Ministry of Defense: Russia-backed militants deliver 45 attacks, shell inhabited areas again

The situation in the combat zone in eastern Ukraine remains unchanged. Russia-backed militants maintain the previous intensity of hostilities and keep using Minsk-proscribed weapons including tube artillery. Over the last day, militants made 45 attacks, reported Ministry of Defense spokesman Colonel Dmytro Hutsulyak at a briefing at the Ministry of Defense press center.

In Luhansk sector, Russia-backed militants made 16 precision attacks. The hottest spots were the areas near Zaitseve and Zalizne. “Militants shelled Ukrainian strongholds near Zalizne, Zaitseve, Novhorodske, Novozvanivka, Travneve, and Troitske with 82-mm and 120-mm mortars having fired over 100 rounds. Militants were also intensely using grenade launchers and small arms,” the Ministry of Defense spokesperson said. Russian proxies attacked the Joint Forces’ positions in Svitlodarsk area with IFV mounted weapons, in Troitske area – with a ZU-23-2 antiaircraft mount. Ukrainian troops’ positions near Zolote and Katerynivka came under small arms fire.

In Donetsk sector, Ukrainian troops recorded 29 hostile attacks, delivered mostly with the use of small arms, heavy machine guns, and grenade launchers. Militants were active in Vodiane, Verkhniotoretske, Hnutove, Kamianka, Krasnohorivka, Lebedynske, Maryinka, Opytne, Pavlopil, Pisky, and Talakivka areas. Ukrainian troops recorded the highest number of hostile attacks – eight –  outside Shyrokyne. Militants used 82-mm and 120-mm mortars in Verkhniotoretske, Talakivka, Pisky and Shyrokyne areas having fired about 20 rounds.

Ukrainian troops returned fire 25 times using the weapons not proscribed under the Minsk agreements. Unfortunately, one Ukrainian serviceman was killed in action over the last day, two more troops were wounded.

“At about 06:00 on May 15, Russia-backed militants shelled Novhorodske with 82-mm mortars damaging two residential houses. Luckily, there were no civilian casualties,” Colonel Hutsulyak said. “The fire was conducted from Zalizna Balka located in the temporarily uncontrolled area,” he added.

According to the Joint Forces’ press center, one of the units of Ukrainian troops deployed outside Maryinka made a raid to the militants’ rear at night. Following a brief engagement, Ukrainian troops seized three mortars which are to be moved to a Minsk-designated withdrawal site where the weapons will be examined. Joint Forces incurred no losses in course of the above operation.

Report on the military developments as of May 15 is available here. Interactive data on the shelling: chronology shelling chart and the interactive map.