Kyiv, December 28, 2015. “Ukrainian troops incurred no fatalities over the last day, not a single serviceman was wounded in action. No episodes of heavy weapons use by adversary were registered,” said Colonel Andriy Lysenko, spokesman of Presidential Administration on ATO-related issues at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. No combat actions took place in the Luhansk sector. In the Mariupol sector there was a 20-minute exchange of fire between ATO forces and militants near Shyrokyne. Flight of a militant unmanned aerial vehicle was registered.
Highest number of provocations by militant groups took place in the Donetsk sector: at the Svitlodarsk salient, near Troyitske and Luhanske, as well as on the outskirts of Horlivka. Militants were using grenade launchers and machine guns. “Militants violated ceasefire regime in Mayorsk and Hovhorodske. There was a combat engagement between the occupants and ATO forces further to the south, near Novoselivka Druha. After a 30-minute fight the enemy retreated,” said Andriy Lysenko. Situation in the area of the Donetsk airport remains tense. “Highest number of hostile provocations was registered in Pisky. Militants were also firing upon Ukrainian troops who are holding the defense south of Avdiivka and east of Opytne,” noted ATO spokesman.
Main intelligence directorate of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry reports that the contingent of the Russian Federation Armed Forces in Donbas has recently suffered losses. “On December 25 remains of seven fighters and 12 wounded fighters were delivered to a hospital in Donetsk. They took part in combat engagements near Mayorsk and Maryinka,” said Andriy Lysenko. As per intelligence information leaders of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) Zakharchenko and Khodakovsky left to Moscow to get briefed by the top officials of the Russian Federation as to the further actions. Intelligence also reports that the socio-economic situation on the temporary occupied territories in eastern Ukraine is worsening. “To decrease spending on operating the railways occupational administration plans to sack one third of its staff, first ones to get fired are the personnel of pension age,” said ATO spokesman.
Ukrainian law enforcement detained two persons who were collaborating with militant groups. First one, Sloviansk resident was part of Igor Girkin’s close encirclement and was a direct participant of a militant armed group that was storming administrative buildings in town in spring 2014. “Second detainee was an artillery man in a militant group from November 2014. He was directing fire and was a driver-mechanic of the Gvozdika self-propelled artillery system,” noted Colonel Lysenko.