Map of Operations, August 10-20, 2014 – Created by Kot Ivanov
English Version Created by Anthony Hartin
Collected Military Briefings, August 19-21, 2014
Original: Colonel Cassad LiveJournal
Translated from Russian by Gleb Bazov
Novorossiya Military Briefing, August 19, 2014
August 19, 2014 – 23:30 – Colonel Cassad LiveJournal
The most difficult battles are currently happening near Ilovaisk. The Junta threw at the city virtually everything that it had in the area, even abandoning the attempt to encircle Mospino and redeploying the troops from there to fight for Ilovaisk. As a result, of course, the troops of the DPR Army were forced by the assault into the urban development, but there the Junta’s advance was stopped dead in its tracks in the course of street battles. Motorola’s unit, comprised of veterans of the battles for Slavyansk, Nikolayevka and Miusinks, arrived to aid the garrison that has been repulsing powerful attacks by the Junta troops for over a week and a half. These guys got there just in time, as it was becoming evident that our troops were practically at their last strength.
Overall, this is the main direction of the attack; the Junta is obviously in a hurry and does not want to spend time bypassing the city only, leaving powerful centres of resistance in the rear. Instead the intention appears to be simply to crush the defence with the sheer mass of its troops and directly to emerge on the outskirts of Donetsk. The losses the Junta is sustaining are serious, but it retains the initiative [Note: latest reports indicate that the Junta is close to a shattering defeat in this area]. It will face problems if its offensive finally bogs down at Ilovaisk, and the DPR Army finishes off the Southern Cauldron 2.0. In this event, the Junta troops will after some time face an attack on Amvrosievka and to the flank of the grouping assaulting Ilovaisk and Mospino.
In this situation time play a crucial role – Ilovaisk must hold until such a moment when the enemy troops surrounded [in the Southern Cauldron 2.0] are defeated, and then the city can expect serious reinforcements. In general, the setup of the battle in the south has all the characteristics of a fight for operational initiative. The Junta is on the offensive, but the DPR Army is trying to seize the initiative. The perseverance of the Ilovaisk defenders will play a critical role here.
Near Yasinovataya, Gorlovka and Enakievo the fighting continues, but here the Junta was unable to solve the main tasks for the day and again resumed the terroristic shelling of the cities. The lack of military professionalism is being compensated for with mass murder. It would seem that the Junta troops have more tanks, infantry and artillery, but they keep butting up against the positions of the Militia without any forward progress, sustaining large losses as a result. In general, here the day was quite successful for the DPR Army. But it must be understood that the reinforcements that arrived from Krasniy Luch and Miusinsk simply permitted the holes in the battlefront to be plugged. The DPR Army does not have sufficient troops here for a counteroffensive, and in the next several days they will still have to work on repulsing powerful enemy attacks.
Near Novosvetlovka the situation is still uncertain. Our troops are on the attack, and the Junta is fighting back, but LPR Army for now remains unable to drive the enemy out completely. The enemy’s infantry in this area is demonstrating unusual for these times perseverance. Near Miusinsk and Krasniy Luch they ran back after only 2-3 days of fighting, while here they are holding quite well. Complete control over the Krasnodon-Lugansk highway has yet to be restored.
Stanitsa Luganskay has been almost completely clears of the Junta forces. The victorious statements turned out to be premature. As clarified by the locals, while the Militia holds the dominant height near the settlement, it will continue to be problematic to take Stanitsa Luganskaya. Moreover, the Junta’s infantry has not demonstrated particular perseverance in the battles for the town.
And separately, if you are able to donate some fall-winter equipment, uniforms, and shoes for the Militia – whether in small or large batches, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will clarify the details. Simply consider that in about 1.5-2 months (if not earlier) a horde of 20-25 thousands fighting soldiers of the Novorossiya Army will have to be clothed, and that’s not even taking into account the hundreds of thousands of civilians that need to be provided for (they will need blankets, heaters, firewood, gas tanks, etc.). From what the militia needs right (apart from weapons, tanks, artillery and antiaircraft systems) – cargo vests, bulletproof vests of the 4th class or higher, Kevlar and spetsnaz helmets, thermal imagers, night vision scopes, various fasteners for rifle scopes (especially for sniper rifles), special optics, simple drones and quadrocopters, medications (you can’t transport Group A medications [Note: Medications not available other than by prescription, and which contain poisonous or narcotic substances, such as narcotic-based painkillers], but everything else that would be useful in field surgery is allowed). For those who are interested, you can find a report on the delivery of humanitarian aid for August 10-15 here.
