Ukrainian Army Repulsed At Avdeevka – 78 Killed, 76 Wounded

News from the Donbass Front:

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was forced to cut short his visit to Germany and return to Ukraine, in connection with the disastrous battle near the city of Avdeevka (Ukrainian spelling Avdiivka), near Donetsk.

Deputy Commander of the Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR) forces, Eduard Basurin, communicated to the press that his military intelligence people had gotten their hands on a secret report delivered by Viktor Muzhenko to the Ukrainian General Staff.  Muzhenko is Chief of the General Staff and Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian army.  Muzhenko reported, according to Basurin, that, during just two days(January 29-30) of fighting near Avdeevka, the Ukrainian Armed Forces lost 78 dead and 76 wounded.  This news was so alarming, that it forced Poroshenko to return from his trip and attempt to deal with the situation.

According to Basurin, quoting this secret report which his spies obtained:  The morgues of the town of Selidovo received 29 bodies; Krasnoarmeisk (recently renamed Pokrovsk) – 41 bodies; Novy Trud received 8 dead bodies and 14 wounded; Chasov Yar – 62 wounded.

This number of casualties is unusually high, even though the fighting around Avdeevka has been waging for over a year.

What Has Changed?

What changed recently is that the DPR forces — what the Ukrainians called “Separatists”, so might as well use that term, since it became a self-fulfilling prophecy — started to fight back in earnest against the daily shellings and other attacks directed at them.

This more detailed analytical piece, by Evgeny Krutikov, details the history and what led up to this battle over the weekend.

The city of Dokuchaevsk is shown in the blue circle.

Briefly, for over a year now the Ukrainian Army has been attempting to take back Donetsk from the Separatists, using what Krutikov calls a “Leapfrog” tactic.  The overall battlefield is a triangle consisting of the cities Peski – Yasinovataya – Avdeevka; and also near the city of Dokuchaevsk.  In all of these towns, as well as in Makeevka and in in the capital Donetsk itself, shells have been landing in civilian houses and flats on a routine basis for quite some time.  Ordinary people never get used to these shells landing in their homes — there have been demonstrations, meetings, and calls for the DPR leadership to do something about this outrage; but the DPR army had its hands tied mostly and could do very little to react.  Within the DPR forces itself, casualties occur on an almost daily basis, but mostly in the number of ones and twos.

Things changed radically towards the middle of last week.  DPR forces began to shoot back, using reactive artillery.  Now both sides are using reactive artillery, and the situation has spun out of control, especially since Sunday.  Ukrainian forces launched at least four (and possibly more) “Hurricane” (Russian “Uragan”) rockets at DPR forces.  As a result of this, DPR forces lost 10 men killed in one day — considered a shock and a tipping point.

People in Donetsk can never get used to the shelling.

The DPR counter-attacked in a way that has not been seen in over a year.  The Ukrainian army then attempted a counter-counter-attack using armored infantry.  Two attempts were made to break through DPR lines:  in Avdeevka, and near Mariupol.  Both battles turned into meat-grinders for the Ukrainians.  During the Avdeevka battle, the Ukrainians accidentally turned their artillery on their own, and many perished from friendly fire.  The other Ukrainian attempt at Novoazovsk via Shirokino, also turned into a rout.

Starting 18:00 hours on Sunday, the DPR started launching their own “Uragan” rockets at the enemy.  Each “Uragan” consists of hell in a capsule.  By evening yesterday (Monday) Ukrainians were complaining that the bombardments continue along the whole line of the front:  from the Azov Sea all the way to Kharkov Oblast.  The Ukrainian front lines were not able to withstand such a massive artillery attack.  Krutikov reports that in the course of just a few hours the DPR forces were able to drive the Ukrainians back from Peski and Andeevka.  The Ukrainians naturally attempted to regroup, but were surprised to see that the DPR forces, which are always considered to be ragtag and fragile, actually have a surprisingly deep back bench.

And we also see here the typical human situation where the two sides in a war both possess the same level of projectile technology — in this case Uragan rockets.

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3 Responses to Ukrainian Army Repulsed At Avdeevka – 78 Killed, 76 Wounded

  1. Lyttenburgh says:

    “Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was forced to cut short his visit to Germany and return to Ukraine, in connection with the disastrous battle near the city of Avdeevka (Ukrainian spelling Avdiivka), near Donetsk.”

    And that’s how the battle of Avdeievka is presented by the enemy propaganda(*):

    Anxious Ukraine Risks Escalation In ‘Creeping Offensive’

    “Concealed in trucks that looked like those used by the pig farm, the troops’ advance into Nuvoluhanske – which had been part of the gray zone, a ravaged no-man’s land between the warring sides – took their Russia-backed separatist foes by surprise.”

    I.e. – even their propagadons admit, that the Ukies are aggressors, who initiated this newest round of hostilities by violating the Minsk agreements with their violation of the neutral zone.

    “”We used civilian trucks and a sort of maskirovka,” Vlasenko, clad in fatigues, told RFE/RL at the command-and-control center of the Ukrainian Army’s 46th battalion in nearby Zaitseve on January 23… “It was 1 p.m.” Vlasenko said. “They figured out what had happened at 8:45 p.m. and began firing artillery, striking near our defensive positions on the east side of the pig farm.”

