Kyiv, August 21, 2014 – ATO troops continue combat to free the cities of Donetsk, Luhansk, Ilovaysk, Krasniy Luch, Shakhtarsk, Torez, Snizhne, Zugres, Horlivka and Stanychno-Luhanske from terrorists. “Ukrainian troops captured two BMD infantry fighting vehicles of the Russian Pskov airborne division during battle near Luhansk. The personnel and equipment belong to military unit #74268 of the first parachute regiment of the Pskov airborne division. A personal tablet belonging to the commander of the guard troop, lieutenant Popov, was found among the items onboard. The personnel of the BMD abandoned the vehicle,” stated NSDC Information Center spokesman Colonel Andriy Lysenko during a briefing at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
During their advance, the Ukrainian troops destroyed two terrorist tanks and two Grad systems, which the Russian mercenaries had used to fire at both ATO bases and residential buildings. “Combat continues in individual districts of Ilovaysk. Ukrainian servicemen are successfully rebuking terrorist attacks. Reinforcements for the ATO troops are arriving as we speak,” added the NSDC spokesman.
The terrorists shot down a Ukrainian Su-24M military jet, which was on its way back from a mission, in Luhansk oblast near the village of Novosvitlivka. Both pilots managed to eject.
In light of allegations that Russian humanitarian cargo vehicles crossed the Russia-Ukraine border, the MFA states that as of the evening of August 20, the Ukrainian Border and Customs Services did not carry out according clearance procedures. “The Ukrainian side will immediately begin appropriate work, as soon as it receives a final confirmation from the International Red Cross Committee regarding their readiness to deliver the cargo to its end destination. Amongst other things, one of the issues is that the International Red Cross Committee, which took responsibility for all logistical aspects, including the transportation route, storage and distribution of aid on Ukrainian territory, needs to receive all possible guarantees of security for both personnel and cargo. First and foremost, the Red Cross should receive such guarantees from the terrorist groups under Russian control and the Russian Federation itself. Ukraine understands that it is necessary the Red Cross synchronizes all assistance supplies for the civilians of Luhansk oblast, including those provided by the Ukrainian side, together with other state and international institutions. As of 12 o’clock today, border and customs clearance of the Russian humanity cargo did not start. However, orders were given to begin clearing the cargo in the nearest future,” explained the NSDC spokesman.
The terrorists in Luhansk have fired at one more refugee vehicle. The tragedy occurred on August 20, once more near the village of Khryashchuvate. “According to eyewitnesses, a big white flag was raised over the vehicle, however this did not stop the bandits. The mercenaries were shooting from the village of Samsonivske in Krasnodar district. A family with a child of five was inside the car. The child and the father died at the scene. The wife died in the arms of Ukrainian military medics,” noted Colonel Lysenko.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met with United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, who is in Ukraine on orders of UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon. The President expressed his gratitude to the General Secretary for supporting peace and de-escalation in Donbas. The head of state emphasized that there is no internal conflict in Ukraine. “The people in Donetsk and Luhansk strive for peace. The implementation of the peace plan we proposed determines our actions. We are aware that the situation cannot be solved by means of war exclusively,” noted the President.
The head of state also mentioned Ukraine’s initiative to send international humanitarian aid to Luhansk, which, being under terrorist control, is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.
Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, will visit Ukraine on August 21-24 and determine the ways of providing humanitarian aid to the east of Ukraine. “A column of humanitarian aid will also arrive in the east of Ukraine from Dnipropetrovsk tomorrow. The 200-ton cargo includes bare essentials: grains, flour, sugar, canned fish and meat, as well as baby food,” added Andriy Lysenko.