Today in the morning a group of pro-Russian militants of about 100 men armed with small firearms, grenade launchers and with armored personal carriers entered Kominternove village located 10 km from Mariupol city. Kominternove is located in so-called “gray zone” on a contact line between Ukrainian army and illegal armed groups of “Donetsk People’s Republic”.
This information was confirmed by Anton Myronovych, spokesman of Anti-Terrorist Operation, in his interview to 112 TV channel. Later today Press Center of ATO Headquarters also posted information on the situation in Kominternove at their official Facebook page www.facebook.com/ato.news
The number of militants according to the data that our intelligence has is equal to reinforced company (up to 100 men). There are probably up to 5 tanks and 5 armored personnel carriers. This is the latest information.
– Anton Myronovych in his interview to 112 TV channel
Below we translated official statement posted by Press Center of Anti-Terrorist Operation Headquarters.
Russian-terrorist troops entered “gray zone” near Mariupol and increase the number of weapon banned by Minsk Agreements along the contact line.
According to data that ATO Headquarters has today in the morning militants of pro-Russian illegal armed groups numbered up to one reinforced company with armored vehicles entered Kominternove village located in “gray zone” close to Mariupol.
According to information of Press Center of ATO Headquarters militants were armed not only with small firearms and grenade launchers, but also with armored vehicles, probably tanks and other heavy weapon, which is banned by Minsk Agreements.
The information about brutal violation of agreements by units of Russian-terrorist troops was provided to representatives of Joint monitoring mission of OSCE via Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC).
This is an evidence that illegal armed groups controlled by authorities of Russian Federation don’t follow agreement and this is another provocation against ATO forces.
Besides that according to the latest information the enemy increase the number of weapon banned by Minsk Agreement near the contact line close to Mariupol. There is at least one tank spotted at the suburbs of Kominternove and 4 tanks South-West of Zaichenko. There is also information that militants have BM-21 “Grad” MRLS near Sakhanka village.
At the same time ATO Headquarters and commanders of the units that are located near Mariupol are doing everything needed in order to prevent further escalation of the conflict and ready to react to possible aggression from the side of illegal armed groups. ATO units have enough forces along the contact line for effective operations.
On December 19 2015 OSCE posted report on the situation near Mariupol, they talked to local residents who came from Kominternove and who saw armed group of “DPR” in the village on December 17. The were mines at the entrance to the village. See OSCE report at http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/211466
The SMM met in Mariupol two residents (a man and a woman, approximately 50 years old) of Kominternove (23km east-northeast of Mariupol). According to them, the explosive devices at the south-western entrance to the village (see SMM Daily Report 29 October 2015) were still in place. Both opined that a controlled detonation to remove the devices could damage nearby houses. They claimed that on 16 December they had seen Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers in the village, while on 17 December they had seen a group of “DPR” armed men. They stressed what they said was lack of construction material for winterization in the village and insufficient coal supplies.
Previously on October 30 2015 OSCE reported that there mines at the entrance to Kominternove from the side of Mariupol. The wires from explosive devices were going inside the village. You can see full report at http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/196006
In the area of the south-western entrance to Kominternove (23km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM saw at least two anti-tank mines and two anti-tank rockets taped together and connected to wires on the road leading to the village. On the roadside of the north-western outskirts of the village, the SMM observed two anti-tank mines, one anti-personnel mine (on the ground and uncovered), unexploded ordnance (UXO), and the body of a dead dog, which had possibly been killed by an anti-personnel mine (possibly bounding mine).