“One more push is all it will take”–Debaltsevo Update

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Frontline Update, 1/28/2015, 22:50 local time.

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

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“Once again we are attacking all out. We fight smarter now,
while a week ago we were mainly relying on the element of surprise. Ukrainian
forces used themselves up in counterattacks. The result is our attack which
began already in the evening. We took Novoorlovka and Shevchenko. We control
part of Maloorlovka, there is fighting in the streets, Lozovoye is fully
cleared, we took the town of Little Gorlovka. The salient has been made so
narrow that it’s unbearable for the Ukrainians, who are freaking out over the
radio. We were just told the Ukrainians lost in Novolugansk, which we are
clearing right now. The road is now under fire from all types of weapons, not
just artillery and rockets. One more push is all it will take. Pray for the
guys who are fighting there, the future of other fronts and the outcome of the
war depends on them. But don’t rejoice just yet. The Ukrainians may
well throw into battle their main assets which may cause many casualties.”

Translator’s Note: The Ukrainian high command seems to have
adopted a “hold fast” strategy which forces their units to hold untenable
positions and launch counter-attacks against steep odds, in order to avert the
political damage the loss of a major geographical feature would entail.
Evidently the loss of Donetsk Airport was severe enough a blow for them to
decide Debaltsevo must be held no matter what. The situation does remind one of
von Paulus’ 6th Army at Stalingrad which was not permitted to
withdraw because doing so would be an admission of defeat. But now it seems the
salient is practically a pocket, if the only road leading in and out of
Debaltsevo can be taken under even small arms fire.

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