Debaltsevo: Junta’s Stalingrad
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
Junta’s losses over the last month stagger the imagination.
DPR Ministry of Defense published data concerning the losses
of Ukrainian occupation forces which they suffered during battles with
Novorossia’s defenders in the vicinity of Debaltsevo and on other sectors of
the front between January 12 and February 20.
Occupier losses include 10,940 killed and wounded (including
4110 killed), and 1178 prisoners of war.
Equipment losses are also staggering. The invaders have lost
the following quantities of equipment:
299 tanks (28 captured intact at Debaltsevo)
38 self-propelled howitzers (12 captured)
4 2S7 Pion 203mm self-propelled cannon (3 captured)
4 2S3 Akatsiya 152mm SP howitzers
3 2S1 Gvozdika 122mm SP howitzers
151 BMPs (33 captured)
115 BTRs (30 captured)
24 Grad 122mm MRLs (15 captured at Debaltsevo)
1 Smerch 300mm MRL
205 towed artillery pieces
36 120mm mortars
16 ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns (captured at Debaltsevo)
6 MT-LB tracked APCs and prime movers.
290 motor vehicles (145 captured)
In addition, the junta lost 3 Su-25 attack aircraft, 1
helicopter, and 4 UAVs.
The Ukrainian military had abandoned a state-of-the-art
counter-mortar radar supplied by the United States.
J.Hawk’s Comment: It’s difficult to say to what extent this
data is accurate, especially when it comes to the estimates of killed and wounded,
many of whom became casualties due to
Novorossia artillery fire against targets behind the front lines. However,
photographic evidence from several blogs suggests these figures are correct
within an order of magnitude. Every major engagement saw the battlefield
littered with destroyed and abandoned UAF vehicles. The Debaltsevo cauldron’s
rate of losses was even higher, since the vast majority of equipment the UAF
sent there had to be left behind.
Arguably this victory is even more important as, in addition to he obvious morale effect on both sides, it quite
effectively deprived the UAF of the physical ability to conduct offensive
military operations (not that they were all that impressive to begin with), and
even to offer effective defense against a Novorossia offensive. This is why
Ukrainian officials are scouring the world for weapons, and why the West is
concerned about Novorossia’s designs on the rest of Ukraine. And, let’s face it, the surest sign that Ukraine is on the brink of military collapse is when NATO begins to talk about the Russian Army allegedly operating in Eastern Ukraine.
However, it does not appear that Novorossia is going to
press its military advantage. To start with, its government has major problems
to deal with, due to the damage caused by Ukrainian artillery bombardments of
civilian areas. In contrast to Ukraine, Novorossia’s government plans to establish its legitimacy by actually governing and making the country a place fit for human habitation. Secondly, Ukraine’s economic crisis is deepening, which will
either force a change of policy or, should that fail to materialize, a change
of regime. At the moment, the latter scenario seems the more likely of the two.