June 3, 2015
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
Fighting is not yet over, and it probably won’t end overnight (rather the opposite), but we can already form an general assessment of the fighting. I’ll start by repeating what I wrote earlier, so that everything makes sense…
In actuality the fighting did not erupt on June 3 but the day before. An intensive artillery duel lasted for over a day in that region. Both sides were fighting. Already yesterday UAF’s infantry units suffered significant losses. Local population reported that they saw one BMP and one knocked out BTR being transported to the rear.
The night was spent in artillery bombardments, after one of which the NAF (around 4am according to Kiev) launched an attack. It appears to have been a reconnaissance in force. The second attack bypassing Maryinka from the South was unexpected and brought results. NAF units were able to establish themselves on the edge of the town, which caused panic on the other side.
While the NAF was busy fortifying themselves, the UAF send the operational reserve of the 28th Brigade (up to one tank company and up to two motorized infantry companies) from the direction of Kurakhovo, and up to a battalion from Selidovo. Having achieved local superiority (NAF reports that about 1500 of their troops supported by 40 pieces of heavy equipment, while in my estimate the UAF has up to 2000 troops and 50-60 pieces of heavy equipment) the UAF launched a counterattack which was partly successful. UAF was able to organize the evacuation of wounded and occupy some of the positions abandoned earlier. The NAF has superiority in artillery, but not an overwhelming one.
NAF attempted another attack around 1700 hours which was unsuccessful, which suggests a meeting engagement.
It’s too early to talk about casualties, but…SBU estimates that as of this evening the NAF lost 14 killed and 80 wounded, which is consistent with the nature of the battle. Although I think they are traditionally exaggerating. 28th Brigade radio intercepts suggest up to 50 NAF casualties.
It’s difficult to estimate UAF/NG losses. Insufficient information. The destruction of one platoon strongpoint acknowledged by the junta plus losses at other strongpoints, plus the counter-attack, would lead to similar losses at a minimum.
As of 1700, 7 heavily wounded were delivered to Dnepropetrovsk (1 helicopter) and 4 lightly wounded by bus (not certain if these are today’s casualties). Most likely morning losses. There are many wounded still in Kurakhovo, for the time being.
There’s information that Dnepropetrovsk is awaiting at least two more helicopters with wounded.
No information about Kharkov hospitals.
No information about POWs.
DPR announced 15 killed and 60 wounded civilians in Donetsk.
Conclusions: Given the strength of the attacking NAF units, I don’t think it was an offensive as such. Keeping in mind the direction of the attack and the modest force used, we can’t speak of an attack of even operational significance. It looks more like an effort to pin down and wear down enemy reserves.
Considering that Kiev’s army is still being held hostage by politicians (it cannot abandon held territory), we should expect several senseless and costly UAF attacks in order to reclaim the lost positions. This night will be very important.
J.Hawk’s Comment: Let’s also not forget that on June 2 there was a meeting of the Minsk Contact Group which by all accounts achieved nothing. This may be a coincidence, or it may not.