Ministry of Defense: Russia-backed militants shell inhabited areas, kill two civilians

Over the past day, Russia-backed militants made 60 attacks in eastern Ukraine. “Militants keep shelling inhabited areas. In early hours of May 18, Russian proxies shelled Troitske with 122-mm artillery deployed in the occupied town of Kalynove. The shelling resulted in 4 civilian casualties, including a 13-year-old boy and his father killed and the mother severely wounded,” reported Ministry of Defense spokesman Colonel Dmytro.

In Luhansk sector, Russia-backed militants made 23 precision attacks mostly using mortars and artillery. Horlivka and Svitlodarsk were the hottest spots. “Over the last day militants fired over 80 rounds from 122-mm and 152-mm artillery and over 120 mortar rounds in Luhansk sector,” the Ministry of Defense spokesperson said. Militants were also using grenade launchers and small arms.

Starting from 23:00, Russian proxies were shelling Ukrainian troops’ positions outside Krymske with 152-mm artillery. Earlier they delivered an hour-long attack there using 82-mm mortars, grenade launchers, and heavy machine guns. Ukrainian strongholds in Zaitseve, Zalizne, Novoluhanske and Troitske areas came under lasting fire of hostile 122-mm tube artillery and 120-mm mortars. Fire exchange also took place near Novozvanivka, Novotoshkivske, Novhorodske, and Prychepylivka.

In Donetsk sector, Russia-backed militants made 37 attacks mostly using heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, and small arms. Militants were active in Avdiivka, Hnutove, Kamianka, Krasnohorivka, Lebedynske, Maryinka, Nevelske, Novohnativka, Opytne, Pavlopil, Pisky, Pishchevyk, Starohnativka, Taramchuk, and Shyrokyne areas. The biggest number of hostile attacks – 8 – was recorded in Vodiane area.

Militants used 122-mm artillery and 120-mm mortars outside Vodiane and Hnutove. The positions of Ukraine’s Joint Forces came under fire of hostile 82-mm and 120-mm mortars near Novohnativka, Starohnativka, and Opytne.

“In the morning of May 17, Russia-backed militants shelled residential areas of Mykolayivka Druha and Svitlodarsk with 122-mm artillery. No civilian casualties were recorded in these incidents,” Colonel Hutsulyak said. Several residential houses were damaged in Mykolayivka Druha as well as a school and a vehicle in Svitlodarsk.

Ukrainian troops returned fire 28 times using weapons not proscribed under the Minsk agreements. Seven Ukrainian troops were wounded in action over the past day.

The Joint Forces Command reports that Ukrainian troops made a tactical improvement of their defensive positions in Horlivka area. As per earlier reports, on May 8 the units of the 24th mechanized brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reached the eastern outskirts of Pivdenne. Militants keep undertaking the attempts to force the Ukrainian troops out of the town. According to the Joint Forces press center, the situation in Pivdenne is complicated but in control.

Report on the military developments as of May 17 is available here. Interactive data on the shelling: chronology shelling chart and the interactive map.