Kyiv, March 16, 2016. Ukrainian Armed Forces incurred no losses in combat in the ATO zone, six troops were wounded. “Two firefights between Ukrainian troops and militants took place in the Mariupol sector, both of the in the vicinity of Novotroitske. Hostile attacks were successfully defeated,” informed Colonel Andriy Lysenko, Presidential Administration spokesperson on ATO related issues, at a briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Adversary was actively using 120-mm mortar launchers in the same area, which made our troops respond with fire, preventing proceeding of militants to the territory controlled by Ukraine,” said Col. Lysenko. He added that militants conducted a series of attacks in Shyrokyne. In total, militants attacked six times in the Mariupol sector.
Russia-backed militant group conducted 33 assaults in 24 hours in the Donetsk sector. “The enemy continues intense shelling at the Svitlodarsk bulge, in Zaitseve and Avdiivka, using mortar launchers and armored personnel carriers. A militant sniper’s activity was registered in Nevelske west of Donetsk. Nevertheless, the armistice held in Mayorsk, Pisky and Mariinka area,” informed the spokesman. Militants were shooting from anti-tank guided missile complex. The incident took place southeast of Popasna.
According to the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, echelon carrying ammunition for small arms and artillery arrived to Ilovaisk railway station. “Moreover, according to military intelligence, mass media published real names of Russian career officers directly participating in combat in Donbas. As a result, officers of the 74th separate motorized rifle brigade (home base – Kemerov oblast, Syberia) displayed open displeasure with regular deployment in the east of Ukraine,” informed Col. Lysenko. “It was openly said at officers’ meeting that such actions of Russia contradict both international and national legislation which envisages criminal responsibility for those giving and obeying illegal orders”.
Col. Lysenko also informed that three Ukrainians were released from militants’ captivity. “These are a scout Hryhoriy Zavizion, a soldier of the 128th separate mountain infantry brigade Petro Yeroshevych and an inhabitant of Horlivka Vadym Petrenko,” he said.
Ukraine’s Security Service officers detained a militant of ‘Vostok’ militant group who was collecting information on movement of subdivisions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Another militant of self-proclaimed ‘Donets People’s Republic’ surrendered to law enforcement officers. “An inhabitant of Prechystivka village in Marinka district, Donetsk region, served in militants’ ranks over 18 months, planning to earn money. Nevertheless, the mercenary received only a month’s pay during this period, so he returned home and surrendered to the police,” explained Col. Lysenko.
The spokesman also said that the pilot stage of High mobility groups of internal communication project finished yesterday [ПОСИЛАННЯ НА ВЧОРАШНІЙ РЕЛІЗ]. “The groups’ primary mission is improving mental stance, spirit and awareness of the forces,” said Col. Lysenko.