Translated by Daniel Mikhailovich
Edited by O.C.
The Fighting in the Coastal Area
Even recently, it might have seemed laughable, but today the fighting has begun in the area of Novoazovsk, where a powerful anti-aircraft defense node and a hodgepodge of different units of questionable combat capability have been stationed since April to cover the border with Russia. After the Southern Encirclement 2.0 was created, the Militiamen began to probe the other checkpoints to the south-west of Marinovka, and were surprised to find out that there are almost no defenses. All the forces were drawn up to the main front line, creating a gap to the south of Amvrosievka, which was only partially covered with the covering forces. At first, the Militia’s saboteur-reconnaisance groups (“SRG”) began to infiltrate to the south-west, which has led to the capture of the “Uspenka” border checkpoint. After that, the Militia broke-out to the coast, as there were no serious forces of the Junta. As a result, several SRGs moved almost to Novoazovsk and the towns of Holodnoe and Sedovo, firing and attacking some checkpoints.
The Militia obviously doesn’t have enough forces there to seize and hold the towns (let alone capturing Novoazovsk or Mariupol); but judging by the reports that a bomb shelter has been opened in Mariupol, the command of the Junta in this area lost their nerve. It is not only that the gap along the border continues to expand, there is also a threat (even if remote for now) to Novoazovsk and Mariupol; as there are few Junta’s forces there, and nobody knows what can appear from across the border. Moreover, the gap in the front, to the south of Amvrosievka, also does not seem optimistic. In general, what is happening now is not yet an offensive with definite goals, but just a distracting raid in the rear of the enemy, which turned out to be an unpleasant surprise for the Junta. To be honest, very few people expected the fighting on the coast of the Sea of Azov to start so soon. In general, the trend is favorable for us.
Today near Ilovaysk the Junta has continued its attempts “to break through the wall with its head”, sending almost all of the combat-ready forces to attack Ilovajsk. The attack bogged down even before the Junta talking heads could declare that Ilovajsk has been taken once again. This is a very weird stubbornness, given that a more effective plan would involve encircling and taking Mospino, and the gaps in the front to the south of Amvrosievka. The strategic point of the attack is long gone; it is an attempt to reverse the situation with insufficient forces – because even if by some miracle the Junta takes the ruins of Ilovaysk and pushes out the Militia, it will not go beyond one tactical success against the backdrop of the bleak strategic situation.
Saur-Mogila, Schachtersk and Torez
Fighting continued, with both sides largely staying on their positions. The Junta’s mechanized units tried to move towards Miner and Thorez, but didn’t make it far.
Theoretically, these battles are good for the Militia, as the Junta spends reserves there quite aimlessly. That has made the punitive battalions (volunteer units made up of activists/neo-nazis/released criminals) suspect that the Junta command deliberately drives the southern battlegroup into a meat grinder. (That is one version – that they are agents of the Kremlin – another, because that is how Poroshenko gets rid of radical elements). All in all, another week or so of such operations, and the Junta there will be in for a surprise. Southern Encirclement 2.0 has held out so far, but the Junta losses and the Militia trophies there will be considerable – the Militia is currently attacking on Dyakovo and offering the surrounded forces the same conditions as before – retreat to Russia, leaving the vehicles to the Militia.
In the north of Donetsk the Junta seems absolutely exhausted, only pretending that the failed offensive is proceeding via the SRGs’ forces and continuing shelling; whereas the self-defense Militia forces managed to start an offensive towards Uglegorsk which, although not yet taken, hardly looks like a springboard for the Junta’s attack on Yenakievo anymore. The Militia will try to take it in the coming days to protect Gorlovka and Yenakievo and prevent the bisection Donetsk-Gorlovka battlegroup. In general, it is now possible to say conclusively that the attack on Donetsk has failed, and there is no direct threat to the city. And the enemy was not merely driven from Yasinovataya and back to Uglegorsk. In the area of Zhdanovka there was another mini-encirclement, and the Junta salient in the area of Verhnyaya and Nizhnyaya Krynka has been wiped out, with the Militia taking captives and trophies. The front is gradually approaching Debalcevo, which is one of the priority objectives for the Militia.
To the north of Debalcevo, the self-defense forces delivered an unexpected blow to the Junta, towards the north-west, with the result that the forward units were able to move to the vicinity of Severodonetsk. There were overly optimistic statements that the Militia had been about to take back Severodonetsk and Lisichansk, but in fact, there is a lack of Militia forces there, and taking two major cities at once would be quite problematic, especially with the advance SRGs alone. The weakness of the Junta’s forces in this area provides various options for offensive action – the fact is that most of the Junta battlegroup that took Lisichansk from the Militia were later moved to other areas – some units moved towards Debalcevo and Yasinovataya, some left for Schast’e and Stanitsa Luganskaya. As a result, the Militia found a weak spot and delivered a nasty blow that led to a breakthrough in the front. The main thing is that this breakthrough, and the raid of saboteur-reconnaisance groups by the coast, demonstrates that the operational depth of the enemy forces is not high. After breaking after through the enemy front in weak areas, the Militia is able to act in the operational vacuum, where the enemy has practically no reserves. But due to lack of strength, those nasty (for the Junta) breakouts have not yet led to decisive results. It is clear that if the Militia had dedicated 15-20 tanks, as many BMPs and 200-300 infantry to one of these gaps, then it would have taken the cities in the rear of the enemy. But for now the Militia do what they can.
The Junta offensive against Lugansk failed. The enemy has been driven off from Hryaschevatoe; they are still holding by Novosvetlovskaya, but this is a purely defensive action. The self-defense militia forces have already started an offensive against Lutugino and Chast’e. The loss of either one of these would be a complete disaster for the battlegroup besieging Lugansk, as it would be dissected into several parts; although some of it is actually in operational encirclement even now. Today, predictably, there was an attack from the south in the Volnuhino area, and as a result, there is a direct threat to Lutugino; there are already militia combat recon groups on the outskirts. The general meaning of combat here is that if the militia take back Lutugino, they will then be able to fully control the route Lugansk-Krasny Luch, which would greatly enhance the connectivity of Novorossiya’s territory and the coordination of its armed forces. In this regard, Lutugino and Debalcevo are the key nodes of the transport network in the region, and control over them is a part of the struggle for the operational initiative.
In general, the situation, even though it is still difficult, is obviously improving. In a number of areas, the militia are now on the offensive, while the Junta offensive has petered out and stoped almost everywhere.
Original article: Colonel Cassad