21 May 2018 14:12

Three DPR soldiers captured, 5 Ukrainian soldiers killed in clash near Horlivka - Donetsk

DONETSK. May 21 (Interfax) - Three Donbas militiamen have been taken prisoner, one has been killed in a clash with the Ukrainian army, and five Ukrainian servicemen have died near Horlivka, a representative of the operative command of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) told reporters on Monday.

"Up to two platoons of the enemy mounted an offensive near Holmivskyi. As the Ukrainian forces were approaching our positions, DPR servicemen fired for effect from several directions. Under cover of massive fire from artillery and heavy machine-guns, the enemy was able to approach our positions. Our servicemen fought heroically, but the enemy took three of them prisoner. The punishers killed one soldier on the spot," the representative said.

The Ukrainian forces retreated with casualties, the representative said.

"The Ukrainian fighters lost five men, and four more were injured. One of the retreating teams left behind the bodies of two soldiers; attempts to salvage the bodies are currently being made. As a result, gunfire continues, and heavy armaments are being used against residential and other areas," the representative said.

"We are doing our best to free the captured DPR servicemen," the representative said.

Eduard Basurin of the DPR Defense Ministry said that the Ukrainian army lost a tank, an infantry combat vehicle, and up to ten men in the clash near Horlivka.

"Hostilities have intensified near Yuzhne [a suburb of Kyiv-held Dzerzinsk], where up to two platoons of the enemy, supported by mortars, tanks, and artillery tried to attack our positions. They suffered heavy casualties. A tank and an infantry combat vehicle of the enemy were destroyed," Basurin said at a press briefing.

According to DPR intelligence, the Ukrainian army lost up to ten people, while the militia lost one soldier and another one was wounded.

Meanwhile, acting Horlivka Mayor Ivan Prikhodko told Interfax that civilian casualties had grown to four. "Four of our civilians have been injured, and the bombing of Kurhanka [a neighborhood of Horlivka] continues," Prikhodko said.