Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk: Militants located in Kominternove shot at Sakhanka village with Grad rockets

Kyiv, February 4, 2016. “Militants remaining in Kominternove village twice provocatively shot at inhabited localities. Last night, insurgents fired from Grad multiple launcher rocket systems (MLRS) towards militant-occupied Sakhanka village. At the same time, another militants’ provocation was recorded: militants were shooting from mortar launchers, assault anti-tank weapons and anti-aircraft mounts towards Oktiabr village located north east of Kominternove which is under militants’ control too,” said Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, spokesman of Presidential Administration on ATO-related issues at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Ukrainian Armed Forces incurred no losses in combat, but one serviceman was wounded on the northern outskirts of Horlivka.

The situation in the ATO zone escalated along the entire frontline yesterday. “Russia-backed militants were active in the Luhansk sector. For instance, militants used a 120-mm mortar launcher to shoot at Stanytsia Luhanska. Several mines exploded near a pedestrian crossing point.  Moreover, the situation was extremely difficult near Triokhizbenka village, where Russia-backed militant groups conducted a series of precision attacks on ATO troops, one attack involving use of an 82-mm mortar launcher,” informed Col. Motuzyanyk.

Militants used mortar launchers in Kirove (Dzerzhynsk town council) and Pervomaiske, north of Pisky, in the Donetsk sector. “Our troops in Maiorsk were caught under sniper fire twice. Moreover, Russia-backed militants’ provocations involving use of light arms and grenade launchers of various systems took place along the entire frontline from Svitlodarsk to Pisky,” said the spokesman. In the Mariupol sector militants violated the ceasefire 17 times, shooting for several hours and using a mortar launcher in Krasnohorivka. Moreover, insurgents assaulted Ukrainian troops’ checkpoints on the Mariupol-Donetsk road. “Militants were active south of Mariupol. For instance, they repeatedly shot at our strongholds in the Hnutove-Lomakyne line from 120-mm mortar launchers, firing several dozen mortar shells,” said Col. Motuzyanyk.

Officers of the Armed Forces and volunteers delivered humanitarian aid for artillery troops and military field hospital staff from Great Britain to the ATO zone. “Officers recently escorted volunteer humanitarian aid from a religious organization to villages in Volnovakha district in Donetsk region,” elaborated Col. Motuzyanyk.   Moreover, 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid came from United Nations and international charity organizations for inhabitants of areas of Donbas not controlled by Ukraine. The vehicles proceeded through Novotroitske checkpoint.

“Ukraine’s Security Service detained Serhiy Korsunskyi, a high-ranking militant of the self-proclaimed ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’ yesterday,” informed Col. Motuzyanyk. He added that Korsunskyi is known as a dedicated separatist who directly participated in seizure of government agencies’ premises in Luhansk region. Law enforcement officers found a wooden box containing four hand grenades, 49 cartridges and more than 200 grams of gunpowder in a private house in Stanytsia Luhanska. The house belongs to a man fighting in the ranks of the self-proclaimed ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’. “According to recent intelligence, ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’ militants planned to explode a border crossing checkpoint of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine,” explained Col. Motuzyanyk.   Another weapons cache was found in Butove village in Luhansk region. “Over 5 thousand cartridges of various calibers, five hand grenades, five grenades for under barrel grenade launcher, a sniping rifle, a smoke grenade and fragments of assault rifles were seized from a cache at the residence of a member of self-proclaimed  ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’,” informed the spokesman. A resident of Druzhkivka voluntarily surrendered weapons and ammunition to the police. “He found two handguns and a ball grenade in an abandoned private house where his son used to live. The man will not be charged with criminal responsibility, as he handed the weapons in of his own accord,” said Col. Motuzyanyk.