Ministry of Defense: Russia-backed militants increase the number of daily attacks by 45 percent

Over the last day, Russia-backed militants drastically stepped up the number of attacks in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian troops recorded 66 precision attacks. Militants used Minsk proscribed mortars and artillery including BM-21 Grad MLRS that was last time used on April 20. They launched 10 rockets from BM-21 Grad MLRS, made about 30 shots from 122-mm artillery, launched over 170 rounds from 120-mm mortars and about 150 rounds from 82-mm mortars, 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 25 precision attacks. They attacked Ukrainian troops’ positions in Stanytsia Luhanska area three times: from the occupied area of the Kniaz Ihor hill, militants conducted harassing fire using under-barrel grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, and small arms.

According to the Ukrainian party to the Joint Coordination and Control Center, the disengagement of forces in this area is scheduled for May 22. It has been postponed multiple times due to the intense attacks delivered by Russia-backed militants.

“Between 19:00 and midnight, Russian proxies conducted a lasting precision attack on Ukrainian troops defending Luhanske. They made 13 shots from 122-mm artillery, fired 90 rounds from 82-mm mortars, used IFV mounted weapons and heavy machine guns,” the Ministry of Defense spokesperson said.

Hostile attacks involving 82-mm and 120-mm mortars were also recorded outside Svitlodarsk, Novoluhanske, Maiorsk, Troitske, Zalizne, and seven times near Luhanske. Militants opened harassing fire from grenade launchers and heavy machine guns near Zaitseve, Novoluhanske, Novotoshkivske, and four times near Novozvanivka. Moreover, militants used IFV mounted weapons near Krymske, Novoluhanske, and Luhanske. Hostile sniper fire was recorded outside Novozvanivka and Novhorodske in the evening and at night.

In Donetsk sector, Russia-backed militants delivered 41 precision attacks. In the evening, militants attacked Ukrainian troops defending Avdiivka from the occupied Yakovlivka. They launched 10 Grad rockets, fired over 10 rounds from 120-mm mortars, and used small arms. “Russia-backed militants shelled Ukrainian troops’ positions near Vodiane, Mykolaivka, and Bohdanivka with 122-mm artillery and used Minsk-proscribed 82-mm and 120-mm mortars near Opytne, Vodiane, Lebedynske, and Avdiivka. They also used an anti-aircraft mount ZU-23-2 outside Opytne and Avdiivka,” Colonel Hutsulyak elaborated.

Moreover, the enemy used grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and small arms in Opytne, Vodiane, Hnutove, Novohnativka, Avdiivka, Lebedynske, Nevelske, Maryinka, Mykolaivka, Pavlopil, Pisky, Verkhniotoretske, Pishchevyk, Krasnohorivka, and Kamianka areas.

Ukraine’s Join Forces returned fire 20 times using grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, and small arms. Unfortunately, two Ukrainian servicemen were killed and four more troops were wounded in action.

Report on the military developments as of May 16 is available here. Interactive data on the shelling: chronology shelling chart and the interactive map.