Colonel Motuzyanyk: Militants use Grad multiple rocket launcher systems in Donetsk sector tonight



Kyiv, March 3, 2016. Militants used Grad multiple rocket launcher systems (MRLS) in the Donetsk sector in the ATO zone at daybreak. Shelling came from the direction of Donetsk and Staromykhailivka, the missiles landed near Nevelske and Krasnohorivka. “Militants shot from two MRLS at once. In total, they launched over 20 rocket missiles. There are no immediate reports on casualties or damage,” said Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, Presidential Administration spokesperson on ATO related issues, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.


No attacks were registered in the last 24 hours in the Luhansk sector. Nevertheless, a militant sniper killed a Ukrainian soldier who was patrolling the area along the Siverskyi Donetsk river in Stanytskia Luhanska district. In the Donetsk sector the situation was the most difficult in the vicinity of Donetsk airport. “One Ukrainian soldier was wounded in hostile shelling in Pisky. Moreover, sporadic militants’ provocations were observed in other areas – in Luhanske, Zaitseve, Verkhniotoretske etc,” said the spokesman.


The situation escalated in the Mariupol sector. Militants’ attacks were registered along the entire frontline. “Russia-backed insurgents are actively using mortar launchers, ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft mounts and armored vehicles. ATO troops are forced to respond with fire regularly to stop hostile provocations. Maryinka, Dokuchaevsk and Talakivka-Shyrokyne frontline became flash points yesterday,” said the spokesman. Col. Motuzyanyk added that military engineers are actively working in the Mariupol sector at present. 150 explosive hazards were rendered safe in the vicinity of Shyrokyne lately, in particular grenades, anti-personnel mines, improvised explosive devices and cluster bombs prohibited by the Geneva convention,” he said. In February 2016 military engineers defused about 1000 explosive devices in the Mariupol sector only, 82-mm and 120-mm mortar shells, tank projectiles, artillery ammunition and cluster bombs for Uragan and Smerch MRLS among them.

Law enforcement officers found two weapons caches in the near-front zone, seizing five RGD-5 grenades and two F-1 grenades with fuses. Another cache in the attic of a Toretsk (former Dzerzhynsk) resident contained over 200 cartridges, three rounds for RPG-7 and more than 2 kg of gunpowder. “The detainee explained he found these things in woods and kept them,” said Col. Motuzyanyk. Moreover, 120 cartridges for Kalashnikov assault rifle were found when searching Avdiivka resident. Police officers found 44 cartridges for automatic weapons, a knife and propellant charges.