    Why so sudden an act of desperate aggression?

    “Mounting Discontent

    Frustrated by the stalemate in this 33-month war of attrition, concerned that Western support is waning, and sensing that U.S. President Donald Trump could cut Kyiv out of any peace negotiations as he tries to improve fraught relations with Moscow, Ukrainian forces anxious to show their newfound strength have gone on what many here are calling a “creeping offensive.”

    Observers say the Ukrainians appear to be trying to create new facts on the ground, while officials and commanders insist they are fighting to stop the flow of contraband into separatist-controlled territories and fending off attempts by separatist groups that call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics” to seize more territory.

    Whatever the case., since mid-December Ukraine’s armed forces have edged farther into parts of the gray zone in or near the war-worn cities of Avdiivka, Debaltseve, Dokuchaievsk, Horlivka, and Mariupol, shrinking the space between them and the separatist fighters.

    In doing so, the pro-Kyiv troops have sparked bloody clashes with their enemy, which has reportedly made advances of its own – or tried to – in recent weeks.

    The Ukrainian military reported that 17 of its soldiers were killed in the December battles. At least 16 more have been killed in fighting this month, including seven on January 29-30. There are no reliable figures for the separatist side.


    Fears Of Escalation
    Stalker, the nom de guerre of a commanding officer who declined to give his full name, showed RFE/RL through the 46th battalion’s labyrinth of freshly dug trenches that keep the soldiers safe from artillery shells and sheltered from the biting winter.

    Within the stuffy confines of a bunker housing weapons, ammunition, rations, and half a dozen men and at least one woman, soldiers warmed themselves by a field stove, checked social media on their smartphones, and prepared borsch during a rare lull in fighting.

    They were the lucky ones. Three of their fellow troops had been wounded and evacuated since taking up the position, Stalker said.

    All that divides the two sides here is 350 meters and a cemetery smack in the middle of a snow-covered field — a dark symbol that is not lost on the fighters.

    Soon, from a road over the hill came a convoy of European monitors who had been critical of the advances. They were there to inspect the new Novoluhanske positions.

    “The direct result of forward moves is escalation in tension, which often turns to violence,” Alexander Hug, the principal deputy chief monitor of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Special Monitoring Mission (OSCE SMM) to Ukraine, had told RFE/RL prior to his visit.

    Hug said the soldiers had recently become more brazen. For much of the conflict, they have played a game of hide-and-seek with the OSCE, concealing their weapons from the international monitors’ scrutinizing eyes.

    But, Hug said, they now position large-caliber artillery, including towed howitzers, main battle tanks, and multiple-launch rocket systems banned under the Minsk deal “in the open with impunity.””

    Ah, yes! The OSCE mission for “peace”, aka “the blind mice”. Surely, their admonitions will make the Ukrs abandon their illegally occupied positions at once!

    But, as the old proverb goes – “кому война, а кому мать родна” – war profiteering is alive and well in the ATO zone, with the valiant Ukrs engaging in it with gusto!

    “Pavlo Zhebrivskyy, the governor of the Donetsk region, told RFE/RL at his office in Kramatorsk that the Novoluhanske move to where there had been no police presence was necessary to stop smuggling.

    With supplies limited in the conflict zone, a lucrative black market has flourished. Kyiv estimates traffickers make millions sneaking coal, fuel, food, and more across the front line.

    In the past week, nationalist activists have blocked “indefinitely” a railway line they claim is used to trade illegal contraband with the separatists.

    “There was no law enforcement to stop criminal activity, [including] the illegal smuggling of Ukrainian goods…of pig meat,” said commander Vlasenko.

    Novoluhanske’s pig farm houses some 93,000 swine and produces up to 20 tons of meat per day, much of which soldiers claimed and journalists reported had been trafficked into separatist-controlled territory.”

    If you have any remaining “alternatively gifted” acquaintances, who still think that Ukraine is blossoming into a liberal democracy, and that the war in the East of the country amonts to the valiant stand of the Ukraine-Gondor against the Buryatian-Mordorian hordes – show them this quote. Will they denounce the RFE as the Kremlenite propaganda as well?

    “Ukrainian authorities insist their moves do not endanger the peace process and are not in violation of the Minsk deal because they did not cross in separatist-controlled territory.

    “According to the Minsk agreement, there is a clear delineation of the contact line, and there were absolutely no violations by Ukraine in terms of the contact line, but there have been significant violations on the other side’s part,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak told RFE/RL in Kyiv on January 21.

    Put more simply, Stalker said, “It’s our Ukrainian land. How can it ever be a violation?””

    No, the only land you can possibly stake as your own in the East, is the ground in which your heroji (which, as we all know, нэ вмирают) will be buried, thanks to your orders, issued, because you are desperate to distract the populace from the clusterfuck regning freely over your so-called country.

    P.S. As any “good” propaganda outlet, the FRE/RL piece ends with the slogan – “Peace Through Power”. Wow. How… handshakable, I say! Kane and the Brotherhood of Nod approves!

    After all – RFE had been furnished with the escaped (ex?) Nazi and collaborationist propagandists since the day one. Why should they change?


  2. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    Nothing like a turkey shoot to liven up the winter.


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