Colonel Andriy Lysenko: Militants launch over 100 mortar shells at Ukrainian troops’ positions in Avdiivka



Militants shell at across the entire frontline, SBU detains three Ukrainians who cooperated with militants.  

Kyiv, May 20, 2016. Avdiivka became the main “flashpoint” in the ATO zone yesterday. “Adversary conducted four intense attacks using mortar launchers. Over 100 mortar shells were launched at Ukrainian positions. All the attacks took place from the direction of the occupied Mineralne settlement,” informed the spokesman of Presidential Administration on ATO-related issues Colonel Andriy Lysenko at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. At the same time, the armistice held in other areas of the Donetsk sector.


Militants shelled Ukrainian troops’ positions in the Mariupol sector seven times in Krasnohorivka-Novotroitske frontline area, using anti-aircraft mounts and armored personnel carriers. Russia-backed militant groups violated the ceasefire in Syze, Stanytsia Luhanska and Triokhizbenka in the Luhansk sector, most attacks were sporadic. Moreover, officers of the State Border Guard Service registered flights of two militants’ unmanned personnel vehicles in the ATO zone.


Ukrainian Armed Forces incurred no losses in combat in the ATO zone yesterday, and three troops were wounded. “Moreover, another serviceman died and four were wounded as a result of careless handling of explosive devices in Kostianynivskyi district in Donetsk region,” informed Col. Lysenko.


According to the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, militants incurred losses of one fighter dead and seven wounded from so-called “7th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 2nd army corps of the Luhansk people’s republic” and “11th separate  motorized rifle regiment  of the 1nd army corps of the Donetsk people’s republic”. According to the intelligence, on May 17 a militants’ squadron from so-called “11th separate motorized rifle regiment of the 1nd army corps of the Donetsk people’s republic” refused to stay at the forefront positions near Avdiivka. “A retreat-blocking detachment consisting of the National Guard of the Russian Federation was used to hold them,” said Col. Lysenko. Moreover, a militants’ squadron from so-called “1st separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1nd army corps of the Donetsk people’s republic” and about 20 militants from so-called “7th separate motorized rifle brigade stated their intention to leave the ranks of the Russia-backed militant groups.


Col. Lysenko also informed that officers of the Security Service of Ukraine detained three people who were cooperating with Russia-backed militant groups. The first one was an informant of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (“DPR”). “The criminal was recruited in summer 2014 to pass information regarding location, routes of combat equipment and ATO troops’ proceeding near Donetsk airport. Having received these data, militants were adjusting artillery and mortar fire at our positions,” said the spokesman. The second detainee was guarding Kramatorsk town council seized by militants in May-July 2014 and participated in prosecution of pro-Ukrainian activists. Another elderly man was detained in Toretsk. He was keeping guard at militants’ checkpoint carrying arms in the period when the town was under the control of Russia-backed militant groups.


Finally, Col. Lysenko said that seven trucks carrying humanitarian aid for inhabitants of the occupied territories from the International Red Cross Committee proceeded through Novotroitske checkpoint.