Ministry of Defense: Russia-backed militants used mortars more than 130 times yesterday


Russia-backed militants delivered 47 direct fire attacks in eastern Ukraine yesterday, on April 21, mostly in Donetsk sector. “Militants fired some 50 rounds from tank cannons and fired over one hundred and thirty 120-mm and 82-mm mortar rounds,” reported Ukrainian Ministry of Defense spokesman Maksym Prauta at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. According to the Ministry of Defense, Ukrainian servicemen returned fire 20 times using weapons not proscribed under the Minsk agreements.

Thirty-six of militants’ attacks took place in Donetsk sector. At 06:30, they opened fire against Ukrainian positions near Pischevyk and Pavlopil and continued firing for 40 minutes. “During this attack, Russian proxies fired some 50 rounds from tank cannon and more than 65 rounds from 120-mm mortars. They also used mounted weapons of infantry fighting vehicles,” elaborated Col. Prauta. The entry-exit checkpoint “Hnutove” located in that area stopped its work for 90 minutes because of the shelling, all civilians were evacuated to secure areas.

Militants also used 120-mm mortars near Vodiane and Novotroitske, and repeatedly used various grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and small arms near Nevelske, Pischevyk, Pavlopil, Vodiane, Lebedynske, Avdiivka, Hnutove, Chernenko, Talakivka, Krasnohorivka, Novotroitske, Verkhniotoretske, Kamianka, Lomakine, Shyrokyne, Mariynka, and Shakhta Butovka. Moreover, militants’ snipers were active in Pavlopil and Novotroitske area.

In Luhansk sector, Russian proxies delivered 11 attacks. These include 120-mm mortar attacks near Novooleksandrivka, Zaitseve and Katerynivka, 82-mm mortar attacks in Novoselivka, Novooleksandrivka, Luhanske, Novhorodske and Krymske areas. The enemy used grenade launchers and small arms in the abovementioned areas as well.

Unfortunately, one Ukrainian serviceman was killed and one more wounded in an explosion of an unknown device yesterday. Three more servicemen were wounded by the hostile fire.

As of 09:00 of April 22, Russia-backed militants delivered an attack near Talakivka using grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and small arms, and having fired multiple 82-mm mortar rounds. The attack took place between 05:30-06:00.

Concerning the situation with Donetsk Water Filtration Station, Colonel Prauta reminded that Ukrainian side is ready to provide all security guarantees to the station’s staff workers in order to do necessary reparations. “The ATO Staff is interested to resolve the problem regarding Donetsk Water Filtration Station as soon as possible, so that the Station resumed its normal functioning and water supply for thousands of hundreds of Ukrainians both on government-controlled and temporarily occupied territories,” noted Ministry of Defense spokesman.

Report on the military developments as of April 21 is available here. Interactive data on the shelling: chronology shelling chart and the interactive map.