Military Briefings

Overcoming the Operational Crisis of August 9, 2014

Preamble: This posting will continue to be updated. Please watch this space for more information.


19:40 – August 9, 2014—The Encirclement of Donetsk Has Been Postponed

Original: Colonel Cassad LiveJournal
Translated from Russian by Gleb Bazov / Edited by @GBabeuf

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This morning an operational crisis arose. In the night of August 7th-8th, an armoured group of the 24th Separate Mechanized Brigade (“OMBr”) slipped through to Miusinsk, and then, after it was ousted from Miusinsk in the morning of August 9th, burst into Krasniy Luch, forcing unstable units of the Militia to withdraw. Simultaneously, the enemy’s reinforced armoured group conducted a de-blockading strike through Fashchevka and Vakhrushevo, coming from the direction of Debaltsevo. As a result, by lunchtime on August 9th, the enemy’s total grouping, comprised of the units breaking out of the Southern Cauldron and the relief group, consisted of up to thirty tanks and about the same number of BMPs/BTRs and up to 700 infantry troops.

However, the remnants of the Krasniy Luch garrison demonstrated true heroism and, by winning several critical hours, allowed the Militia time to redeploy reinforcements from the LPR and the DPR, to reverse the crisis situation in its favour, and to start driving the enemy back from the city. The lack of fuel and ammunition among the remnants of the 24th OMBr facilitated this objective. At this time, the crisis is in the process of being resolved. Part of the enemy grouping has been pushed to the south-west of Krasniy Luch. The fighting continues.

The situation was indeed close to being critical, and Donetsk was in fact in danger of being surrounded; however, it appears at this time that the threat has been mitigated. Nevertheless, this is no time to rest; the crisis has not been overcome and the risk to Donetsk’s lines of communication remains.


01:07 – August 10, 2014—The Operational Crisis of August 9, 2014

Original: Colonel Cassad LiveJournal
Translated from Russian by Gleb Bazov / Edited by @GBabeuf

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Despite continuing battles for Saur-Mogila, where the Militia was forced to withdraw from the top of the mountain, today attention was focused on the operational crisis around Miusinsk (Миусинск) and Krasniy Luch (Красный Луч).

The crux of the operational crisis was as follows: the grouping that was surrounded in the Southern Cauldron gathered the remaining forces and rushed to break out from the encirclement. The 79th, the remnants of the 72nd and the spetsnaz regiment retreated strictly to the west and, having lost up to half of their vehicles and approximately 250 men killed and wounded (there are now attempts to attribute all these losses to Russian artillery fire), broke out of the Cauldron.

The remnants of the 24th Separate Mechanized Brigade (“OMBr”) fought their way out in a north-westerly direction. An armoured group was put together, consisting of ten tanks and just as many BTRs and BMPs, with infantry on board, which punched through the ring of encirclement and on August 8, 2014 burst into Miusinsk. All day on August 8, 2014, heavy battles continued in the area, as a result of which the main forces of the enemy were driven out to the north of Miusinsk.

At night, this armoured group began a march toward Krasniy Luch, which it entered on the morning of August 9, 2014. At the same time, by the looks of it, mechanized forces of the enemy attacked from the direction of Debaltsevo (Дебальцево), broke through to Fashchevka (Фащевка) and continued their offensive toward Vakhrushevo (Вахрушево).

Considering the strategic importance of Krasniy Luch, these maneuvers created an operational risk to the main highway that enables the supply of Donetsk. The small garrison present in the city (the city was considered to be safely in the rear) put up stiff resistance in the southern suburbs of Krasniy Luch, near the local mines. As a result, several critically important hours were gained, enabling the Militia quickly to bring up its reserves and to prevent the enemy from taking control of Krasniy Luch.

In addition to the heroism of the Militiamen, it bears mentioning that a lack of fuel and ammunition hampered the efforts of the 24th OMBr. Its lengthy sojourn in the Cauldron had left it unable to engage in a persistent and prolonged battle, and, having met resistance, the 24th OMBr was forced out of the southern suburbs of Krasniy Luch. Were this a fully equipped armoured group, rather than one exhausted by several weeks of fighting, the outcome might have been not in favour of the Militia.

Nevertheless, for several hours Donetsk and Gorlovka faced a real danger of complete encirclement. If the 24th OMBr had managed to gain a foothold in Krasniy Luch, and the Junta had punched a full-fledged corridor to the city through Vakhrushevo, then, apart from communication lines to Donetsk and Gorlovka being cut off, the forces of the Militia in the area of Torez and Snezhnoye immediately would have found themselves in a dire operational situation and the southern front of the DPR could have rapidly collapsed.

Thankfully, this worst-case scenario has so far been avoided; as they say, the bullet whizzed right past the temple. The ongoing fighting in the area of Miusinsk and to the west of Krasniy Luch is meant to localize the effects of the extremely unpleasant break out, which, by the looks of it, the Militia did not expect (it appears that they expected the encircled troops to withdraw as a crowd and that they would be able to bombard with impunity using artillery, similar, essentially, to what happened with the remnants of the 72nd and 79th Brigades). The armoured group’s strike on Miusinsk and the corresponding strike from the direction of Debaltsevo through to Fashchevka became a very unpleasant surprise.

On the part of the Junta these manœuvres of course were a gamble, but one that nearly succeeded. The pessimistic assessments made by Zakharchenko and Strelkov demonstrate that the break-out had shaken the DPR Command’s confidence in their ability to retain Krasniy Luch. It also should be noted that the situation surrounding the break-out of the 24th OMBr once again identified the flaws in interaction between the Commands of the DPR and the LPR, as well as the old problem of Ataman Kositsyn, who subordinates himself to no one and, by the looks of it, wages his own war in isolation from the rest.

