ATO Staff: ceasefire violations reduced to a minimum, but truce is not fully observed at the frontline


Kyiv, September 15, 2015. Militants violated ceasefire 23 times between September 11 and 14, said Lieutenant Colonel Anatoly Stelmakh, the ATO headquarters spokesperson, at Ukraine Crisis Media Center via Skype. He said militants were shooting at Ukrainian strongholds near Zaitseve, south of Avdiyivka, Opytne and Travneve. Militant sabotage-reconnaissance group consisting of not more than 10 people attacked Ukrainian positions using small arms near Syze in Luhansk region. “ATO troops defeated the attack and the enemy retreated. Ukrainian positions in Luhanske settlement were attacked by militants’ snipers and heavy machine guns. Pro-Russian militants’ sniper also worked near Maryinka,” added Lt. Col. Stelmakh.

The spokesperson also emphasized that the situation in the ATO zone slightly escalated in the evening of September 13. Russia-backed militant groups were actively shooting at Ukrainian positions in the Artemivsk sector: ATO forces’ stronghold north of Lozova was fired at from heavy machine guns, grenade launchers and light arms. Ukrainian positions were using light arms and sniping fire. Pro-Russian militants used light arms near Sanzharivka. They also shot at Ukrainian stronghold near Mayorsk from heavy machine guns grenade launchers and light arms. “In the Luhansk sector insurgents attacked Ukrainian troops in Shchastia and north of Sokilnyky using a grenade launcher,” said ATO Staff spokesman.

Though the truce is unstable, the Ukrainian side fixes Donbas infrastructure in the ATO zone. Special construction units repaired bridges in Krasnohorivka and Soledar and power transmission lines in Zaitseve and Maiorsk. “Ukrainian officers jointly with volunteer organizations are rebuilding schools in Luhanske and Svitlodar. These schools came under fire at the beginning of this year and were seriously damaged. Grain depot is also being cleared of mines in Luhanske,” said Lt. Col. Stelmakh.

The spokesperson said that the available investigative information shows the increasing number of crimes committed by militants at the temporarily occupied territories. “Mostly this refers to murders of civilians committed by troops of the 9th special motorized rifle regimen of the 1st army corps of self-proclaimed ‘DPR’. There are rumors among the middle ranking militants on possible replacement of the regimen chiefs who are currently unable to control their subordinates,” said Lt. Col. Stelmakh.