NSDC: Ukrainian ATO forces and Donetsk airport still under attack


September 23, Kyiv, – “Yesterday the militants made unsuccessful attempts to assault the strongholds near Avdiivka and Nikishyne (Shakhtarsky ditrict). All attacks were repelled, the terrorists suffered losses. Shelling of Ukrainian army checkpoints and positions were observed including those at the Donetsk airport. Nevertheless starting from 23.00 on  September 22 tentatively the shelling stopped. It is possible to say that in general the night passed calmly. There are no casualties among Ukrainian military within the last 24 hours”, – reported Colonel Lysenko, National Security and Defence Council Information Center spokesman, during his press briefing in Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Colonel Lysenko also informed that yesterday in the framework of implementation of the President’s Poroshenko Peace Plan 6 more Ukrainian servicemen held captive were released. They are all receiving psychological and medical help.

According to Colonel Lysenko, redeployment of Russian troops is observed in the Ukrainian-Russian border zone. Rotation of the units is in place, part of the troops left the territory of Ukraine however new units arrived to replace them. The Russian side also continues to train militants in the military camps located on its territory.

NSDC spokesman informed that within the last 24 hours there was no engagement between the State Border Guard Service units and illegal armed groups and units of the Russian Armed Forces.

Second day in a row no violation of Ukrainian air space by Russian drones is observed. Instead the State Border Guard Service observes vehicles conducting radar surveillance in the border areas. Yesterday opposite “Krasna Talivka” border guard detachment (Luhansk region) units of the Russian Armed Forces were spotted intercepting radio traffic of Ukraine’s Border Guard Service and Armed Forces units. Russian Armed Forces servicemen conducting these activities are on duty 24/7. In this regard may we emphasize on the need to minimize cell phone calls by the servicemen deployed in the ATO zone.

Commenting on the situation in the population areas in the ATO zone, Colonel Lysenko reported that the situation in Mariupol is calm and controlled. National Guard servicemen continue to ensure security in the city. Access control has been introduced at the checkpoints and strongholds.

NSDC spokesman informed that split up among the terrorists continues. Yesterday in Donetsk armed clashes occurred between illegal armed groups “Oplot” and “Kalmius”. 5 militants from “Kalmius” armed group got killed.

Commenting on the reaction of the international community to the events in Ukraine, Colonel Lysenko informed that in a phone conversation Petro Poroshenko and Angela Merkel expressed joint position that bilateral adherence to the ceasefire regime, withdrawal of Russian troops, liberation of hostages, and especially control over the Ukrainian-Russian border, creation of buffer area and establishment of efficient monitoring and verification by the OSCE in this area will prove that all the parties fulfill the agreements.

Angela Merkel also spoke for full withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory and stressed on the urgent need to effectively control the Ukrainian-Russian border in order to fully implement ceasefire regime.

The interlocutors agreed that only when all parties fulfill the provisions of the Minsk protocol of 5 September on peaceful settlement and of the Memorandum of 19 September progress in peaceful settlement could be stated.

Urmas Paet, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Estonia stated that Estonia is preparing humanitarian food aid for Ukraine. According to him Estonia plans to spend up to EUR 1 mln by the end of the year to assist Ukraine.

10 Ukrainian servicemen are on medical treatment in Estonia and will stay there until full recovery. All transportation, medical and rehabilitation expenses of soldiers are borne by the receiving party.

Martin Stropnický, Minister of Defense of the Czech Republic stated that Ukrainian servicemen injured in ATO zone can be treated in Czech hospitals. According to him the Czech Republic will provide Ukraine with the necessary medical materials and means that will help soldiers on duty during the cold season.

Representative of the French Foreign Ministry Alexandre Giorgini stated that France is ready to further support all peaceful initiatives regarding Ukraine and insists on complying with the ceasefire regime by all parties in Donbas. According to him, France along with its partners consolidates efforts to achieve “peaceful settlement of the Ukraine crisis, respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and all-round dialogue”. “France is ready to further assist this process both in the so-called Normandy format and within the OSCE,” marked the diplomat.

Giorgini also stated that “under current circumstances” supply of the Mistral helicopter-carriers to Russia is not possible.