Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk: Militants launch 220 mortar shells in 75 minutes at Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka  


Militants use all types of heavy armor near Avdiivka, violating Minsk agreements. Moreover, they deployed 122-mm howitzers in the Donetsk sector, attacking 26 times. Russia continues supplying militants with ammunition and equipment

Kyiv, September 15, 2016. Militants increased intensity of attacks at ATO troops’ positions, using virtually all types of available cannon artillery and mortar launchers. Number of launched missiles is counted in hundreds. The biggest number of militants’ attacks (26) took place in the Donetsk sector, 17 of them involved use of heavy armor. “The most intense fighting took place in Avdiivka again, lasting about seven hours non-stop. One hostile shelling was especially dense. Occupants launched 220 mortar shells in 75 minutes at our positions. Enemy’s 122-mm howitzer battery was deployed in the attack,” informed Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, spokesman of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on ATO related issues at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis MediaCenter.


In Avdiivka mortar shells fell on local cemetery, enterprise premises and a civil vehicle parked nearby. It took place before the dawn. Later a local inhabitant was injured in an attack militants conducted from small arms. The woman was taken to local hospital. “Adversaries started the second shooting “session” from large caliber cannons, tanks and mortar launchers in the dusk. The attack continued till late at night,” added Col. Motuzyanyk.

Militants are using artillery in batteries both in the Avdiivka industrial area and in the entire Donetsk sector. Russia-backed militant groups keep heavy armor virtually next to the frontline, which is prohibited by the Minsk agreements. “The occupants were shelling Zaitseve (mortar launchers, 152-mm cannons), Verkhniotoretske (122-mm cannons), Avdiivka (mortar launchers and cannons of all basic calibers), as well as Pivdenne of Toretsk town council, Kamianka and Pisky. All these intense attacks took place in the first three hours of the day. Occupants hit civil objects again,” said the spokesman.

The situation was comparatively calm in the Luhansk sector. Militants shelled Ukrainian positions in Popasna district four times during the hours of darkness. Militants did not use any heavy armor. Main hostilities in the Mariupol sector took place in Pavlopil-Shyrokyne area. Militants were actively using heavy armor (mortar launchers) and armor (armored personnel carrier) in this rather narrow frontline section. “Almost 80 mortar shells were launched at our positions. Ukrainian troops responded with fire. The majority of hostile mortar attacks took place in daytime,” informed the spokesman. Several militants’ provocations took place in other areas as well, but in general the situation is much calmer there. In total, militants conducted 20 attacks in the Mariupol sector in 24 hours, using heavy armor eight times. “According to Ukrainian military intelligence, militants’ command set quite a large limit for ammunition use in the nearest nine days – 300 missiles to 122-mm cannons,” added Col. Motuzyanyk.

Ukrainian Armed Forces incurred no losses in combat yesterday, and three troops were wounded. Two of them tripped a wire in Stanytsia Luhanska district and another one was injured in militants’ artillery shelling in Avdiivka. Confirmed militants’ losses yesterday amounted to two militants dead and eleven injured. Five flights of militants’ unmanned aerial vehicles took place in all the sectors yesterday.

Another batch of reinforcement arrived for militants from Russia. Five railway cars with ammunition – mortar shells, artillery missiles, rockets from Grad MRLS arrived at Ilovaisk station, and eight platforms carrying military equipment – T-72 tanks, armored personnel carriers BMP-2, Grad MRLS came to Khartsyzk. 12 fuel tanks with diesel arrived at Rovenky railway station and three trucks with ammunition to Sverdlovsk.