Kyiv, August 19, 2014 – 15 bodies of the civilians who died when the mercenaries fired “Grad” systems and mine launchers at the refugee transport column were found by the end of last night, reported NSDC Information Center spokesman colonel Andriy Lysenko during a briefing at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Yesterday, the terrorists opened fire near Khryashchuvate at a column of refugees who were leaving under white flags. As it turned out, the column was headed from Luhansk to Lutugyne, which is under Ukrainian control. Combat engineers and forensic experts are currently working at the scene,” added colonel Lysenko.
ATO troops continue advancing and reinforcing their positions at the designated borderlines in the outskirts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Horlivka, Pervomaysk, and are concentrating their efforts to preserve their position on Savur-Mohyla. Terrorist counterattacks were successfully rebuked throughout the day. Positional combat for Yasynuvata and Zhdanivka in Donetsk oblast continues. “Ukrainian troops also blocked Ilovaysk and Alchevsk. As of 10 a.m., the National Guardsmen have already freed two-thirds of Ilovaysk and cut off supply routes for manpower and equipment to the Russian mercenaries. Two KamAZ trucks that were sent from Donetsk to aid the mercenaries in Ilovaysk were fired at, one of them was neutralized together with the terrorists, the other was forced to return back to Donetsk,” added the NSDC spokesman.
Russia continues to increase its military presence in Rostov oblast. Reserve servicemen summoned to the national assembly are being sent to the Ukrainian border. In particular, Russian armed forces near the Ukrainian border have increased in number on account of military tactical groups from Yekaterinburg, the tank department of the 35 individual motorized sniper brigade from Briansk oblast of the Russian Federation, the 74 individual motorized sniper brigade from Kemerovo oblast.
NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Commander of the Army in Europe General Philip Breedlove condemned the support of terrorists and increase of Russian presence at the Ukrainian border. They noted the existence of indisputable evidence of Russia’s disruptive activity on Ukrainian territory. In this context they emphasized the necessity of continued presence of NATO troops in Eastern Europe. “Day after day, we see evidence of a disruptive Russian presence inside Ukraine, the massing of combat-ready troops around its borders and a cynical attempt to rebrand Russia as the provider of humanitarian aid,” says the statement.
The Ukrainian President ordered to conduct preparations to organize a humanitarian corridor for the Russian cargo through the state border. “As of 9 a.m., work to document the humanitarian cargo was not carried out in light of the fact that terrorist organizations “DNR” and “LNR” refused to provide security guarantees to the Red Cross representatives. A leading group of Red Cross Committee employees was sent to Luhansk in order to evaluate the situation and organize the delivery of the humanitarian cargo. Today a group of three people plans to arrive in Ukraine from Donetsk of Rostov oblast in Russia through the “Donetsk – Izvarino” checkpoint,” noted the NSDC spokesman.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko held consultations with German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel. The President applauded the German government’s support of international dialogue during the four-party meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Ukraine, France and Russia. The heads of state agreed that the next step would be a meeting on the highest level. Head of the Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry Pavlo Klimkin announced that Mrs. Merkel would arrive in Ukraine on August 23, on the eve of Independence Day.