Setting the Stage for the Next Offensive ?

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1/17/2015

http://news-mail.by/2015/01/17/novosti-novorossii-17-01-2015-vecher-ch-2-foto-video-18-doneck-aeroport-novorossiya-ukraina/

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By Cassad

Translated by J.Hawk

Novorossia News, 1/17/2015, Evening

17:57: Militia broke through Shumy, is attacking Mayorsk,
Orekhovo-Donetskoye, and Mius. Artillery duels near Debaltsevo and Bakhmutki.

Ukrainian artillery used multiple rocket launchers (MRLs) to
conduct all-night bombardment of militia positions near Novotoshkovka at the 31st
checkpoint, the defensive positions between the 31st and 37th
checkpoints, and the Elevation 175.9. Militia returned fire using tube
artillery [cannon, howitzers].

In Krymskoye Ukrainian forces tried to conceal a river
crossing, but our artillery fire destroyed the crossing equipment and Ukrainian
forces. Clashes began in the morning. Militia units are storming
Orekhovo-Donetskiy. Movement into Debaltsevo is continuing. Militia in
Nikishkino is attacking Ukrainian forces. Shelling from the direction of
Redkodub.

Right now the militia is attacking Ukrainian positions in
Mius. Participating units include the Prizrak [Specter] Battalion, a Cossack company,
and part of the LNR people’s militia. Artillery duels in Chernukhino and
Debaltsevo. Militia from Gorlovka broke through Shumy and are fighting near
Magdalinovka.

Militia attacked Mayorsk, but so far without success.
Dolomitnoye still held by Ukrainian forces, but Travnevo has been in militia
hands for two days. Militia is digging in there.

Airport

By dinner time Novorossia forces established control
practically over the entire territory of the airport. A new attempt to bring up
reinforcements to the remnants of the garrison, combined with systematic
shelling, was not successful.

Given the current balance of forces in the airport area and
the established defensive systems, junta’s defeat is only a matter of time.
Convulsions in the form of shelling and attempts to reinforce are only a
reflection of the Ukrainian unwillingness to acknowledge the obvious, and are
only artificially delaying the end of the “cyborg” tale.

The shelling of the airport and of the city has not stopped,
and in spite of the lame claims in the net that the city is being shelled
directly from the airport, the main bombardments were launched from adjacent
villages. In general, the fight for the airport is close to being finished.

Announcement from Militiaman 
“Sych”

Our units continue attacking Ukrainian forces in
Orekhovo-Donetskoye. Heavy battles are continuing, in which both sides are
using tanks, other types of armored vehicles, mortars, artillery, rocket
launchers, automatic grenade launchers and RPGs. One can lose one’s mind in the
middle of that battle, given the intensity of the combat. Maximum level of
chaos. I was there and felt it.

Ukrainian positions are being shelled along the entire
front. We are working over all frontline and second-line Ukrainian positions.
It looks like we’re about to take Mius in the Debaltsevo pocket. But Mius could
get reinforcements—two companies, each with 6 tanks, are moving there from
Debaltsevo. So it’s possible the enemy will hold out and we’ll have to fall
back.

Ukrainian forces are shelling the town of Oktyabrskiy using
Grad MRLs from the direction of Novoselovka. Novorossia artillery fired a full
Grad volley at Peski. Ukrainian forces fired a full Grad volley toward the
Metro mall.

Militia repelled Ukrainian attacks attempting to break
through to the Donetsk airport from Peski.

In the last few hours Ukrainian forces shelled militia
positions about 15 times, as well as the Kievskiy and Petrovskiy, Gorlovka, and
several towns. There are civilian and militia casualties in Gorlovka, exact
numbers still unknown. Air raid warning sounded in Dokuchayevsk at 16:10. No
electricity in Novotroitsk.

Offensive with limited objectives

The events of the last few days and their systematic nature
allow us to draw the conclusion that Novorossia forces are conducting offensive
operations on several parts of front simultaneously.

Looking at the map, one sees that:

1.      There
is movement around Mariupol (there are fragmentary reports that junta abandoned
some of their forward positions due to artillery fire).

2.      Novorossia
forces cleared nearly the entire Donetsk airport (the junta is still claiming
otherwise, but video from the terminal clearly shows otherwise).

3.      Towns
in the Debaltscevo salient are being attacked from North-East (this is an
attempt to shorten the frontline in Debaltsevo area, which will become
important should Novorossia attack Debaltsevo instead of cutting off the
Svetlodarsk salient.”

4.      Intense
battles are continuing north-west of Slavyanoserbsk and in the area of Bakhmutskaya
road (here the activity is reduced by large-scale use of artillery and
deployment of reserves in threatened sectors).

5.      Novorossia
launched an attack against Stanitsa Luganskaya, where fighting still continues
(LPR sources are reporting that our forces repelled reconnaissance by force by
Ukrainian units, and are attempting to launch a counter-attack and enter
Stanitsa Luganskaya).

In view of the above, one can conclude that Novorossia
forces were tasked with using the broken-off “ceasefire” to take a number of
positions and to “optimize” the front line (perhaps ahead of eventual
negotiations, or with more far-reaching objectives in mind). The offensive is
being conducted in order to flatten enemy positions with artillery, so that
after the enemy is weakened or forced to flee, Novorossia tanks and infantry
are occupying enemy positions and are slowly moving forward (especially where
incoming enemy fire is insufficient to stop our movement). The main mechanized
forces of both sides are being held in reserve and are used sparingly, since
each side suspects the other in planning a large-scale offensive. Junta is
afraid of Novorossia armored offensive north of Mariupol and attacks against
Svetlodarsk which would create an encirclement around Debaltsevo. We are afraid
of attack on Yenakievo and the Petrovsk region of Donetsk. Therefore neither
side is committing its main forces.

Given the current tendencies and the bogging down of the “peace
process”, Novorossia forces will attempt to occupy, in addition to the airport,
several towns in the Debaltsevo salient and will test junta defenses in
Stanitsa Luganskaya. Whether this is merely a prelude to a more large-scale
operation will become evident in the next few days.

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