Frontline Update: January 22 Summary.

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1/22/2015

Frontline Update: January 22 Summary.

By Cassad

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

Novorossia offensive became more visible on a number of
sectors. After the frontline near the Donetsk Airport stabilized, the center of
activity shifted to Mariupol, Gorlovka, and the territory of LPR.

Airport and vicinity. The airport is firmly held by our
infantry, as is the village of Spartak. Peski are partly under our control and
partly under junta’s. The front is stable for now. Having repelled our attacks,
the junta retain control of air defense garrison and most of Avdeevka, though
it’s still dangerous there (Turchinov himself came under fire there). Our
artillery is hitting enemy positions near Opytnoye. After the loss of the
airport the junta went over to defense, bragging that they still control the
approaches to the airport and trying to convince everyone that the terminal
buildings lost their tactical importance. It seems there still might be some
enemy infantry near the destroyed flight control tower, but there are no
confirming photos or videos.

Mariupol. Our forces pressed south-east from Sartana toward
Vinogradnoye. The enemy forced to withdraw slightly, but defense has not been
broken. Enemy is withdrawing but not running. Minefields complicate the
situation. A few artillery batteries from Perekop were transferred to Mariupol.
Enemy is clearly prepared to engage in street battles for Mariupol.

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Dokuchaevsk. Enemy claims of a breakthrough into Dokuchaevsk
were not confirmed. South of Donetsk is relatively stable, there are exchanges
of artillery fire and reconnaissance of enemy positions. In spite of that, this
sector is still considered one of the most dangerous for Novorossia. Apart from
the possibility of an offensive bypassing Donetsk, the junta can also count on,
in the event of a successful attack, cutting the roads going south from Donetsk
and complicate the supply situation of the southern grouping of Novorossia
forces. Moreover, junta can also carry out a direct attack bypassing
Dokuchaevsk in the direction of Petrovskiy region of Donetsk. At the moment the
situation south of Donetsk is stable, Novorossia forces are attempting to push
the enemy out of Maryinka and to suppress enemy artillery near Krasnogorovka.

Gorlovka. After several days of barbaric bombardment of
Gorlovka by the fascist junta, Novorossia forces launched several rather
powerful attacks against junta positions on the approaches to Gorlovka,
attempting to approach Mayorsk and Dzerzhinsk. The enemy was pushed back on
several sectors, but so far those are only tactical successes which does not
prevent the junta to continue to rain rockets and shells on Gorlovka causing
new destruction and casualties. There is unconfirmed information that an air
defense unit shot down a junta attack aircraft.

Debaltsevo and Popasnaya. The attack near Uglegorsk did not
bring decisive results, but the level of activity indicates that there is an
intent to launch concentric assaults against the center of enemy positions in
the Debaltsevo salient and break up the enemy grouping. This is one of possible
alternatives of an attack on Svetlodarsk with the objective of breaking off the
salient at its basis which was signaled by the attacks near Dolomitnoye and
Troitskoye. The developing LPR offensive westward from Slavyanoserbs is slowly
but surely creating the threat of attack against Lisichansk and Severodonetsk
(which is why junta forces are concentrating near Stakhanov). Simultaneously
Mozgovoy’s brigade attacking Popasnaya can create a serious threat to the base
of the Debaltsevo salient and prepare the eventual attack against Artemovsk (in
the event the objective is the destruction of Ukrainian forces and not merely
pushing them back).

Bakhmutka road and numbered checkpoints. The battles
north-west of Slavyanoserbs are characterized by slow forward movement by
Novorossia forces. The enemy is replying with artillery fire, then tries to occupy
new positions using armored vehicles. The enemy is offering desperate
resistance, which means that all victorious reports should be divided by 2.
Enemy resistance has not been broken, but he is being pushed toward Krymskoye.
Which will be taken in 5-7 days unless Novorossia brings in new forces (which
are available).

Stanitsa Luganskaya-Schastye-Slavyanoserbsk. No major
changes on LPR northern front. Combat operations here are limited to attempts
to probe defenses, rather than attacks with ambitious objectives. So far this
has been a relatively quiet sector fo the front. But if one looks at the map,
one can see a whole range of limited attacks, but one cannot determine whether
the main blow will come that would yield decisive results. Our command is skillfully
concealing such plans, therefore even the enemy cannot determine where the blow
will fall—Mariupol, Debaltsevo (Debaltsevo itself or Svetlodarsk), Artemovsk,
Lisichansk, or Schastye. Novorossia forces are being used wisely, protecting
the main assets. The junta knows this and likewise is not committing its key
reserves. Therefore the battles took the form of local engagements in which the
junta suffered a series of tactical defeats, but it is still offering strong
resistance, demonstrating that one should not underestimate the enemy.
Continuing pressure (without committing main forces) will not collapse the
junta front, but only force to withdraw in several sectors at the cost of heavy
casualties and the loss of 2-3 important cities.

In summary, the situation is favorable to us. The junta,
having started yet another round of war at US behest, clearly did not
anticipate such a catastrophic outcome in the battle for the airport and is
trying to develop a new plan of action while staying on the defense. So far
operational initiative has remained in our hands, but a lot will depends on
what countermeasures against us junta will choose (positional defense with the
aim of exhausting attacking forces or a counterattack by mechanized formations
in order to quickly end the crisis). Much will depend on US recommendations,
since the US, having gotten Ukraine to start the war, now can manipulate its
operations.

We should not expect the enemy defense to collapse at the
current level of combat intensity, only gradual retreat. Neither side is
fighting at its maximum effort, therefore in my view the peak of combat intensity
has not yet come, and both sides have ways of tipping the scales of the battle
for the Donbass.

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