The Fortified Town of Chernukhino Falls to Novorossia Forces
It would seem that Novorossia forces carried out another one of their lightning operations, this time against the heavily fortified and strongly held town of Chernukhino whose Ukrainian defenders have beaten off a number of earlier attacks, as reported by Cassad and Novorossia sources. But not this attack. The operation bears the hallmarks of the earlier spectacularly successful operations, beginning with the capture of the Donetsk Airport (which was also a heavily fortified and strongly held position whose loss cost the Ukrainian army dearly). As Cassad’s reporting makes clear, usually the first warning are the panicked phone calls from the Ukrainian servicemembers at the strongpoint being assaulted, relating how their equipment is being destroyed and their numbers are rapidly dwindling as they come under a well-coordinated all-arms assault with heavy armor support. And then…silence.
So the noose is still very gradually being tightened around the neck of the Debaltsevo salient. Even as Poroshenko is facing growing unrest in Kiev, he is being confronted with the prospect of a major military defeat on the Donbass. Novorossia must clearly be regarding him as a “partner for peace,” an important component of the final settlement of the question, otherwise they would not have toyed with him for so long. Though Zakharchenko’s patience probably has its limits too.