Colonel Lysenko: Ukrainian Armed Forces incur no casualties in last 24 hours

Fighting continues in the Donetsk and Mariupol sectors, but the ceasefire holds in some areas. Ukrainian citizens return from militants’ captivity. Ukraine increases its defense expenditures overall and plans to reinforce one sector.

Kyiv, September 19, 2016. The most intense fighting in the Donetsk sector in the ATO zone took place in the Avdiivka industrial area yesterday. Militants used all types of small arms and conducted two mortar attacks in the evening, said Colonel Andriy Lysenko, spokesman of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on ATO related issues at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “The fire was launched from two different directions – east (Yasynuvata) and east-south-east (Mineralne),” he informed. According to the spokesman, Nyzhnie Lozove village at the Svitlodarsk bulge became another flashpoint, as Russia-backed militants launched 15 mortar shells there. Moreover, insurgents violated the ceasefire in Novhorodske and Verkhniotoretske. The armistice held in other places, namely Zaitseve and Donetsk airport area.


In the Mariupol sector Russia-backed militant groups were shooting at Ukrainian troops in Mariinka in the north and in Pavlopil-Shyrokyne frontline area in the south. “Occupants used small arms and armored personnel carrier. ATO troops came under sniping fire in Pavlopil,” said Col. Lysenko. The ceasefire fully held in the Luhansk sector. Ukrainian Armed Forces incur no casualties in combat in the past 24 hours.

The spokesman also informed that two Ukrainians, prisoners Volodymyr Zhemchugov and Yuriy Suprun, returned to Ukraine yesterday after being kept captive in militants’ dungeons.

Zhemchugov is a coalminer from Donetsk region. Militants captured him in early 2015, when he had blasted a wire, sustaining eye injury and traumatic amputation of limbs. Another prisoner, YuriySuprun, is a UN officer. “Militants flouted international law yet another time, demonstrating that neither UN nor OSCE mandate can provide protection against insurgents,” emphasized Col. Lysenko.

The spokesman said that the President of Ukraine approved Resolution of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine on defense expenditures in the state budget-2017. “The document envisages expenditures for securing national safety and defense at the level of not less than 5% of GDP, namely 3% for defense specifically. Finding priorities include the State Weapons Development Program until 2020, corvette ships building, reinforcement of air and air defense, cyber security and countering terrorism,” said the spokesman.