Kyiv, January 29, 2016. Yesterday situation in eastern Ukraine escalated. “Adversary increased number of attacks and started using heavy weapons more often including mortars and armored vehicles. ‘Sniper warfare’ also continues,” said Colonel Andriy Lysenko, spokesman of Presidential Administration on ATO-related issues at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. In the Mariupol sector largest number of provocations by militant groups was registered near Krasnohorivka and Maryinka. “Militants used 82-mm mortars three times, 120-mm mortars twice and once fired upon Ukrainian positions from an infantry fighting vehicle. Hostile snipers were actively firing, they are located on the outskirts of Donetsk, in Trudovske town,” noted Colonel Lysenko.
In the Luhansk sector militants violated ceasefire only once, they fired an antitank guided missile in Slovyanoserbsky district. In the Donetsk sector militants were violating ceasefire along the entire contact line. “Enemy used heavy weapons at the Svitlodarsk salient and in the area of Horlivka. Most of the attacks by militant groups were targeted,” noted the ATO spokesman. At the same time number of provocations has slightly decreased in the area of the Donetsk airport, between Avdiivka and Pisky. Militants were not using heavy weapons.
“Ukrainian troops incurred no casualties over the last day, two servicemen were wounded in action,” said Colonel Lysenko. He also quoted the information released by the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry according to which militants of the so-called “3rd motor-rifle brigade” of ‘DPR’ militant group suffered serious losses in course of the combat engagement with ATO forces near Zaitseve: eight were killed in action and 20 were wounded in action. Intelligence also reported that farmers of Novoazovsk district, Donetsk region are demanding that the so-called “authorities” of the self-proclaimed republic reimburse to them equivalent of the winter crops destroyed by militant combat equipment.
Ukraine’s Security Service detained a militant of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”). “In spring 2014 the perpetrator met a militant female recruiter nicknamed ‘Marfa’, he was then patrolling the streets of Sloviansk. After the city was liberated by ATO forces he was passing the information on deployment and movement of Ukrainian troops in the region,” said the ATO spokesman. Another man who was in the militant ranks in spring 2014 was detained in Kostyantynivka. In Krasnoarmiysk a militant nicknamed “Lis” voluntarily surrendered to law enforcement staff. He was cooperating with militant groups for two months in autumn 2014. “If the checks will prove his non-involvement in grave crimes the man will be freed from criminal liability,” said Colonel Lysenko.
In Sloviansk police seized an illegal arsenal from a residential house. “Weapons and ammunition seized include combat fragmentation grenades RPG-5 and F-1, ammunition for under-barrel grenade-launcher, 200g of plastic explosive, over three thousand rounds for small arms as well as boxes with signal flares,” said the ATO spokesman.
Colonel Lysenko also said that 28 trucks with humanitarian aid for residents of temporary occupied areas crossed Zaitseve and Novotroyitske control checkpoints. The trucks were carrying a total of 500 tons of food, baby food and medicine. Humanitarian aid was provided by charity organizations and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
“Today commemorating the Heroes of the Battle of Kruty the President of Ukraine while speaking at the Ivan Bohun Kyiv military lyceum decorated young servicemen – ATO veterans with state awards,” said Colonel Lysenko. Thirty combat veterans – soldiers and sergeants received the awards including Yuriy Kovtun who took part in the battle for Savur-Mohyla. He was awarded the order “For courage” of the III grade. “When the convoy of Ukrainian military equipment was moving back his group was providing cover and got ambushed. Thanks to courage and professionalism of Ukrainian soldiers and commanders from Kovtun’s unit the hostile subversive group was destroyed,” said the ATO spokesman.