The causes of the roaming about in the Militia’s rear of the tanks that had broken through are fairly trivial: the Militia is unable to create a layered defence; it simply lacks the troops to do it. The most battle worthy units and the primary anti-tank means are concentrated at the front, while the rear-line cities are protected by Militiamen with small-arms and a minimum of anti-tank weaponry. Mobile reserves are extremely limited. As a result, whenever the enemy’s mechanized units break the line of the front, they end up in literally in an operational voice, such that the Militia is unable to do anything to counteract their manœuvres until sufficient reserves are transferred into the area.

Overall, the operational crisis around Krasniy Luch has not been entirely overcome, but is nearing its resolution. At the same time, however, the overall strategic situation is still close to being critical. More on that tomorrow.

Below are photographs from the Cauldron, Miusinsk, Krasniy Luch, Saur-Mogila, and Donetsk. Briefly about Saur-Mogila: closer to the evening, the Junta’s paratroopers finally managed to climb to the top and to hoist their flag. In the evening, the Militia resumed the shelling of the height using howitzers and MLRS, following which the Junta’s infantry retreated to the southern slope.

Strelkov Discussing his Relationship with Zakharchenko

The Commander-in-Chief is Alexander Zakharchenko. This is his prerogative as a Premier. I never made any claims to this position. I am only the Commander-in-Chief of the Militia, that is what I was and what I remain. Apart from the Militia, the Armed Forces of the DPR include two other large units. Zakharchenko and I have a full understanding; he is a worthy fighter, a good commander and was awarded the Cross of St. George for military valour. The Oplot Battalion fights side-by-side with the Militia in all of the most critical areas.

It is quite noteworthy that, in the midst of heavy fighting for Miusinsk and Krasniy Luch, the Banderovtsy were joined in their mass media attack on Strelkov by Kurginyan’s cultists, who are being completely transparent about their ultimate goal of eliminating Strelkov and Novorossiya. That’s the source of the fake about Strelkov’s dismissal and the attempts to pit Strelkov against Zakharchenko. What can be said about Kurginyan’s cultists? Complete scum. Belonging to this sect is a characteristic and distinguishing attribute of an Asshole (capitalized and bolded).

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Discussion

3 thoughts on “Overcoming the Operational Crisis of August 9, 2014

  1. I posted a few week ago the SDF need for a MQFR(mobile Quick Reaction Force) as if these troops here of the 79th https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dmUvw6OCkY instead of running home had joined their comrades in the assault on Miusinsk, Krasniy Luch, then SDF could of lost, hope they feel safe and their ‘brother’ UA feel gratitude for the help!!(sarcasm)

    Debaltsevo is still a pivotal area for both, a road hub+crossroads between Donetsk+Lugansk+MSR to Russia, if the UA had the man power(do not forget they are in training now 3rd call up) they will attempt this again in another pincer but in force, to cut off both cities and Russia.

    Lugansk front seems to be stable, possible assist DPR+ still a combined operations HQ? there are ‘war lords’ in command of militia who are behind FEBA who seen to never be engaged in real defense, a rotation system possibly?

    Still the SDF have managed to plug the UA Dyke for now, I hope that was a wake up and any issues/weaknesses can be resolved that became evident.

    Like

    Posted by jp | August 10, 2014, 11:42
  2. I still think the answer is an ultra light Air Force. At 50-60 mph can be anywhere in area of battle in minutes, dismount as infantry, fire weapons from the air, provide min to min area wide intelligence, quick and easy to learn to fly (assuming some qualified pilots in SDF, cheap and can be manufactured from scratch in the simplest shop, or just ordered from the internet as kits. Very fuel efficient. Capable of landing and taking off anywhere, a short piece of dirt road for instance, and with wings folded can be very quickly dragged under cover and hidden. A couple hundred, in combined action could defeat an armored column with persistent, very low level passes from unexpected and silent quadrants, firing RPGs. Equally effective agains personelle with fragmentation weapons.

    Just an idea to help with the quick response problem.

    Best of luck.

    herb

    Like

    Posted by hruhs | August 10, 2014, 14:53
  3. I have read on some Pro-Kiev site, that Kiev has ordered the last scraps of scum to ‘storm’ Ilovaisk, namely National Guard Battalions aka ‘Shakhtersk’, ‘Azov’, Semenchenko’s ‘Donbass’ and some other rubble like Yarosh’s ‘Right Sector’. If that is true, then it’s quite telling the tale of the beginning of the end for Kiev. So, the last tactical reserves were gathered from the West and South of Donetsk City and from the East flank of Saur-Mogila to cut the support line south of Makiyivka, am I right? After the bold operations against Shakhtersk/Torez and Saur-Mogila, also Krasny-Luch, have fizzled out with very heavy losses for Kiev again, this is the last hectic attack without hope of success, I suppose. The Pro-Kiev site said, that National Guard will fulfill the task to conquer Donetsk City. Are they serious? Does that mean, that the Ukrainian Army is not quite operational any more? If I look at the map, I can only see bound resources and heavy losses for Kiev. The 3rd wave of mobilization seems far from complete, will last some more weeks, I guess. So, NazGuard wants to conquer Donetsk City – and is dying in front of Ilovaisk, as its webpages tell? Ok, go, Semenchenko and Yarosh, enter Donetsk – time is running out, last try … .

    Like

    Posted by Historian | August 11, 2014, 21:43

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