Voices from Russia

Sunday, 25 January 2015

VSN Offensive in the Donbass… Strikes Along Entire Length of the Battleline

00 Donbass Arise! 24.05.14

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On Saturday, 24 January, the VSN launched an offensive on all fronts. A V Zakharchenko, Chairman of the DNR Government, said, “Kiev isn’t aware that we can advance on three fronts simultaneously. There won’t be any more ceasefires. We’ll beat the so-called ‘punitive force’ and throw it beyond the borders of the DNR”. It didn’t take long for reality to bear out his words.

Krasny Partizan and Gorlovka

On Saturday morning, Vladislav Brig, Deputy of the DNR People’s Soviet and Deputy Chairman of the People’s Soviet Foreign Affairs Committee, confirmed that the VSN offensive went in three different directions, saying, “Today, the junta withdrew its troops from Dzerzhinsk. In the LNR, Cossacks and “Prizrak” advanced on Popasnaya and Troitse, trapping junta forces in a pocket. Another pocket is forming near Debaltsevo. Near Gorlovka, the VSN took Krasnaya Partizan and Troitse, and it’s clearing out Sumy. I understand that the offensive would go on towards Mariupol”.

Later on, near noon, reports came in that Krasny Partizan had fallen. DNR sources said, “Junta forces and Right Sector elements occupied Krasny Partizan between Donetsk and Gorlovka. Our forces asked them to leave the village before storming it, but the bandits refused to accept our offer. Junta forces lost a few dead in the ensuing operation, the rest fled or surrendered. Afterwards, the VSN shelled Yasinovataya from positions in Krasny Partizan. As the frontline moves away from Donetsk, the number of attacks and shelling on the city diminishes”.

The taking of Krasny Partizan didn’t mean that the offensive was over. According to Yevgeni from the VSN Vostok Brigade, on Saturday, the garrison of Gorlovka (the day before, junta artillery fired around the clock on the village, killing three civilians) stormed junta positions at the Uglegorsky Reservoir. Yevgeni said that this was a must-have target. The Gorlovka garrison repulsed a junta armoured attack backed by BM-21 Grad MRLs.

On Mariupol

That same morning, near Mariupol, junta forces fired Grads at VSN positions; an artillery duel ensued. Soon, reports came in that the VSN began freeing Mariupol and that the junta forces were in retreat. Rustam Temirgaliev, former Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of the Crimea posted on his Facebook page, “They’re 280 kilometres away from the Crimea”. Later, DNR Chairman Zakharchenko confirmed that the VSN was on the offensive near Mariupol. Dmitri Steshin, a Komsomolskaya Pravda war correspondent, commented, “The left bank of Mariupol is on fire. They say that the Azov Battalion fled in panic”.

In an attempt to hide their defeat, the bandits shelled the eastern outskirts of Mariupol, and blamed it on the VSN. MVDU sources alleged that shells exploded near shops and markets, killing 20 people and about 80 went to hospital with fragment wounds. The VSN categorically rejected any involvement in the shelling, stating, “The VSN near Mariupol has no artillery systems that could bombard the specified area, as it’s too far from our positions to the specified place. According to our information, the fire came from Stary Krym Raion, where there are junta positions. According to our current information, one can assume that this was a junta provocation”. Irina Gudyma, an OSCE representative, stated that the OSCE sent a special monitoring mission to the place where the shellfire took place, saying, “Later on, we’ll release a report on the operational situation”. Meanwhile, the artillery duels near Mariupol didn’t subside. The Forward Edge of the Battle Area (FEBA) moved steadily nearer to the city. In particular, fighting raged near Vinogradnoe, on the coast, south of the Novoazovsk road. In a northeasterly direction, an artillery duel went back and forth, 6-10 kilometres from Mariupol Ilyich Steelworks.

In the evening, we caught up with Komsomolskaya Pravda war correspondent Steshin; this is how he described the situation:

The VSN has long prepared for this offensive. They did this during the ceasefire, an action that many labelled a betrayal. During this time, I saw with my own eyes how they transformed a ragtag militia into an organised army command, as well as cleaning up the “Makhnos” that appear in all civil wars. Now, we can really hope that Novorossiya has superiority in military forces, not only in equipment, but also in the motivation to fight. Full-scale hostilities haven’t yet begun… what we have now is probes of the enemy. However, we can assume that one of the main strikes will be on Mariupol, since liberating the Azov Sea coast all the way to Kherson has geopolitical significance for the Russian World. We know very well how the Ukraine maligned the Crimea in the last few months… “Wherever you go, the light is off”. It’s clear that such bullying will continue. At the ferry? In the summer, I waited for the ferry for 36 hours, with a 2-year-old child in my arms. However, I was on the way to rest… how about those who were crossing permanently?!

