Ministry of defense: Russia-backed militants shell Ukrainian troops with BM-21 “Grad” MLRS


The situation keeps escalating in eastern Ukraine. Russian proxies shelled Ukrainian troops with BM-21 “Grad” multiple launch rocket system, artillery, and mortars. Ukrainian troops returned fire 15 times using weapons not proscribed under the Minsk agreements.

On April 20, Russian proxies attacked Ukrainian defensive positions 36 times. As of 09:00 of April 21, militants have already fired about 50 tank cannon rounds and 80 mortar rounds of 120-mm and 82-mm caliber, reported Ministry of Defense spokesman Colonel Dmytro Hutsulyak at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Yesterday at about 06:00, the enemy shelled Ukrainian troops’ positions at Lebedynske with Grad MLRS having discharged 40 rockets. The shelling was carried out from outside of the occupied village of Sakhanka,” he said.

In Donetsk sector, militants committed a total of 28 ceasefire violations on April 20. From outside the above-mentioned Sakhanka militants shelled Shyrokyne with twenty 122-mm artillery rounds. The enemy fired nine more 122-mm rounds near Vodiane. Russian proxies used 120-mm mortars in Novotroitske, Shyrokyne, and Vodiane areas, and 82-mm ones near Lebedynske, Vodiane, Pisky, and Shakhta Butovka.

As of 09:00 of April 21, militants made nine more precision attacks in Donetsk sector. In the morning of April 21, Russia-backed militants shelled Pishchevyk and Pavlopil villages with tanks and 120-mm mortars. “Russian proxies fired 26 rounds from tank cannon and fifteen 120-mm mortar rounds at Ukrainian troops at Pishchevyk from outside the occupied village of Verkhnioshyrokivske. At the same time, the enemy discharged 20 tank cannon round, fifty 120-mm mortar rounds at the defenders of Pavlopil,”Colonel Hutsulyak elaborated. The militants shelled Vodiane with 120-mm mortars as well.

In Luhansk sector, Russia-backed militants made eight precision attacks on April 20. “Militants fired ten 122-mm artillery rounds at the defenders of Popasna, shelled Troitske with 82-mm mortars, and used IFV near Krymske. They also conducted harassing fire at Novoluhanske, Travneve, Zaitseve, and Novhorodske areas using grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, and small arms,” said the spokesman. Moreover, a hostile sniper was recorded near Zaitseve. On April 21, militants fired 15 mortar rounds of 120-mm and 82-mm caliber at Ukrainian troops near Novoaleksandrivka.

Unfortunately, one Ukrainian serviceman was killed in action and one soldier was wounded. He is in critical condition.

 Report on the military developments as of April 20 is available here. Interactive data on the shelling: chronology shelling chart and the interactive map.