President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko established anew state holiday – the Day of Ukraine Defender on 14 October, the day when Pokrova of Virgin Mary is marked. Respective Decree was signed yesterday.
The decision was made to “honor the courage and heroism of those who defend Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity, military traditions and victories of Ukrainian people, to help strengthen further patriotic spirit in society and to support civic initiatives”.
Today the Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) voted in President’s submission to appoint Colonel-General Stepan Poltorak as Defense Minister.
Situation in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone
Within the last 24 hours there was no full-scale engagement between ATO forces and terrorists. Militants are most active near Donetsk airport, Shchastya and Debaltseve.
In separate regions terrorists keep violating ceasefire regime and shelling our positions. In particular ATO positions in population centers of Pisky, Komuna, Tonenke, Olkhovatka in Donetsk region and Chornukhyne in Luhansk region got shelled with Grad MRLS.
Yesterday our servicemen successfully repelled attacks on the airport and attacks on positions near Smeele Luhansk region.
Within the last 24 hours 7 Ukrainian servicemen got killed in action in the ATO zone. It is worth mentioning that 6 our servicemen got killed having tripped mines and trip wires installed by the terrorists while conducting counter-terrorist actions.
In this regard we are calling on locals on liberated territories and districts under terrorists’ control to be cautious. For the time being mines and hidden explosive devices installed by terrorists as well as shootouts between various militants’ gangs constitute the biggest threat to people.
Locals are advised to call at 101 hotline in case they discover trip wires, suspicious items etc.
Amassing of manpower and machinery of illegal armed formations continues at Southern direction. In particular yesterday large special unit for military reconnaissance of the Russian Federation arrived near Novoazovsk. Military of the above unit do not hide the fact they are part of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
The tendency for active aerial reconnaissance remains. 6 UAVs spotted within the last 24 hours near Mariupol.
In Mariupol the situation is calm, public transport and municipal services work in regular mode.
No engagements occurred on parts of border controlled by Ukrainian servicemen.
Within the last 24 hours 18 Ukrainian servicemen were liberated from captivity. 6 officers and 11 servicemen of the National Guard were held captive by the enemy over a month in Donetsk and Snizhne.
Within the last 24 hours Ukroboronprom repaired 5 infantry combat vehicles and airborne fighting vehicles BMP-1 and BMP-2 as well as an APC BTR-70.
Situation in population centers of the ATO zone
Yesterday first 10 vehicles of humanitarian cargo from Germany provided to Ukraine according to accords between the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko arrived in Kharkiv. This humanitarian aid includes household appliances, medical equipment, medicine, clothes and other essentials. The cargo is currently located in warehouses close to the future transit mobile settlement that is being constructed for internally displaced from Eastern Ukraine. 15 more vehicles with humanitarian aid are expected to arrive in Kharkiv.
First tranche of state social payments for October arrived to 38 districts and cities of Donetsk region in the amount of UAH 166 million. As of 13 October 2014 almost UAH 124 million of aid were paid. Over UAH 68 million received in 16 districts and cities of Luhansk region. As of yesterday aid in the amount of UAH 38,5 million was paid. As of 13.10.2014 UAH 2,8 million were disbursed to directorates for social security to ensure state aid provision to families with children, families with low income, disabled since childhood, disabled children and of temporary aid to children.
Response of the international community to the events in Ukraine
In his statement President of Finland Sauli Niinistö said Finland supports EU sanctions against Russia and condemns annexation of Crimea. He called on Russia to respect the ceasefire regime and to approach in constructive manner talks on the future of the Eastern Ukraine.
Head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission Ertugrul Apakan claimed the intention to widen their representation in our country and stressed on the readiness to hold monitoring activities using UAVs. He also welcomed measures taken by the sides of conflict as to settlement of the situation in Eastern Ukraine.
In his turn mission representative Michael Bociurkiw stated that despite Moscow’s claims on ending military exercises in proximity to the territory of our country Russian heavy military machinery is still stationed at the border with Ukraine.
Head of the German governmental press and information agency Steffen Seibert said there are no grounds to have sanction against the Russian Federation cancelled or softened despite claims of Moscow on withdrawal of regular army units from the Ukrainian-Russian border. The German civil servant called the end of exercises an important but insufficient step on the way to have the Ukraine crisis settled.
French Ministry for Foreign Affairs claimed it is currently not possible to supply the first of the two Mistral class amphibious assault ships to Russia due to the situation in Ukraine.