Ukraine: Over a Thousand People Captured by the Militia
05:29 – August 20, 2014 – Colonel Cassad LiveJournal
Kiev, August 19, 2014, Interfax-Ukraine: According to the information possessed by Kiev, there is at least a thousand people held by the Militia as POWs in the east of Ukraine. However, Vasiliy Budik, the Deputy Ukrainian Minister of Defence tasked with negotiations for the release of POWs and hostage believes that, in reality, this number could be much higher.
Vasiliy Budik stated during a roundtable in Kiev on Tuesday: “I believe that the 1007 people that are counted as captive in our lists as of yesterday are only a small part of all the POWs.” He further said: “While we have a certain understanding as to how many of our soldiers and officers are held prisoner, the problem of civilians and journalists is a global one.”
In addition, Budik indicated that many of those who have been freed from captivity do not have documents confirming their identity. He said: “We are addressing the issues of legalization and identification documents. Many of them live where they can; they lead a half-starved lifestyle. It is good that volunteers help some of them, but this is a systemic problem
P.S. And I remember some laughing when militiamen claimed that they had lost count of the POWs and that they number already in the thousands. In fact, by August, the losses in all categories (dead, wounded, POWs, deserters, missing in action) became so egregious that it became absolutely impossible to hide them.
Novorossiya Military Briefing, August 20, 2014
12:22 – August 20, 2014 – Colonel Cassad LiveJournal
At first, the Junta reported for the 6th or 7th time that they had captured Ilovaisk, but closer to midday acquired some modesty and announced that, even if did not control Ilovaisk as a whole, half of the town was certainly in its hands.
In reality, however, already yesterday they were sitting in the urban development on the southern outskirts of Ilovaisk and were engaged in a fire battle with the DPR Army, which continues even now. Officially, the Junta acknowledged 9 dead, while, in reality, there was as usual a lot more. Reinforcements from Oplot arrived in Ilovaisk, bringing with then 5 tanks, so the fighting will continue here, and the Junta will have a chance to “take” Ilovaisk for the 9th and the 10th time. Over the backdrop of the bravura announcements made by official Ukrainian representatives, the more symptomatic of the real situation on the ground appear to be the hysterical screams from the location that Donbass-1, which officially allegedly took Ilovaisk, in reality was taken out of the fighting and outside the city.
The “assault” on Lugansk withered all of a sudden when the Junta was driven away from Khryashchevatoye. It appears that the column that entered Lugansk first helped to repulse the Junta from Khryashchevatoye and then went about its business when it entered the city. This caused the Junta to throw a tantrum because for five days they kept talking about how they were just about to take Lugansk, and then one and a half kilometre long columns simply enter the city. Near Novosvetlovka the battles continued, bu the highways is still under threat. The larger part of Stanitsa Luganskaya is controlled by the Militia, and the Junta has entrenched itself on the outskirts. At night, sluggish skirmishes took place there.
With respect to Uspenka and the border-crossing checkpoints to the south of Amvrosievka – for now it is primarily the Saboteur-Reconnaissance Groups (“SRG”) of the Militia that are operating there. The area has not been obviously flanked from the south yet. The Junta simply does not have sufficient troops to keep the front line, and that is why militiamen have practically made themselves at home in the rear of the enemy’s southern grouping. However, it must be understood that this is not at all the type of pincer maneuver that can facilitate the formation of a new cauldron near Amvrosievka.
It has been confirmed that already in the evening of August 19, 2014, the Militia arrived on the outskirts of Lutugino. Capturing this city will enhance the internal connectedness of Novorossiya and hasten the defeat of the Junta troops south of Lugansk. However, it is too early to talk about assaulting the city itself, and this tactical success should not be over overestimated.
From the looks of it, August 19, 2014 was one of the bloodiest days for the Junta troops from the standpoint of irrecoverable losses. There were heated battles near Ilovaisk, Novosvetlovka, Khryashchevatoye, Gorlovka, and Yasinovataya, which translated into hundreds of dead and wounded. Tsarev even announced a figure of over 800 killed [Note: in reality, Tsarev spoke of 487 dead and over 800 wounded]. Whether it was 800 or not, but all sources indicate that the enemy losses yesterday were very significant. The Militia also lost a few dozen dead and wounded. Needless to say, dozens of civilians also lost their lives, and the Ukrainian troops continued to inflict destruction on the cities of Donbass. Particularly notable was the monstrous explosion of a chemical plant near Donetsk, which resulted in a many-kilometres-long smoke column and the brightest of fires that was seen many kilometres away from the epicenter.
