelmakh.

Militants keep purposefully destroying industrial infrastructure of Ukraine, stated Lieutenant Colonel Stelmakh. On August 2, at around 1 am militants fired upon Avdiivka chark plant, Ukraine’s powerful producer of the chemical byproduct used in metallurgy. According to monitors of the Joint Control and Coordination Center, militants attacked the chark plant using 122-mm artillery systems from the direction of Yasynuvata. Five shells were registered as having exploded between the metal scrap workshop, the checkpoint and the water supply sector. Explosions damaged the power supply line and the pipeline. Craters on the pavement are in average over two meters wide in diameter and 60 centimeters deep. Materials documented by the Joint Control and Coordination Center have been passed to OSCE representatives.

According to Lt. Col. Stelmakh, the Donetsk sector still remains the major hotspot of the conflict. Militants fire almost incessantly upon Ukrainian positions in the areas of Pisky, Opytne, Vodyane, Maryinka and Avdiivka. “Militants conduct most of these attacks from Donetsk, understanding that the Ukrainian troops will not be returning fire as it puts civilians under threat. Similar facts were registered several times by international monitors and media. Thus, OSCE report of August 1 contains precise facts about the mortar attack conducted from Donetsk,” elaborated ATO Staff spokesman.