Andriy Lysenko: Militants used reactive artillery against Ukrainian troops for the first time in two weeks


Kyiv, August 7, 2015. The village of Troyitske, on the border between Donetsk and Luhansk regions, saw the majority of Russian-backed militants attacks. Due to its location, the village sustains fired from the south and east. “Militants made a series of attacks using 120-mm mortars during the day and opened fire on our troops from grad multiple rocket launcher systems after 10 p.m. According to intelligence reports, the militants of self-proclaimed “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) are keeping the launchers in Stakhanov,” said Colonel Andriy Lysenko, spokesperson of Administration of the President of Ukraine on ATO-related issues, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

In the Luhansk sector, Russian-backed militants continue attacks on Ukrainian troops stationed in Stanytsia Luhanska. In the evening, militants opened fire using grenade launchers and mortars. Incidences of militant attacks on Shchastya significantly increased. Militants established two main firing positions on the opposite bank of the Siversky Donets River. “Thus, the enemy fired on our positions from tanks yesterday following a long break. Enemy snipers are actively working outside Shchastya,” noted Col. Lysenko.

The Bakhmutska road between Lopaskyne and Orikhove remained calm. However, the situation became turbulent on the outskirts of militant-controlled Pervomaysk yesterday. Late in the evening, militants fired on Ukrainian troops in Zolote using mortars.

In the Donetsk sector, the situation along Ukrainian defensive lines near Svitlodarsk improved slightly yesterday: Militant groups did not use tanks or artillery. The situation in the vicinity of Horlivka was also calmer than usual. Militants conducted armed attacks using mortars and grenade launchers in Mayorsk, Kirove and Leninske between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. There were no other armed incidents in the area.

The situation remained quiet along the front between Novhorodske and Verkhnyotoretske and remains unchanged on the Western outskirts of Donetsk. Active combat actions continue along the contact line between Avdiivka and Maryinka. Militants have assembled troops, a considerable number of tanks, mortars and artillery on the frontline, where they are using their reinforcements to fire on Ukrainian forces. Col. Lysenko reminded the press that this violence is in spite of the Minsk Agreements.

Ukrainian troops repelled an attack by a militant reconnaissance group in Krasnohorivka over the evening, where forces engaged with militants for approximately two hours. “One civilian was wounded resulting from militant shelling of Avdiivka. The power supply was partly cut off in Maryinsky district,” added Col. Lysenko.

The Mariupol sector saw an increase in militant activity. Militants used artillery to fire on Ukrainian forces near Novohryhorivka (between Telmanove and Volnovakha) yesterday at dawn. Three militant attacks were registered in Chermalyk over the last day.

Ukrainian troops registered seven militant UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) flights in the ATO zone yesterday.

Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed in action and seven were wounded in action over the last day.

Col. Lysenko reported that three Ukrainian troops were freed from captivity: Oleksandr Mashonkin of the 80th brigade, Stanyslav Paplynsky of the 81st brigade and Yuriy Tserelenko of the 25th “Kyiv Rus” battalion returned home.

Authorities detained a local resident suspected of membership in a militant group in Sloviansk. According to intelligence reports, the man stood guard over weapons belonging to militants. The weapons included grenades, fuses and 60 rounds of ammunition. Since detaining the suspect, authorities have launched a pretrial investigation. The perpetrator has already confessed to assisting militants.

Law enforcement staff detained a militant informer near Malynivka, Donetsk region. “The perpetrator was collecting information on the number, location positions and movements of Ukrainian forces. He was passing the information to his brother, a militant close to the leader of self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) Aleksandr Zakharchenko,” explained the ATO spokesperson.

Police in Rubizhne seized an RPG-18 hand-held anti-tank grenade-launcher, two grenades and 150 5.45-mm rounds of ammunition from a private residence.