Defense Ministry: Militants are preparing covert draft campaign


According to data obtained by Ukrainian intelligence, Russia-backed militants are preparing a “draft campaign” to staff the “First Army Corps”. In the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions males up to 50 years old are to be summoned to the ranks in April-May, reported Defense Ministry spokesman on ATO related issues during a daily briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Speaking of the latest developments, Defense Ministry reported no losses yesterday, yet five servicemen were wounded.

In the Donetsk sector 14 attacks, including three involving heavy weapons, were recorded yesterday. Avdiivka remains a hot spot of the sector. Militants used mortar launchers and tanks here, with the most intense and lengthy attack happening between 3:00 and 9:00. Militants’ projectile razed to the ground a private house, wounding a 68-year-old civilian woman here. At the Svitlodarsk bulge and near Horlivka militants used only small arms, including sniper rifles. The armistice held near Butovka coal mine and Donetsk airport.

The main combat activity in the Luhansk sector occurred in Popasna district after midday, where militants were actively using mortars. Ceasefire violations were also recorded in Stanytsia Luhanska district and Lobacheve, raising yesterday’s toll to 12 enemy attacks, four of which involved the use of heavy armament.

In the Mariupol sector 24 attacks were recorded, four of which involved heavy weapons. The firefights were limited to Marinka district and Pavlopil-Shyrokyne frontline area here.  “Two hostile attacks took place in Nevelske, in one of them mortar launchers were used against our troops. The enemy employed mortars in Krasnohorivka and Marinka, and 122-mm cannons in Vodiane.” – Defense Ministry reported.

Report on the military developments as of March 19 is available here. Interactive data on the shelling: chronology shelling chart and the interactive map.