Kyiv, January 19, 2016. No Ukrainian troops died or were wounded in combat in the ATO zone yesterday, said spokesperson of the Presidential Administration on ATO related issues, Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. According to the spokesman, no combat activity took place yesterday in the Luhansk sector. Low intensity combat activity took place along the entire contact line in the Donetsk sector. Russia-backed militants continue using heavy armor. “For instance, militants shoot at our strongholds twice near Luhanske using an armored personnel carrier (APC). The enemy used a 100-mm ‘Rapira’ cannon and a mortar launcher,” said Col. Motusyanyk. Militants’ snipers were active in Pisky and Opytne. Attacks from small arms and grenade launchers were observed at the Svitlodarsk bulge, near Horlivka agglomeration and in the vicinity of Donetsk airport yesterday, he said.
In the Mariupol direction militants were active in several sectors at once. “The enemy shelled Ukrainian positions from an APC and ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft mount near Starohnativka. Two mortar attacks conducted by Russia-backed militant groups took place southwards, in the vicinity of Lebedynske. Moreover, a number of smaller provocations took place,” said the spokesman. ATO forces instantly responded with precision fire, making the militants curtail their activity and retreat. Militants also used an 82-mm mortar launcher and light arms, which resulted in a series of exchange of fire between Ukrainian troops and Russia-backed militant groups, said Col. Motuzyanyk. Minor provocations were also instigated in Krasnohorivka and Maryinka.
Col. Motusyanyk informed that Ukrainian special services conducted a large-scale special operation on countersabotage in Zolote. Several persons suspected of abetting militants were detained. Moreover, Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) detained a member of ‘Oplot’ militant group. “The criminal, a resident of Dzerzhynsk, received military training at militants’ base in Rostov-na-Donu. Later he was transferred to Snizhne village in Donetsk region together with Russian mercenaries and Russian military equipment. He was keeping the watch at checkpoints, carrying arms. He also maintained military equipment,” elaborated the spokesman. Moreover, ATO forces found a weapons cache in Kateryniva village in Donetsk region. “SBU counterintelligence seized two RPG-22 grenade launchers, six F-1 and RGD-5 grenades and 4.5 thousand cartridges of various caliber,” said Col. Motusyanyk.