Overall, battle continue to rage on the key points. Only four days remain until the Ukrainian Independence Day. There is an opinion that there is no chance of the enemy taking Donetsk and Lugansk in time for the celebration.
Ukraine Prepares for Defence along the Slavyansk-Mariupol Line
10:37 – August 21, 2013 – Colonel Cassad LiveJournal
According to RV sources, the command of the Ukrainian army is quite pessimistic about the prospects of the ATO. Generals close to the Ukrainian Minister of Defence, Valeriy Geletei, are already preparing plans for a fall-winter campaign and for a possible retreat from the position near Donetsk and Lugansk.
The leadership of the Ministry of Defence considers the key task of the Ukrainian army in the event of a retreat to entrench along the Slavyansk-Mariupol line and to prevent a breakthrough by the DPR Army into the Kharkov region and into Zaporozhye. With this task in mind, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence started the creation of two fortified regions (“FR”): FR “Slavyansk-Kramatorsk-Druzhkovka-Konstantinovka-Artyomovsk” and FR “Mariupol”. It is expected that the FR “Slavyansk-Kramatorsk-Druzhkovka-Konstantinovka-Artyomovsk” will block the Militia from organizing an offensive on Khrakov, while the FR “Mariupol” will preclude an incursion into Zaporozhye. The leadership fo the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence does not consider the Dnepropetrovsk direction to be feasible for an offensive by the DPR Army.
In these fortified regions, defensive infrastructure is being developed. Additional units and military hardware are being redeployed there. Antiaircraft defences are being strengthened, and a reliable system of air transport between the Kramatorsk and the Mariupol airfields is being created.
P.S. This scenario cannot be excluded in the medium term. The offensives on Donetsk and Lugansk are quite obviously chocking. The enemy was unable to cut off the communications between the DPR and the LPR and failed to block the border. Even though the ratio of forces is still in the Junta’s favour, the equalization of this ratio in favour of the Militia is becoming increasingly obvious. Added to that are the enormous losses in terms of manpower and military hardware. In other words, there is on hand a set of reasons that are already forcing the military command of the Junta to start thinking about defence.
Because the Junta advanced relying on its superiority in troops and wedged itself into the Militia’s combat formations without paying attention to its flanks, when the latter transition to a counteroffensive, these wedges will inevitably become new cauldrons, just as we have witnessed in the battles for the Southern Cauldron, Miusinsk and Krasniy Luch.
Given the increase in the Militia’s forces, the current configuration of the battlefront offers the opportunity not only for unimpeded movement in the areas where the Junta does not have troops (just as it happened with the SRG breakthrough to the Uspenka border-crossing checkpoint), but also for attacks aimed at undercutting the various protrusions and wedges, which, given the low quality of the Junta’s infantry, is fraught with new defeats for the enemy.
Accordingly, it is quite natural that, seeing the current trends in the development of the hostilities, the Junta is also starting to understand that this war will not be over this summer and that ahead lie a fall and very likely a winter campaign, which are best prosecuted not in open field with cut off communications, but in the defence on well-equipped positions supported by large settlements.
In the event of a complete failure in the battle for Donetsk, the Militia will sooner or later start forcing the Junta troops out, both to the south of Donetsk and to the north of Lugansk. The above-noted Slavyansk-Mariupol line is, so to speak, a reserve option, as the political leadership of the Junta still has not lost hope of achieving success in August. However, such a victory is already unlikely from a military point of view. Jokes aside, but it is already August 21, 2014.
The general offensive aimed at crushing Novorossiya was commenced on July 1, 2014. True, several important cities and some of the DPR territory was occupied. At the same time, the enemy sustained enormous losses in manpower and military hardware, and not one of the strategic objectives was secured. And this is notwithstanding the fact that the Junta’s superiority in manpower and equipment, let alone the air force, was overwhelming. Nevertheless, the DPR and the LPR Militia have been prosecuting a generally successful strategic defence operation against a mobilized regular army, and, in the past 3-4 days, increasingly have moved to counterattacks.
Overall, the trends of the past several days make are genuinely encouraging, even if the crisis has not been overcome yet.