ATO Staff: militants plan to pause combating to prepare provocations and destabilize situation in the east Ukraine  



Kyiv, September 8, 2015. Ceasefire held in the ATO zone through September 4-7. Russia-backed militant groups were chaotically shooting at Ukrainian positions, said Lieutenant Colonel Anatoliy Stelmakh, the ATO Staff spokesperson, via Skype at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. According to Lt. Col. Stelmakh, most attacks were observed in the vicinity of Donetsk. Militants were shooting at ATO forces from grenade launchers and light arms in Maryinka and south of Avdiivka. The following day militants resumed their activity in this sector using 120mm mortars. Militants attacked Ukrainian troops in Luhanske and Zaitsevo where militants’ sniper was working. Russia-backed militant groups also used grenade launchers in Shchastia, Luhansk region.

Lt. Col. Stelmakh stated that on September 7 between midnight and 6 p.m. it was the first time in the past month when no attacks took place along the entire frontline. Nevertheless, pro-Russian militants continued instigating armed provocations. One militant subversive group was trying to outflank a Ukrainian stronghold using light arms and grenade launchers near Syze in the Luhansk sector, but retreated after a fight. This night insurgents made another failed attempt to penetrate Ukrainian defenses at the same location.

Moreover, ATO troops were attacked in Mayorsk, Maryinka and near Artemivsk. Total number of ceasefire violations reached 48 in the period of September 4-7. “According to recent reports, some pro-Russian militant groups are using ceasefire to prepare new provocations, trying to destabilize the situation in the north-south regions on Ukraine. Some militants who come from Zaporizhzhia plan to hold a so-called ‘congregation of Zaporizhzhia community’ at the territory of self-proclaimed ‘DPR’. Insurgents may use this event to move separatist activity in Zaporizhzhia region depending on the progression of events. The criminals plan to involve people from other regions adjacent to the ATO zone,” said the spokesperson.