Dmitry Tymchuk, Head of the Center for Military and Political Research, Coordinator of the Information Resistance group, Member of Parliament (People’s Front)
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Operational data from Information Resistance:
Russian-terrorist troops continue shelling the advanced positions of Ukrainian troops in the ATO zone, using small arms (in most cases), heavy infantry armaments (grenade launchers, mortars, anti-tank missile systems), and cannon and rocket artillery (primarily in the seaside [Mariupol] and Donetsk sectors). Over the last weekend and holiday [March 8th], 1-2 clashes took place every day, with the use of infantry weapons and artillery.
Taking advantage of the “ceasefire,” the Russian-terrorist command continues improving the combat ability of their units. As of this time, they succeeded in creating a single command structure of the so-called ‘Army of Novorossiya.’ Despite the occupied territories being divided into the ‘DNR’ [Donetsk People’s Republic] and ‘LNR’ [Luhansk People’s Republic], their military formations have now been reorganized into a clear structure (with operational and administrative management), and are grouping and acting following a single plan and a single idea. Essentially, during the “ceasefire,” the Russian military command reformatted the ‘DNR’ and ‘LNR’ gangs, and units of Russian mercenaries deployed in Donbas, into a rather combat-ready army, subordinated to a single command.
At the same time, the enemy continues efforts on the “front line,” aiming to increase the combat ability of Russian-terrorist units, which includes resupplying them with combat equipment, armaments, and personnel. Comprehensive combat training and accumulation of supplies and technical resources are underway. Over the last week, we observed 30 to 80 armored and transport vehicles on the move, per day – moving between different areas, as well as between Russia and the occupied Donbas territory.
As a result of regrouping and maneuvering their forces and resources, the enemy created powerful tactical strike groups in a number of areas and sectors:
• Northern tactical strike group – in the Donetsk sector (the bulk of forces concentrated in the Avdiivka sector).
The group includes 24 tanks, 35 armored combat vehicles, two transport groups (25-30 army trucks and other transport), reinforced by several small tactical groups (an additional 11 tanks and 7-8 ACVs). A total of 1,500 personnel, under the operational control of the “Horlivka garrison.”
A separate tactical group, up to a composite battalion in strength, is operating on the Krasnohorivka – Pisky stretch (12 tanks and 20 ACVs).
The “Horlivka garrison” itself (up to 3,500 personnel, 35 tanks, and 26-28 ACVs) is receiving heavy shipments of armored equipment – some, previously damaged and repaired; some, redeployed from other sectors; in some cases, transferred from Russia (over the last few days, approximately 8 pieces of combat equipment, including 3 tanks, were restored and transferred). We also note several “specific” weaponry types, such as Strela-10M and Osa-AKM anti-aircraft systems (including their modernized models).
The command point for the “northern tactical group” is deployed between Horlivka and Yenakijeve. It also commands the troops of the “Horlivka garrison.”
The northern tactical group is supported by several artillery units (including cannon, self-propelled, and rocket artillery). They operate a total of 45-50 cannon artillery units (consolidated in 4 artillery groups) and 24 multiple rocket launcher systems (consolidated in 3 artillery groups; including mainly MB-21 Grad units, several BM-27 Uragan BM-27 units (previously spotted in Yenakijeve), and three BM-30 Smerch units). In this group, the bulk of terrorist artillery is withdrawn deep behind the enemy lines, while some remain on the advance firing positions (as so-called ‘support groups,’ up to 30% guns and systems). The BM-30 Smerch group is based in the area of Makiivka; whenever necessary, it moves to prepared positions, executes a strike, and promptly leaves the position. Independent deployment and withdrawal routes are developed for each artillery unit ahead of time.
• Seaside tactical strike group – in the Mariupol sector, mainly concentrated to the north and northwest of Novoazovsk. A portion of this group’s forces and equipment takes part in battles on the Pavlopil – Shyrokyne line; another portion operates in the Zaichenko – Oktyabr area.
This strike group includes up to 2,500 personnel, divided into several mixed tactical groups (manned by local insurgents and Russian mercenaries). It operates 25 tanks and 18-20 armored combat vehicles, and a large number of transport vehicles (up to 60 army vehicles, over 20 MT-LB and other tow trucks, as well as various repurposed off-road vehicles, primarily as part of mobile mortar groups). Continuous supplies of personnel and combat equipment are arriving from the northern sector through Telmanove, and across the Russian border in the vicinity of Maksimov (10-12 units of combat equipment and motor vehicles pass through Novoazovsk and Bezimenne every day).
This strike group is supported by an artillery group operating 14 multiple rocket launcher systems, 32-36 artillery units (cannon and self-propelled), and a large number of mortars. The artillery group operates as small firing units, but is commanded through a single command point.
• Luhansk tactical strike group – in the North Luhansk sector (Shchastya, Stanytsia Luhanska). After imitating withdrawal of heavy armaments (in reality, the latter were moved a short distance and camouflaged), the enemy continues concentrating a tactical strike group in the region between Pervomaisk and Shchastya (including the Alchevsk – Perevalsk stretch). A portion of this group is concentrated to the east of Luhansk. Additionally, enemy units are regrouping in the area of the Bakhmut motorway.
Essentially, the Luhansk tactical strike group is a combination of three tactical groups with a single command center (one aimed at Shchastya; another, at the stretch between Trokhizbenka; the third, directly at Stanytsia Luhanska). The actions of these groups are coordinated in terms of time and place; they also have a centralized supply system.
In total, the three tactical groups of the Luhansk force include 5,000 to 5,500 personnel, 48 tanks, approximately 85-90 armored combat vehicles, and 125-130 motor vehicles and tow trucks. Additional supplies of combat equipment are arriving for this strike group (after repairs as well as from Russia). South of Luhansk, a training center has been set up for equipment crews.
The Luhansk tactical strike group is supported by three artillery groups (in total, up to 50 cannon and self-propelled artillery units, and 36 MRLS). They also have the capacity to operate as individual firing squads.
A distinguishing feature of this group is its high capacity to maneuver personnel and equipment from one flank to another.
Source: Dmitry Tymchuk FB