NSDC: Ukrainian army has freed 3/4 of the territory controlled by militants since beginning of ATO


Kyiv, August 3, 2014. Ukrainian troops are not involved in any active military operation near the crash site of Boeing-777 and near the humanitarian corridor created for international experts – emphasized Colonel Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the Information-Analytical Center of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine during a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Colonel Lysenko said that the team of international experts (members of the OSCE mission, experts from Malaysia and Australia) continued working at the Boeing-777 crash site. Later, however, the mission representatives were forced to halt their activities due to shelling about two km from the crash site. The militants did not allow the experts to use a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) to survey the crash site, said Colonel Lysenko. “It would allow to quickly examine the large area and see the place in perspective as well as find new evidence. Prohibition to use the drone shows that terrorists are not interested in a comprehensive and objective investigation. RPA could clearly capture that shelling, which halted the work of the mission, was done by the terrorists themselves,” highlighted Andriy Lysenko. According to the OSCE spokesperson the foreign police mission is due to arrive on Monday.

Colonel Lysenko said that Ukrainian military continue to regroup and accumulate forces in some key areas of ATO zone. Notably, there were clashes between the terrorists and Ukrainian armed forces near the following localities: Zemliane, Avdiyivka, Horodyshche, Obozne, Ilyinka, Stukalova Balka, Sabivka, Chervonopatyzansk, Teplychne, Vasylivka, and Stanychno-Luhanske. Meanwhile, during the night the terrorists brought 10 tanks into the conflict zone from the territory of Russia, and now they are on the way to Donetsk, reported the spokesperson for the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

Andriy Lysenko commented that the situation on the Ukrainian-Russian border remains tense. Terrorists regularly fire upon the territory of the Russian Federation provoking return fire upon the positions of ATO forces. Ukrainian airspace is being constantly violated by an ongoing aerial reconnaissance. Thus, there is the record of the drone which at 16:25 on August 2, flew from the direction of Voloshyno (Russia) across the border and 300 meters into the territory of Ukraine toward Blahovishchenka (Luhansk region of Ukraine) performing reconnaissance at an altitude of 1000 meters.

A spokesman for the National Security Council said that the Russian side continues to increase its military presence near the Ukrainian-Russian border. Thus, the Russian helicopter brigade was transferred to Bielovsky and Sydzhansky districts of Kursk region. Another 34 Russian armoured vehicles carrying peacekeeping logos have been spotted near the village of Bila Berizka in Briansk region. In addition, the Russian military echelon consisting of 65 platforms with self-propelled mortar launchers arrived to Gomel (Belarus) yesterday.

Andriy Lysenko also reported on the ongoing measures aimed at identifying and arresting the terrorists. A citizen of Ukraine – an active member of the so-called “Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Armiya” [“Russian Orthodox Army”] was detained yesterday for creating pro-Russian propaganda that contained the elements of infringement of the territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine, informed Colonel Lysenko.

Notably, during the press briefing, Colonel Lysenko congratulated Ukrainian pilots with their professional holiday – Day of the Air Force of Ukraine. More than 100 military personnel of Ukrainian Air Force received state and departmental awards, he noted. The “Blue path” Transport Squadron commander of the Transport Air Brigade of the Air Force of Ukraine Kostiantyn Mohylko was posthumously awarded the title Hero of Ukraine.