Operational data from Information Resistance:
Russian-terrorist troops in Donbas continue to grossly violate the Minsk agreements, firing at the ATO forces’ positions and civilian targets with 120- and 82 millimeter mortars, the on-board weapons of armored vehicles, rocket launchers, heavy machine guns and sniper rifles. The occupiers have stepped up reconnaissance of the ATO forces’ operational-tactical depth, using UAVs in an attempt to identify Ukrainian troop command centers and the points of concentrations of troop reserves. In the coastal regions, UAVs were spotted approaching from the direction of the sea, and, in the Horlivka direction of operations, a UAV was conducting reconnaissance in the Kostyantynivka area. On the stretch from Svitlodarsk to Luhanske, enemy DRGs were particularly active in their attempt to infiltrate the ATO forces’ rear.
Terrorist units are being rotated along several stretches of the demarcation line, while the Russian-terrorist forces’ forward positions are also being resupplied and reinforced. Additional terrorist troops have been added to illegal armed gangs deployed near Schastia, Stanytsia Luhanska, Novotoshkivka, and Krymske. An attack group consisting of several BRDM-2’s [Combat Reconnaissance Patrol Vehicles] and army trucks mounted with ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft gun systems arrived from the direction of Horlivkato reinforce militant units on the Mayorsk–Zaitseve stretch. A mobile group consisting of BTR-80’s, BMP-1’s and MTLB’s (up to 7 units in total) arrived in Staromykhailivkafrom the southern direction of operations, to fire on the ATO forces’ positions near Krasnohorivka.
The ATO forces’ forward positions in the vicinity of Novotroitske and Berezove came under militant fire from the direction of Dokuchajevsk and Olenivka. Operating under the covering fire of heavy machine guns, two infantry groups fired on the ATO forces’ strongholds with under-barrel grenade launchers. Terrorists were forced to retreat in the face of return fire.
Near Avdiivka, several short-lived but massive enemy mortar attacks were recorded. Enemy snipers fired from the summer cottage areas near the “industrial zone,” while BMP-2’s used their on-board weapons [from positions] near the Yasynuvata bridge.
In the vicinity of Mar’inka, Ukrainian Armed Forces strongholds were fired upon with machine guns and large-caliber (12.7 mm caliber) sniper-rifles from the direction of the farm, the horse-rearing establishment and the “Krokodil” waste bank.
Terrorist use of 120 mm mortars banned by the Minsk agreements was recorded on the Svitlodarsk salient. According to our preliminary information, [this use of mortars was in the course of] ranging fire by terrorist units newly arrived at positions in the area.
Near Shyrokyne, terrorists infiltrated the “gray zone” and fired on the ATO forces’ positions with small arms and under-barrel grenade launchers.
In the Alchevsk area, battalion-level exercises have begun in the so-called 6th militant regiment (stationed in the town of Stakhanov); the exercises include negotiating water obstacles. The high command of the Russian Armed Forces’ Southern Military District has signed and approved the training program. The exercises will take place in several stages and last 30-35 days.
Militants from the 9th Russian-terrorist forces regiment (deployed from Kozatske, Novoazovsk district) are being trained by Russian instructors to carry out combat sorties to the front line with the use of noiseless firing devices (silencers and flame suppressors).
Commanders of the illegal armed groups making up the so-called 1st and 2nd Army Corps of the Russian terrorist forces have been ordered to carry out “reconnaissance in force” along the most problematic sections of the demarcation line, in order to identify the ATO forces’ firing positions. This reconnaissance activity may be related to the arrival of a Russian adviser from the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, a Major General tasked with overseeing a militant military operation (details of the operation are being clarified).
Given the low terrorist morale, the so-called “political officers” of Russian-terrorist troop units have begun to spread various rumors aimed at raising the troops’ level of combat readiness. Militants are once again talking about a planned offensive by the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the militants’ positions in 1-2 month’s time. Among the illegal armed groups of the so-called “DNR 1st AC,” information is being disseminated about Kyiv’s imminent “amnesty for DNR militia” to be announced in autumn 2016. This disinformation is intended for terrorists who had previously resided on Ukraine-controlled territory, and are currently hoping to return home after the amnesty.
A new financial scandal involving the “DNR” leadership has erupted, after senior militant chiefs were found complicit in embezzlement from the Russian Federation. It turned out that the “DNR” leadership has exploited for its own enrichment an official agency established earlier, the “Administrative Center for the Reconstruction of the DNR” (ACR), whose operation was enabled by a constant inflow of funds from the Russian Federation. To move the allocated funds out of Russia and subsequently misappropriate them, the “DNR” leadership transferred them to pocket construction organizations. Following that, either fictitious work completion certificates were issued [overstating the works performed], or commissioned construction jobs were not performed at all. The situation in question was brought to the attention of the Russian government representatives by “DNR” “opposition leaders” (including the former head of the “DNR Security Council,” Alexander Khodakovskiy), causing the Russian side to conduct an audit of the ACR’s operations.
In the course of the audit, Russian auditors documented evidence of large-scale embezzlement of the agency’s funds. The final report of the Russian Federation’s audit commission recommended that the ACR project be shut down, and the “DNR law enforcement agencies” investigate the crimes of local officials. As part of this investigation, the “mayor” of Donetsk was questioned, and his first deputy arrested. The “DNR” chieftain, Alexander Zakharchenko, has decided to carry out an “investigation” and punish individual “scapegoats” among “public officials,” to subsequently request from the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation that the ACR’s work should continue.
The “DNR” leadership has decided to create an agency called the “South-East Information Bureau,” tasked with collecting and archiving information about the “crimes of the Kyiv regime,” corruption among the Ukrainian authorities, and miscellaneous other information discrediting the official government in Kyiv. According to the IR group’s data, the idea of creating this resource came from Alexander Epifanovich Kopnov (born 1960, Deputy Director General of the Federal unitary enterprise “Information Telegraph Agency of Russia/ITAR-TASS/” of the Russian Federation). Currently, Kopnov is the Russian supervisor of the militants’ disinformation and propaganda resource, the “Donetsk News Agency” (DAN), and exerts direct influence on the agency’s editorial, financial and staffing policies. At least once a week, the head of “DAN,” Galina Eduardovna Zhukova (born in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea), reports to Kopnov, addresses the issues of receiving funds from the Russian Federation, and coordinates the “agency’s” current plans with him.