Kyiv, February 19, 2016. Russia-backed militants in ATO zone do not cease attacks on Ukrainian troops neglecting agreements on de-escalation of the conflict in Donbas. They continue attacks on positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces with the use of small arms, large-caliber machine guns, grenade launchers of various types as well as 82-mm and 120-mm mortars. “Occupants were firing upon the strongholds of ATO forces with multiple rocket launchers and self-propelled artillery systems over the last three days,” said ATO Staff spokesman Colonel Andriy Zadubinnyi speaking via Skype at a press conference at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Russia-backed militants continued firing upon Ukrainian positions in ATO zone over the last day. “Adversary made 22 attacks upon the strongholds of ATO forces in Maryinka with precision fire from mortars, grenade launchers and small arms. Hostile sniper and antiaircraft mount were firing upon Maryinka checkpoint,” noted the ATO Staff spokesman. Ukrainian positions in Pisky, Opytne, Avdiivka, Mayorsk and Novhorodske came under fire from small arms and grenade launchers of various types. Militants also mortared a Ukrainian stronghold in Zaitseve. Russia-backed militants were firing upon Ukrainian fortifications in Starohnativka and Luhanske from small arms and an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). Ukrainian positions near Bohuslavske in the Luhansk sector were fired upon from mortars, small arms and grenade launchers.
Militant groups violated ceasefire a total of 162 times between February 16 and 18, said Colonel Zadubinnyi. “On February 16 adversary fired BM-21 Grad systems upon Pervomayske and Nevelske from Staromykhailivka,” said ATO Staff spokesman. Positions of ATO forces in Pisky, Krasnohorivka, Shyrokyne, Lebedynske as well as near Chermalyk and Vodyane came under militant mortar fire. Attacks on Ukrainian strongholds with the use of grenade launchers and small arms were registered in Opytne, Maryinka, Luhanske, Novhorodske, Zaitseve, Troyitske and Novoselivka. “Enemy fired an antitank guided missile upon Ukrainian fortifications in Opytne,” added Colonel Zadubinnyi. Turbulent situation was registered in the Luhansk sector where strongholds of ATO forces near Krymske and Zolote were mortared.
Highest number of ceasefire violations on February 17 was registered on outskirts of Donetsk and Horlivka. Ukrainian strongholds in Opytne, Pisky, Troyitske, Zaitseve, Novhorodske and Luhanske were fired upon from grenade launchers of various types and large-caliber machine guns. “Enemy was firing upon Maryinka and Opytne from 82-mm mortars,” said ATO Staff spokesman. Militants fired six times upon the positions of Ukrainian troops near Krasnohorivka over the day using mortars, antiaircraft mount and an IFV. Russia-backed militants used weapons banned by Minsk agreements yet again. “Enemy was firing upon Ukrainian fortifications from a 122-mm artillery system located in the area of the coal mine no.6-7,” noted Colonel Zadubinnyi. In the Luhansk sector Ukrainian positions near Tryokhizbenka came under fire from small arms.