Andriy Lysenko: Twelve hostages freed from militant captivity, including nine Ukrainian servicemen


Kyiv, August 28, 2015. Ukraine has liberated 12 more hostages from militant captivity. “The liberated include three servicemen of the 11th air defense regiment, three from the 128th mountain-infantry brigade, a paratrooper from the 81st air-mobile brigade, one Interior Ministry serviceman and a brave serviceman of the National Guard’s Donbas battalion who spent almost a year in captivity,” said spokesman of Administration of the President of Ukraine on ATO-related issues Colonel Andriy Lysenko at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. According to Ukraine’s Security Service, 155 persons, both military and civilian, remain in militant captivity.

In the Luhansk sector, militants conducted an artillery attack on the positions of Ukrainian forces in the area of Syze near the Ukrainian-Russian border yesterday morning. According to intelligence, fire was conducted from long range; up to 15 km from the area of Biloskelyuvate, between Luhansk and Krasnodon. Apart from that incident, attacks from mortars and grenade launchers on Stanytsia Luhanska continue, with militants opening fire exclusively at night. Another mortar attack took place near Stary Aidar. It was turbulent North of Bakhmutska road. “There were up to ten skirmishes between militants and Ukrainian forces in the Tryokhizbenka – Krymske – Orikhove triangle in the evening. The enemy used mortars, including those of 120-mm caliber that are subject to withdrawal from the frontline as per the Minsk agreements,” noted Colonel Lysenko. It was quiet in Zolote and Popasna. Meanwhile, five episodes of ceasefire violation were registered in Troyitske, including a militant attack from mortars and an armored personnel carrier (APC) militant sniper fire, as well as several minor provocations.

In the Donetsk sector, a tense combat situation is centered around the area of Svitlodarsk close to the frontline. Militants again used artillery in the area of Luhanske, where militant snipers are also actively working. The situation is more or less calm along the perimeter of militant-controlled Horlivka. Several militant provocations took place in Mayorsk, Kirove and Novhorodske over the last day, though heavy weapons were not in use. It was quiet between Horlivka and Yasynuvata yesterday. The situation near the Donetsk airport has slightly escalated. “Our positions in Opytne were again fired upon from Grad rocket launcher systems. According to intelligence, militants attacked with artillery from their positions in Putylivsky forest,” elaborated the ATO spokesperson.

A massive artillery attack was conducted on Avdiivka, part of the projectiles exploded in the residential area. Skirmishes on the frontline are commonplace in Pisky and Opytne, stated Colonel Lysenko. A similar situation was observed in Maryinka, where militants violated the ceasefire 17 times over the last day. “It was quiet in Donetsk on the road to Volnovakha yesterday,” added Col. Lysenko.

In the Mariupol sector, main combat actions were conducted on the fortified defensive line from Bohdanivka to Starohnativka. Militants conducted 16 massive artillery and mortar attacks on Ukrainian positions from the morning until the late evening. “Mykolayivka, located South of Dokuchayevsk, came under enemy fire. Thanks to the skillfully organized defense, our troops did not incur losses on this section of the front,” said Col. Lysenko. Militants also assaulted Chermalyk with mortars and fired upon Ukrainian positions East of Lebedynske from 122-mm artillery. A Howitzer militant unit is deployed to the nearby Kominternove.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces did not incur any casualties over the last day, though five servicemen were wounded in action in the area of the Donetsk airport.

In Luhansk region, law enforcement detained a former member of the self-declared “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) militant group. The detainee voluntarily joined the militant group headed by Aleksei Mozgovoy, a militant leader killed earlier this year. The perpetrator in question took part in combat in Lysychansk on the side of the militants June-July 2014.