Militants use heavy weapons against ATO forces 12 times. Two combat engagements take place on frontlines – Oleksandr Motuzyanyk


Kyiv, December 22, 2015. Situation in eastern Ukraine escalated sharply yesterday. Militants used heavy weapons 12 times against the ATO forces. Two combat engagements between militant groups and Ukrainian troops took place on the contact line. About half of attacks on Ukrainian positions over the last day were targeted, said spokesman of the President Administration on ATO-related issues Oleksandr Motuzyanyk at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

He said there was an engagement near Shchatia in the Luhansk sector yesterday late in the evening. “Adversary attacked the Ukrainian stronghold. Occupants stepped back following the 20-minute exchange of fire,” noted Colonel Motuzyanyk. It was calm at the Svitlodarsk salient in the Donetsk sector yesterday. Instead the situation on the outskirts of Horlivka has escalated significantly. Militants used 82-mm and 120-mm mortars and a tank in Zaitseve. “Similar situation was holding east of Novhorodske where three mortar attacks took place at the same time. Two mines were fired in course of each attack, ZU-23-2 antiaircraft mounts were also used,” added ATO spokesman. Pisky remains the combat epicenter in the area of the Donetsk airport where ceasefire was violated all day long. Militants conducted a mortar attack in Krasnohorivka.

According to Colonel Motuzyanyk combat actions have also intensified in the Mariupol sector. “Hostile attacks lasted for four hours in Maryinka yesterday in the evening. Ukrainian positions were fired upon twice from 82-mm mortars. There was also a combat engagement between the ATO forces and the adversary that lasted for over an hour and a half,” said ATO spokesman adding that militants are traditionally firing from residential areas of the Donetsk’s Petrovsky district. He said two mortar attacks were also registered in Starohnativka yesterday, a series of attacks from grenade launchers – in Shyrokyne.

Ukrainian troops incurred no casualties over the last day, two servicemen were wounded in action.

Ukrainian borders guards registered reconnaissance flights of two Russian aircraft at the administrative border with the temporary occupied Crimea.

ATO spokesman also said that Ukrainian Armed Forces reinforced their units and combat capacities over 2015. He said 508 combat training events were held, it is two times bigger than over the previous year. They include 65 battalion training events, 201 company, 66 tactical and 21 flight and tactical training sessions. Special attention was paid to improving coordination between the brigades, 15 training sessions were conducted over the past year, while only one such event was held in previous four years. He added that more detailed information and infographics are available on social network accounts of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and on the web site of the Defense Ministry.