FULL SITREP – Donbass: MAY 28th to JUNE 5th

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By Julio Martinez for FRN –

May 30th

An analysis of the Ukrainian tactics: it seems that they copied what the Azerbaijani did in Nagorno Karabakh, an attempt to take the positions with a coup de main by elite commandos, followed by a reinforcement of infantry and armored to consolidate the advance.

It does not seem to have worked, and they are not comparable cases, the comparison is quite forced. There are several things that I do not agree with, but it’s interesting to read, use google translate to read.


At the meeting of the Security Council of the UN an interesting piece of information was stated


According to the OSCE, in 5 months since 2018, “one hundred thousand ceasefire violations” were registered.

That is, more than 600 daily. Bearing in mind that the OSCE observers are not everywhere, the ukros used to attack at night, now they do it during the day and the OSCE look away, and there are no longer impartial Russian observers… then of course the real number will be far higher.

Of course, the OSCE counts as “incidents” a burst of machine gun or a few rifle shots, which puts a question mark on those as being doctored to minimize the seriousness, but still the OSCE reporting gives a hint of ​​the volume of shooting and the cannonade, and on occasion they do tell the truth, contradicting both sides.

You can be certain then that the war is more intense than in previous years and there are dozens of dead and wounded every day. A well confirmed rule of thumb of dividing the reported combats by 10, would result on an average of 50 daily casualties the Ukrainian army, or about 7,500 so far this year.

The Ukrainians have killed this year a hundred civilians, on May 29th a girl of 15 years, which adds up to  about 500 civilian casualties counting wounded, and military losses for the Novorussians around 3,000, in a pessimistic estimate.

Here some statements by Basurin, which says that the relative truce on the front is because the Ukrainian command is carrying out inspections, which confirms the heavy defeat at Gorlovka


Here the original link.


It is frustrating to have to read between the lines and gather secondary evidence to discover what really happens, but given the tight censorship it’s the only way. On previous occasions when the Ukros launched an attack, as in Svetlodarsk, first reports  also said that it was just an affair of a couple of platoons and then later surfaced the information about the full extent of the battle. The most ironic thing of all is that the Novorussians censor their own victories and minimize the damage caused to the enemy in the reports, but on occasion as in this briefing, they have a slip of the tongue and state that the enemy has been soundly beaten and is licking his wounds.

Attacks and losses in Gorlovka

Author’s note: Apologies for not translating the articles in Russian linked below, health issues keep me from typing long entries.

Interview from RIA Novosti with Basurin, very interesting, admits that there were three major attacks on Gorlovka,


already they talk about  that the missing are counted by “dozens” on the Ukrainian side, and that the enemy has suffered the biggest losses in months, so the real casualties must be in the hundreds.


In general, unanimity in comments from Russian sources, Gorlovka has been a beating for the Ukros, here a volunteer who was in Donbass says the same thing, that there is a relative calm after the attack on Gorlovka and that the Ukrainian high command is carrying out inspections of the units involved because the rehearsal for the offensive went so badly that heads will roll


As an analysis points out, there is a lack of means, ambition and coordination in the Ukrainian command, when they attempt an attack in a sector such as Svetlodarsk, Avdeyevka or Gorlovka, they leave the rest of the front in peace. It would be best for the enemy to combine the attack with others at different places if only as a distraction. Isolated attacks are doomed to failure because they allow the Novorussians to shift their reserves to the threatened point.

Surge in volunteers for the Novorussian militia

Caution must be exercised, if confirmed it would be good news

In this news it is said that there is an surge of volunteers in the militia due to the worsening of the situation, and this allows not only to complete the units but in addition they are creating new units in Lugansk.

I do not know if this is true or propaganda, because according to reports from front-line combatants the morale was low due to the increasing losses and frustration with Minsk constraints which prevents from hitting back with full might, and many people were leaving the army, I do not judge because I already know that the circumstances are difficult and Novorusia’s army relies on voluntary enlistment and can’t rely on coercion.


