Ministry of Defense: Situation in ATO zone escalates in all sectors, militants use 152-mm artillery and “Grad” MRLS


The situation in the ATO zone escalated yesterday. “Russian occupational troops increased number and intensity of attacks at Ukrainian troops’ positions. In particular, they used Grad multiple rocket launchers and repeatedly opened fire from barrel artillery. Number of projectiles launched at Ukrainian troops’ positions along the entire frontline yesterday exceeded 400, informed the spokesman of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on ATO relatedissues Colonel Andriy Lysenko at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

In the Luhansk sector militants instigated 15 armed provocations, namely 11 from heavy weapons. Over 150 projectiles were launched at Ukrainian positions. In Krymske militants instigated one armed provocation in the morning and three more in the afternoon, using mortars twice. First attacks in the Popasna district started after 5 p.m. “Novooleksandrivka, Novozvanivka and Popasna came under hostile mortar fire. The enemy opened fire from 152-mm artillery and Grad MRLS at Troitske after 10 p.m. Insurgents were shelling Novooleksandrivka and Novozvanivka from 122-mm artillery in the late evening,” said Col. Lysenko.

In the Donetsk sector militants violated the armistice 16 times and conducted 11 mortar attacks. In total, over 140 projectiles were launched at Ukrainian positions. Most attacks took place in Kamianka– Avdiivka-Butovka coal mine position. Russian proxies were shelling Avdiivka from mortars and grenade launchers between 4 and 7 a.m. “Three buildings were damaged in Avdiivka in a hostile attack around 3 a.m,” said Col. Lysenko. Sporadic provocations took place during the day. Insurgents resumed attacks from mortars, grenade launchers and small arms between 4 and 8 p.m. Russia-backed militants opened fire from light arms and mortars in the vicinity of the Svitlodarsk bulge and Horlivka perimeter. Two mortar attacks took place in Verkhniotoretske. The armistice held in the vicinity of the Donetsk airport.

In the Mariupol sector most attacks took place in Pavlopil-Shykolyne-Mariinkyi area and northern Volnovakha district. Militants were shelling Ukrainian positions from light weapons at dawn, and Shyrokyne was attacked from 122-mm artillery between 4 and 7 p.m. “Occupants shelled Krasnohorivka, Mariinka, ChermalykPavlopiland Hnutove from mortars during the day, and another artillery attack at Shyrokyne occurred around 8 p.m.,” added the spokesman. In total, 26 militants’ attacks took place in the Mariupol sector, and heavy armor was used 12 times. Over 120 projectiles were launched at Ukrainian positions.

Ukrainian Armed Forces incurred no losses in combat yesterday, and seven troops were wounded. 

Col. Lysenko also informed that two days ago militants shelled Red Cross mission while they were holding a humanitarian action in the temporarily occupied part of the Donetsk region. “Several machine gun bursts were fired in close proximity to people and vehicles while a prearranged distribution of food packages and personal care kits was taking place in Dolomitne settlement. Luckily, there were no casualties,” said the spokesman.

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