Tensions escalating in Donbass

14 August 2015 15:23

Following a massive artillery barrage, 400 Russia-backed terrorists, supported by 10 tanks, 10 APCs and other heavy armor, attempted to break through defensive positions held by Ukrainian troops outside the village of Staroignatovka.The attack started at 3 a.m. on August 10, 2015,’ Colonel Andrey Lysenko, adviser to the Presidential Administration on ATO affairs, said at a press briefing.

He went on to say that the Ukrainian government promptly responded to the worsening situation by holding an emergency meeting this morning. Following the meeting, attended by Commander-in-Chief, National Security and Defense Secretary and Chief of General Staff, a decision was made to deploy artillery to repel the attack.

Due to coordinated and professional actions, Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers managed to repel enemy advancement and launch a counter-attack, which resulted in capturing some key elevations outside Starognatovka.

Earlier on, Elena Belozerskaya, a spokesperson for the ‘Ukrainian Volunteer Corps’ and ‘Right Sector’ organizations, wrote this on her Facebook page: “As a result of the night-time attack, the enemy succeeded in breaking through defensive positions held by the 72nd brigade. However, the Ukrainian military, assisted by the Right Sector paramilitaries, who were quick to come to their rescue, managed to push the enemy back to their previously held positions. Following that, Ukrainian troops were able to advance a little, but failed to consolidate their territorial gains after coming under intense shelling and encountering numerically superior heavy armor. A total of 4 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the attack, one of them from the 72nd brigade and three others from the Right Sector.

Among those on the KIA list was Vitaly Tilizhenko, a Belarusian volunteer nicknamed Cupcake. He was assigned to the so-called Belorussian unit, which was formed just two days ago, on August, 8, 2015. The battle of Starognatovka was a baptism of fire for the Belarusian volunteers.

A record high of 130 attacks have been launched in the last 24 hours, a number which has not been recorded since the end of the Debaltsevo operation this February. This is also the first time since February that the Ukrainian armed forces have launched a counteroffensive.