With reservations, I think it might well be true. Many of the latecomer soldiers enlisted just because they were unemployed. It is very possible that these unenthusiastic volunteers are the ones that are now leaving. But when the danger reappears, the opposite reaction also happens, many of the demobilized volunteers of 2014-2015 take up arms again.

After all, there is a reserve available for considerable mobilization. The limitation was the lack of weapons for everybody, not the lack of troops.

It is also possible that a number of volunteers arrive from Russia, it is known that there are at least Cossack battalions in the front of Lugansk. Still, at most Russian volunteers were never more than 10% of the total forces, and those from other countries are just picturesque anecdotes.

Given the fact that so far they have been able to hold the line, I believe that at least the Novorussians are able to replace the losses, which no matter how favourable the outcome of the fights are, they are also many and painful to bear.

At the time of this writing, a volunteer at the front answered my questions and clarified this contradiction: the army of Novorussia is an amalgamation of various Donetsk and Lugansk militias, there are indeed two armies, a Republican Guard which is sort of a territorial infantry force, capable of only static defense, and with serious problems of equipment, weapons, pay and supply, which nevertheless holds the front-lines, as they are defending their homes, and a maneuver force which comprises the best, and better trained troops, and those which are more politically reliable, with most of the the heavy materiel: artillery, tanks and armored vehicles.

This force is kept on reserve, constantly training and only occasionally units are deployed to bolster the front when a crisis takes place. It’s believed but as yet unproven that these forces are controlled by a professional general staff and command comprised of Russian officers and advisers, likely not on active duty, while the so called defense ministers, Basurin and Marochko, are just speakers. This does not mean that the Donetsk and Lugansk republics are puppets of the Kremlin, or that the militia is an extension of the Russian army. Just that this professional command cadre and humanitarian aid gives Moscow leverage on the Republic’s leadership and prevents a escalation of the conflict, against the wishes of the Donbass leaders and population but suiting the Kremlin’s agenda.

Those territorial militias that resisted the merger and subordination to centralized command remain autonomous but get the short stick in pay, supply and materiel. Soldiers do quit on account of the bad pay and conditions, but only to enlist in the regular army, a process that likely is encouraged by the high command.

Confirmation of the Ukrainian losses in Gorlovka

An Ukrainian battalion commander gets angry with a commentator who talks about victories and annihilation of the enemy and reproaches him scathingly with a video of his unit’s own drone that filmed the damage caused by the Novorussian artillery


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Relevant excerpt:

“… Only on this day, the command post of the 24th battalion was destroyed, a campaign depot with ammunition was burned in the forest belt, two infantry fighting vehicles, one truck and two special equipment units were destroyed. What victories are you talking about?  – wrote the commander of the Ukrainian battalion. 

June 1st

General situation:

The uncertainty continues, on one hand, all the preparations for the offensive are carried out, including getting ready and aloft the remnants of Ukraine’s combat aviation, but on the other hand Poroshenko has said that he rules out an offensive but  that he is not going to capitulate either.My impression is that he’s under pressure from the Americans and he has to carry out some sort of attack, even if he does not want to.

The highlighted passage is one of the clearest signs of the demoralization of the Ukrainian army and at the same time of a possible renewal of hostilities. The veterans are fed up with war and discharge themselves, as anybody who sees the offensive preparations and adds things up realizes it’s time to leave before facing a likely death in a upcoming major battle.

Is it too late to prepare an offensive? Time is running out

“The relative calm that occurred in the Donbass at the end of the fourth week of the Operation of the United Forces (OOS) can be replaced by a new round of escalation towards the beginning of the World Cup. To hide the insidious plans, the punishers are taking any action, from the hunting unmanned aerial vehicles of the OSCE SMM to the fire against the observers and “sweeps” of pro-Russian civilians in the occupied settlements. But the situation on the Ukrainian side of the demarcation line changes for worse, for the Oosniki … (…)

The chances of the occupation forces making successful attacks diminish due to the mass resignation of the military with experience in combat”, as the Ukrainian military expert Oleg Starikov said i n the NewsOne television channel,

“The personnel are combat officers, soldiers who have passed through the area of ​​military operations and who know how to fight …. there is a terrible tendency: in the 72nd Brigade, a thousand cases of soldiers who fought in 2014-2015, they leave, they are going to retire… ” said the expert.

