Colonel Andriy Lysenko: Situation escalates in Luhansk sector, militants launch 52 mortar shells


Russia-backed forces continue using heavy armor in all sectors and deploy artillery in the Mariupol sector. Military intelligence informs militants are deserting from their subdivisions

Kyiv, July 7, 2016. The situation in the ATO zone escalated in the Luhansk sector. Just as previously, militants fought south east of Popasna. They were shooting intensely from 82-mm mortar launchers from 10 p.m. till midnight, launching 52 mortar shells.

The mortar battery of Russia-backed militant groups is deployed in Kalynove, adjacent from Popasna, making it possible to simultaneously deliver fire to their north and west, informed the spokesman of the Presidential Administration on ATO related issues Colonel Andriy Lysenko at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. According to him, in the Donetsk sector militants were active at the Svitlodarsk bulge. They shelled Ukrainian positions in Troitske using mortar launchers.  

Subdivisions of the self-proclaimed  “Luhansk People’s Republic” positioned west of Stakhaniv were engaged in small arms fire. Moreover, a number of attacks were registered in Luhanske. “The enemy continues actively using heavy armor. Intense mortar attacks delivered by Russian occupational forces took place in all central flashpoints – Zaitseve, Maiorsk, Avdiivka industrial area and the outskirts of Donetsk airport. In addition to mortar launchers, hostile snipers were shooting at our troops in Novoselivka Druha. Ukrainian forces are actively responding with fire using the authorized weapons,” said the spokesman.

According to him, Russia-backed militant groups opened fire from 152-mm cannons in the Mariupol sector not far from the Azov Sea, launching 20 missiles. Two brief mortar attacks took place later in Shyrokyne. Both militants’ mortar launchers and cannons are deployed in Sakhanka. Mariinka was another flashpoint in the Mariupol sector yesterday. Moreover,  militant’s snipers became more active in the frontline. Militants were shooting from armored personnel carrier for more than two hours in Novohryhorivka. “ATO troops instantly responded with fire, using heavy armor,” said Col. Lysenko. According to him, two Ukrainian servicemen died in combat yesterday and six were wounded.

At the same time,  five militants died and 15 were wounded. “Moreover, so-called 9th regiment of Russian occupational forces (Novoazovsk) incurred considerable losses. It partially resulted from errant mortar shelling of their own positions. Commander of mortar detachment, Sergei Kozlov, was heavily beaten by his colleagues because of this incident,” said Col. Lysenko. Moreover,  military intelligence informs that almost one third of recruits from so-called 9th regiment abandoned their frontline positions in horror.