Kyiv, August 31, 2014. Yesterday nine Russian paratroopers were exchanged for 63 soldiers of the National Guard of Ukraine at the checkpoint in Kharkiv region, reported Colonel Andriy Lysenko, spokesperson of Information and Analytical Center of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Andriy Lysenko said that in the last 24 hours four Ukrainian servicemen were killed and 34 got wounded. According to NSDC representative, the Ukrainian military engaged the terrorists and the Russian military 33 times in the vicinity of the following settlements: Stanytsia Luhanska, Heorhiivka, Krasnaya Polyana, Andriivka, Lutugino, Kruglyk, Uspenka, Berezove, Vergunsky Rozyizd, Fedorivka, Zempliane, Maryinka, Adrianopil, Makarovo, Fashchiivka as well as near “Luhansk” airport. The spokesperson for the National Security and Defense Council said that the ATO forces destroyed two tanks, an “Urahan” [‘Hurricane’] installation, six Grad systems and more than 100 terrorist militants.
Colonel Lysenko said that the shelling of ATO positions continues from the territory of Russia. Thus the position of Ukrainian military near the village Horodyshche was fired upon with anti-tank guided missiles. In addition, the Ukrainian-Russian borderline in Luhansk region, and the bridge over the Kamyshnaya river near the village of Nizhnebaranovka (Bilovodsky district), as well as the positions of the ATO forces in the village of Makarovo (Stanychno-Luhansk region) suffered from the shelling which originated from the territory of the Russian Federation. The NSDC representative emphasized that yesterday Ukraine recorded four Russian drones close to the village of Rosa Luxemburg (Donetsk region) and near the village of Yuhanovka (Luhansk region).
Lysenko cited numerous facts of destruction of Donbas infrastructure by the terrorists. He particularly pointed toward the evidence of shelling of Lutugin scientific and industrial roller mill, and the downing of the bridge over the Kalmius river near the village of Granite, Telmanovsky district. On a separate note, Lysenko reported that the Ukrainian forces found and disabled 163 units of ammunition and explosives.
Commenting on the situation in Mariupol, which is under the threat of a Russian invasion, the NSDC spokesperson said that the city was preparing for the defense, noting that yesterday more than a thousand residents of Mariupol stepped out creating a human chain at the checkpoint on the road coming from Novoazovsk, which is now occupied by the Russian army. In Novoazovsk, according to Andriy Lysenko, the Russians have been recorded to disseminate leaflets on “How to deal with the peacekeeping force of the Russian troops,” where the local population was suggested not to resist the Russian invaders and take the collaborationist position. The leaflet also assures that “no one will be shot down just for no reason.”
Colonel Lysenko noted that the National Guard of Ukraine received several Mi-8 MTV1 helicopters which have been redesigned and modernized to be able to evacuate the wounded and provide first aid. According to the NSDC representative, the helicopters have successfully passed the flight test and have no analogues in the world.
Notably, on August 30 President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko held a series of meetings with European leaders, including the British Prime Minister David Cameron and Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte. Reportedly, the European community condemns the Russian occupation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine. In addition the European Union calls on Russia to immediately withdraw its troops and equipment from Ukraine and fully supports President Poroshenko’s peace plan.