Source: www.ritmeurasia.org

The Novorussians improve their armored vehicles with reactive armor

Novorussians have managed to install reactive armor blocks in their BMPs, which increases their protection and compensates for their inferiority in armored vehicles. The Ukropithecus already tried something similar in 2014, with catastrophic results, because the explosion of the reactive brick was too powerful for the thin side armor of the vehicle. In their version the Novorussians have managed to install it with some separation distance  from the steel armor so the back-blast of the block doesn’t damage the vehicle.

The article is very interesting, because it confirms that the grid or rod armor that the Americans used in their wheeled vehicles in Iraq, and that has been touted as a cheaper and simple alternative to reactive or Chobham armor only works against the old first-generation RPGs, but those of the Soviet army at the disposal of the fighters of this war already had tandem shaped charge warheads which explains the numerous losses of the Ukrainian army in armored vehicles and their reluctance to use them except as mobile artillery pieces shooting from afar.

I do not copy the article because it is very long, the photos can be seen in the link



June 2nd

Another confirmation of my analysis. A Serbian volunteer, a battalion commander, confirms that the enemy suffers between 5 and 10 dead a day. It doesn’t seem like much, but that daily average means between 1,500 and 3,000 dead a year, not counting the wounded.

And that’s what that Major Berich knows about in his sector of the front, every available clue and fragments of info confirms that the estimates I made for the years 2016-2017 of about 10,000-15,000 casualties per year or a thousand per month were correct, or at least approximate.


At the same time, Berich is convinced that sooner or later the Ukrainian security forces will attack, as forces interested in escalating the conflict “have placed them between a rock and a hard place.” However, the actual advance attempts to date have ended in nothing: in Gorlovka, Kiev received an “adequate repulse”, and the plan to surround Donetsk has failed for three years.”

“They did not occupy anything and they will not take it, they have 5 to 10 dead every day , what they say are just fantasies, they were going to advance to Moscow, and what happened?” – Berich recalled.

And judging from front eyewitness accounts and the recruitment posters plastered all over, the Novorussians are mobilizing  workers to carry out fortification works, creating a second line of positions, and have been digging in for several weeks. This suggests that the Novorussian command has reason to expect an offensive this summer, and that Gorlovka has only been a rehearsal.


June 4th

Desertion and indiscipline in the Ukrainian troops

To get an idea of ​​the demoralization of the Ukrainian army: According to official sources, they recognize 10,000 deserters and 15,000 cases of unauthorized absence.http://antimaydan.info/2018/06/natalya_poddubnaya_desyat_tysyach_dezertirov.html

The number of deserters grows between 15-20% each year that passes. Also, in Kiev there is growing concern that a significant number of deserters are going over to the Novorussian side. It may be true what they said last year that they had created three battalions staffed with deserters.

here is a decrease in fighting in this last week, which confirms that the Ukros are temporarily exhausted after the April losses and even higher casualties during  May. The “spring offensive” has ended in another failure and they must be refitting and regrouping for the summer battles.

Report of the militiaman “Mage”:


Week from May 26 to June 1:

“This week the situation stabilized. The number of shots fell to the level of the Easter truce: in a week the enemy shelled 66 times against the DNR and 27 times against the LNR·

“There were no losses among civilians this week.

“As I wrote before, the Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and their Western advisers are not capable of strategic operations. Even if all the details are thought out and tested in the exercises, the Ukrainian army can not execute such operations. They can perform minor local operations, such as taking unprotected villages in the gray zone or burning dozens of tons of ammunition by shooting  at civilian homes, without any military results. The exacerbation in the Gorlovka region lasted two weeks. Last week it began to weaken, and it has practically petered out.·

“According to the shellings reports and the type of weapons used, it can be clearly seen that the shelling turned into small arms firefights again. “


Author’s note: From his previous reporting apparently “Mage” serves in an artillery unit, or at the very least has some knowledge about it and he notices the same things as I do and adds up things together.