In short, the main strike will be on Mariupol; that’ll be the deciding action. Besides this, it’s sure that the VSN will clear the Debaltsevo pocket. In addition, the VSN in the LNR will try to pocket junta forces near Schastye, and clear the border with Russia. Right now, information from Mariupol is sketchy. However, local residents confirm that fighting is already going on near the city. The VSN took Vinogradnoe (until recently, controlled by junta forces), and it’s reached easily from DNR-controlled territory. According to VSN sources fighting in Mariupol in the northeast neighbourhoods, the VSN forces have taken position in multi-storey buildings. I just returned from the first settlement liberated by the VSN… Krasnaya Partizan. This means that the road to Gorlovka is now open. Only occasional shelling hits the motorway to Donetsk. In short, people breathe easier…

The Junta Throws in its Reserves

Meanwhile, the junta hastily threw in reserves. Convoys from Dnepropetrovsk and Kharkov Oblasts moved towards Donetsk and Svetlodarsk. Residents Krasnoarmeisk, Artemovska, Kramatorsk, and Konstantinovka confirmed redeployment of junta units. According to VSN intel, near Donetsk, the bandits transferred a unit of 300 troops to Konstantinovka from near Gorlovka, reinforced by 10 tanks and a mortar battery {this is the combat elements of a motor rifle battalion with a tank company attached: editor}. Presumably, it came from the 90 Airmobile Brigade. In addition, in Vodyanoe, six kilometres northwest of Donetsk, a junta battalion arrived, reinforced by nine tanks and artillery. Near Lugansk, in Orekhovo-Donetsk, the junta also transferred two battalion battlegroups, perhaps, from 80 Airmobile Brigade. How will the VSN further develop the offensive? We can see the flashpoints today. In the near term, perhaps, one could see fighting in Peski, partly occupied by the VSN and partly occupied by the bandits, and Avdeyevka, which remains under junta control. Doubtlessly, there’d be heavy fighting for Gorlovka and Debaltsevo… as it’s a strategically important town on the motorway between Donetsk and Lugansk, and it’d hem in the junta forces.. It’s logical to assume that the VSN would strike out of Debaltsevo towards Lisichansk and Severodonetsk. However, the main question is whether the VSN will punch a corridor to the west, to open up an overland route to the Crimea.

Bogdan Bezpalko, Deputy Director of the Centre for Belarusian and Ukrainian Studies at Lomonosov MGU, said:

We still don’t know the real potential of the VSN; we don’t know if they have enough material and human reserves to meet this challenge. Besides this, we don’t know what’d emerge in the near term in the international situation. Let’s remember that on 22 January, Andrzej Duda, the presidential candidate of Poland’s largest opposition party “Law and Justice”, said in an interview on RMF FM radio that his bloc was in favour of using Polish troops in combat operations in the Ukraine, to support a neighbour in the fight against “Russian aggression”. However, other Eastern European politicians don’t think like Duda. I don’t rule out that major international players may want to use the Polish military in the Ukraine, not least because the Ukraine is running out of “cannon fodder”. In short, the confrontation in Novorossiya is dynamic; today, it isn’t clear how it’ll develop. Perhaps, the VSN offensive will open up a corridor to the Crimea. On the other hand, maybe, it’d just advance to the borders of the DNR and LNR, take Mariupol, get access to the sea and a port, and begin to build an independent state. In any case, an independent Novorossiya… even if it were just the DNR and LNR… would be a major blow to the project of a unified Ukraine.

25 January 2015

KPRF.ru

KPRF official website

http://kprf.ru/international/ussr/138517.html

Editor:

If the Polacks intervened… it’d be the stupidest error committed by the Anglo Americans since the end of World War II. If there were anything GUARANTEED to bring neutrals into the orbit of anti-Ukrainian elements, a Polish intervention would do that. It’d also precipitate Romanian and Magyar interventions, to forestall Poland seizing area that they consider theirs. That is, it’s so stupid that there’s a good chance that the Anglos might try it. Their record isn’t all that hot, is it? After all, it’d cause orgasm in the likes of John McCain, Ted Cruz, Ann Coulter, Marco Rubio, Willy Romney, and Sarah Palin. After all, the GOP wets its pants in glee at the Tea Party… supporting a Polish invasion of the Ukraine isn’t beyond them…

BMD

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