ATO Staff Spokesperson: Militants violate ceasefire 72 times over the last four days


Kyiv, September 1, 2015. Russia-backed militants violated the Minsk accords ceasefire 72 times over the period from August 28-31. Today, on September 1, militant groups used no heavy weapons along the demarcation line, said Lieutenant Colonel Anatoly Stelmakh, the ATO Staff spokesperson via Skype at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Pro-Russian militant groups were firing at Ukrainian forces using virtually different types of weapons. Nevertheless, militants reduced their attacks at the end of the day. The decrease in militant’s shelling intensity was observed over the following days, too,” explained Lt. Col. Stelmakh.

Militant groups shot at Ukrainian positions in Krymske, Luhansk region, using small arms on August 31. “The enemy fired at Ukrainian forces strongholds in Maryinka using grenade guns, large machine guns and light arms between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. Militants attacked our strongholds in Maryinka, Opytne, Avdiyivka from 6 p.m. to the midnight, while pro-Russian groups deployed a grenade launcher south of Avdiyivka,” added Lt. Col. Stelmakh.

According to the ATO Staff Spokesperson, insurgent chiefs are trying to recruit inhabitants of militant-controlled towns and village to the ranks of Russia-backed militant groups. “Nevertheless, this war has brought most men only destruction and grief. People are doing their best to avoid the so-called draft; military-aged males either go to hospitals or temporarily leave the occupied territories on a massive scale. About thirty men daily crossed the Ukrainian-Russian border on foot through the Chervonopartyzansk border-crossing checkpoint. In response, insurgents have banned border crossing by the local population under 50 years last week,” said Lt. Col. Stelmakh.