On repeated  occasions he noticed the contradiction between the small number of ammunition hits mentioned in the official Donetsk reports and the reality experienced by the soldiers themselves and civilians being shelled. He says that  is not just a few dozen cannon and mortar shells are fired every day as the official briefings say, but that they are being shelled daily with dozens of tons of ammunition of all calibers.

It is a subject to which I have devoted a lot of time, research and tedious calculations, and the account from “Mage” is one more sign that confirms that every year tens of thousands of tons of ammunition are fired and that the fight is therefore much more intense than what is reported, with the attendant casualties in the thousands.

As a sample, at 50 tons of ammunition shot per day, 15,000 tons are fired by he end of the year. Adding all this up and comparing to pre-war stocks, covered in minute detail in publications about  disarmament and disposal of the Soviet legacy stocks, confirms the reports that ammunition after four years of war is running out, and perhaps this means the end of the war is in sight, one year more or so.

June 5th,

A day just like any other.I do not know if the readers realize it, but the war in Donbass , unheard and unseen, does not stop even one day, in the time between each every report I write, everyday there’s shelling and shooting and, dozens of people die and are injured, even on “quiet” periods.

As a  sample, this a edited report from yesterday’s evening (05 June), complied from posts in social networks by civilians and frontline soldiers from Donbass, a day just like any other…

19:00 hours. Intense activity of the enemy. They used artillery in the western direction of Gorlovka from 19:00

19:05 Donetsk, hard fight at Airport (AP), Yasinovatatya Blocking Post (YaBP), Spartak, high-intensity combat (rifles, mortars, artillery)

20:00 BMP firing  in Dokuchaevsk: the bombing intensified. 

20:00-20:30 hours

Intense battle along the entire front. At 20:24 the mobile telephone service stopped working in all the districts of Donetsk. Everybody on alert.



The battle continues along the Airport (AP), blockhouse of Yasinovatatya (YaBP), Spartak, the Promko (industrial zone at Avdeyevka). All types of weapons and armored vehicles are used: fire and constant bombardment of BTR heavy machine guns, BMP 30mm cannon, tank guns, AGS automatic grenade launchers, mortars, projectiles explode in the air, explosions and brutal shooting , more and more projectiles and bullets are coming closer to the homes of the residents, everything explodes, whistles, and creaks. The explosions are very powerful, pieces of asphalt fly through the air.

20:15 Dokuchaevsk under fire. Now the battle in the center Volvo, Ploshchanka, Putilov, Airport, YaBP, Spartak, artillery fire. Tanks shooting  from the Butovka mine and the Avdeyevka side, and from the Peski side. Intense shelling of heavy artillery at the airport, YaBP, Spartak, Volvo center. Districts of Kurganka and Merkur without electricity.

21: 55-The artillery duel in the north of Donetsk goes on with a variable intensity, now with a tendency to increase . AP-YaBP-Spartak and Yasinovataya hear mortar and artillery fire. “The impacts of heavy caliber shells  were resumed in northern Donetsk. Trudovsky district under bombardment of artillery and small arms shooting.

Gorlovka, district ShB combat noise. Sometimes, shooting in the Svetlodarsk sector

22:00 Gorlovka, the air defense of the Armed Forces of Novorusia is firing. The cannonade is heard loud and clear in a radius of 30-50 km due to the high humidity

South Front: the enemy shoots against the residential areas of Dokuchaevsk with mortars of 82mm and 120mm and BMP.

Airport and Spartak, mortar fire

22:55 – Intense bombing noise in Trudovsky, everybody stays under cover.

23:45 the situation was aggravated by the intense shelling in the areas of the airport, Spartak, YaBP, Putilovka and Ploschad with artillery and mortars, the Novorussians returned fire.

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