Disengagement in Stanytsia Luhanska postponed due to militant attacks – Ministry of Defense

The disengagement of forces and hardware in the area of Stanytsia Luhanska scheduled for October 9 did not start due to regular ceasefire violations committed by Russia-backed militants, stated Vilyen Pidgornyy, Ministry of Defense spokesperson. Five hostile attacks were observed in this area throughout the week; the last attack occurred on October 6.

Ukrainian Armed Forces and Russia-backed militants disengaged forces and hardware in Zolote in Luhansk sector and Petrivske in Mariupol sector according to the framework decision of the Trilateral Contact Group, stated Vilyen Pidgornyy, Ministry of Defense spokesperson. He added the militants still did not de-mine the area near Zolote, which obstructs the work of the OSCE monitors and prevents from opening a new checkpoint for civilians.

“Last week, two Ukrainian servicemen were killed and three were wounded as a result of booby traps’ explosions; 11 soldiers were wounded in action and three more suffered concussion in action”, stressed Pidgornyy. He emphasized that Ukrainian Armed Forces are ready to disengage under conditions of reciprocal action and complete and sustainable ceasefire.

Pidgornyy noted the number of ceasefire violations registered last week varied between 22 episodes on October 9 at its lowest point and up to 68 episodes on October 4 at its highest. The militants fired from small arms as well as mortars, artillery and tanks. Furthermore, Russia-backed militants used reconnaissance drones to identify Ukrainian positions on the daily basis.

“Novozvanivka and Novooleksandrivka were the two major hot spots in the Luhansk sector where Russia-backed militants used heavy weapons, such as 82 and 120 mm mortars and 120 and 152 mm artillery,” he said.

Avdiivka remains the major flashpoint of the conflict in the Donetsk sector. “This was the site of the most devastating artillery fire. The militant’s artillery battery has been firing at Ukrainian troops for an hour on October 6, lobbing 67 shells into Ukrainian military positions,” Pidgornyy emphasized. There were also isolated hostile attacks in the Svitlodarsk area and the Donetsk airport area.

Maryinka and Shyrokyne village were the main hotspots in the Mariupol sector. “Militants used both mortars and artillery near Shyrokyne with a total number of outgoing shells exceeding 150,” said MoD spokesman. Other areas of ceasefire violations include Krasnohorivka, Starohnativka, Vodyane, Pavlopil and Hnutove.