“Horror, Darkness, Fire, and Death”–The Agony of Debaltsevo Cauldron

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2/18/2015

The Mopping Up of Debaltsevo

By Yurasumy

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

The cauldron will cease to exist in a few hours, a day at the most.
Novorossia’s army has taken most of Debaltsevo. UAF and volunteer battalions
have lost their HQ, therefore are acting in an uncoordinated, chaotic fashion,
in order to save themselves. Many of the soldiers who have nothing to fear
(draftees and reservists) are laying down their arms. DPR/LPR is mentioning
hundreds of POWs. But that is only the beginning.

Most of the prisoners will likely be captured today or
tomorrow, and here’s why.

Up to yesterday UAF troops could still hope they’d be
rescued. The yesterday’s assault on Debaltsevo by Republican forces [a
reference to the Spanish Civil War? Because the other side is fascist, after
all…] which went very well, showed that the cauldron can quickly turn into a
graveyard unless they do something fast.

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They can do only two things: either surrender or break out.
Surrendering is not the best option for the volunteers. The draftees and
reservists it means a new lease on life. It means getting out of the war which
feels alien to many of them. Moreover, the experience from last summer means
that captivity equals life and…freedom. Many UAF prisoners prefer not to return
to Ukraine but rather to sit out the mess in Russia—that’s the reality of the
civil war.

But one has to keep in mind that these brigades are not
merely reservists. Many territorial battalions have been incorporated into their
organization (the 128th Brigade has three of them). So far from all
128th Brigade soldiers will be wiling to surrender. Nevertheless,
already last evening we were seeing reports that the soldiers of the 40th
“Krivbass” Battalion were surrendering. This was reported by the battalion
commander himself.

Already yesterday we say several units withdraw toward
Debaltsevo, which could have meant preparations for a break-out. Indeed, it
began yesterday morning. It’s hard to tell how successful it was (it’s chaos
out there), but it’s clear that they suffered enormous losses in the attempt.
Semenchenko writes the following on facebook:

“The situation at Debaltsevo is growing more tense. I
received a report from a commander who is holding positions on the “road of
life” closer to Debaltsevo. The column exiting Debaltsevo was without tank
support for part of the way. Terrorist [sic] tanks came out and shot it to
pieces. Our artillery and Grads are firing against enemy tanks. We are
evacuating the killed and wounded. We are holding the road. The information is
being verified.”

At the same time, Poroshenko announced earlier today that
UAF units are leaving Debaltsevo in practically a parade formation (and with
only 30 wounded). But Porky has certain credibility issues. It’s already clear
that the break-out attempts led to huge personnel losses and a near total loss
of heavy equipment. We’ll know how much only in several days. We’ll also find
out how many UAF soldiers made the rational decision to surrender to avoid
death during the break out. To be sure, DPR/LPR authorities said they are not
going to announce the identities of these soldiers if they don’t wish them to
be revealed, and will release the captives to their relatives.

In the meantime the situation in Debaltsevo is this: HORROR,
DARKNESS, FIRE, and DEATH. One thing is for sure: the comparison between
Debaltsevo and Ilovaysk is not only appropriate but obvious.

P.S. The Debaltsevo recriminations will play themselves out
against the background of the first anniversary of the coup. Hang on, Porky.

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