Military actions in the zones of conflict.
The militant held settlements of Oleksandrivsk, Byeloye, Rozkishne were liberated by ATO units this week, as was the Lugansk airfield. The battle for the village of Metalist is still ongoing. After a successful offensive by ATO forces in the Donetsk region, militants are trying to leave the city, often dressed in civilian clothes and in cars seized from civilians.
During the day the Armed Forces of Ukraine launched 5 airstrikes on enemy positions. Ukrainian Military pilots attacked a group of camps in Lugansk where enemy fighters had mortar, tank and anti-aircraft installations. The ATO aircraft made two air strikes on terrorist positions near border checkpoint at Izvaryne. The militant base in Lysychansk was bombed. All intended targets were eliminated and the enemy suffered heavy losses of manpower and equipment. Air strikes disrupted terrorist capabilities and foiled plans of a counter-offense, while spreading fear and panic among terrorist gangs. It should be noted that the coordinates for airstrikes were received from people who had deserted the gangs.
Today, terrorists fired on the Lugansk airport with “Grad” installations (BM21 launch vehicle) from the town of Hostra Mohyla. Militants made six separate attackes, firing on roadblocks and units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the settlemtents of Stara Krasnianka, Poritchia, Kalinovo, Pidhorivka, Marinivka and Lugansk. Last night, militants attempted to break through a checkpoint near Zelenopillia. During the battle the Ukrainian military destroyed two cars, which were carrying militants. Terrorist losses are currently unspecified, but there were no reported losses from the Ukrainian side as a result of these attacks.
The most difficult situation is in Donetsk, Luhansk, Lysychansk, Siverodonetsk and Antratsyt. Militants continue to intimidate the local population and engage in looting.
The situation at the border zone.
The situation near the border zone remains difficult, and the battle for control of border checkpoints is at a stalemate.
The Russian Federation continues to covertly reinforce militant fighters at the border of Ukraine. During the day, movements of fighting units and military vehicles were noticed near the Sumy and Luhansk border areas.
Russian mercenaries and terrorists continue to move armored transport vehicles into Ukraine and to shell border guard units. Around 4:30am today, bandits fired on border guards and Armed Forces personnel near the settlement of Diakov. Ukrainian military casualties were not reported.
The events of recent days suggest that Russia has chosen to escalate the conflict in the Donbass. Last week saw a significant increase in the number of provocations on the Ukrainian-Russian border. Militants, posing as Ukrainian soldiers, were reportedly firing onto Russian territory with mortars and small arms in an attempt to provoke a Russian intervention. The official Russian position is to blame these attacks on the Ukrainian military. However, these charges are absolutely baseless.
The Russian side has repeatedly violated the airspace of Ukraine with helicopters and unmanned surveillance drones. There are multiple daily attempts to infiltrate Russian military equipment and fighters onto the territory of Ukraine. These breakthroughs are made with the active assistance of the Russian border guards. There is documentary evidence that ATO forces have been fired upon from positions inside Russia. Ukraine is prepared to present this evidence before the international community.
The situation in settlements near conflict zones.
Terrorists are continuing to destroy infrastructure. In the Donetsk region saboteurs blew up two bridges near the town of Zuhres and village of Marianivka. In Khartsyzk, fighters mined and prepared to destroy all the bridges. Therefore we warn local residents about the threat of subversion and suggest the look for ways to bypass potential targets.
According to the latest information, 40,556 people have left the ATO area for other regions of Ukraine. This figure includes more than 15,000 children and 5,000 disabled and elderly. The number of displaced increases on average by 1,200 people per day. Regional staff, in conjunction with local executive bodies, are constantly searching for space to accommodate people. At this time, over 5000 buildings (both private and public) have been identified for the potential settlement of 65,000 IDPs.
The additional information.
The international community continues to unquestioningly support Ukraine’s leadership to establish peace in the East.
During talks with the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called on the EU to assess the illegal border transfers of military hardware from Russia and attacks on Ukrainian positions from over the Russian border. The President said that he expects a clear and decisive reaction from the EU in accordance with the conclusions of the European Council on 27th of June.
President Poroshenko appealed to the President of the European Council to include Ukrainian issues on the agenda of the European Council on July 16. Herman Van Rompuy said that it will definitely be included.
U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden assured President Poroshenko that the U.S. is ready to step up international efforts to seek a peaceful settlement of the situation in the east of our country. He expressed his condolences to the people of Ukraine for the numerous losses in the Ukrainian military.
The Government of Canada has also expressed support for Poroshenko’s peace plan and stated that they and their partners would continue to put pressure on Russia in order to force the Kremlin to stop the flow of weapons and fighters into Ukraine. They will also push Russia to give up its anti-Ukrainian propaganda campaign.