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:
During the past weekend (11.15 – 11.15.2015), units of Russian-terrorist troops in Donbas continued shelling the advanced positions of Ukrainian troops, as well as settlements in the ATO zone controlled by Ukraine. Militants used 82 mm and 120 mm mortars, the on-board guns of BMP-1 and BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, as well as of BTR-70 and BTR-80 armored personnel carriers, grenade launchers (handheld and mounted), and ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns. In a number of sections, militants continue active attempts to advance towards the ATO forces’ positions (in the “gray zone”); they also continue conducting reconnaissance, laying minefields, and launching sabotage and terrorist attacks.
In the vicinity of Zaitseve, two terrorist infantry groups (20-25 personnel in each) attempted to approach the ATO forces’ stronghold under heavy cover fire from small arms and 82 mm mortars (plus several shots from at least three AGS-17 grenade launchers). Ukrainian units fired from their stationary positions, forcing the enemy to fall back to their initial lines.
South of the settlement of Novhorodske, militants also made an attempt to “infiltrate” the tactical rear of Ukrainian troops, using a group of up to 20 personnel in strength. During their concealed movement through the “neutral zone,” this group was discovered (within 200 meters of the ATO forces’ control and observation point) and engaged by Ukrainian battlefield security. After an hour-long firefight, the enemy DRG [sabotage and reconnaissance group] withdrew.
In the vicinity of Pisky (somewhat to the south of the settlement), terrorists opened fire from the on-board guns of BMP-2 armored combat vehicles and attacked the advanced ATO positions using three infantry groups. This attack was demonstrative in nature; its purpose, most likely, was to discover the ATO forces’ firing points at the front line.
Militants carried out similar actions near Hranitne, Shchastya, Krasnohorivka, Mar’inka, and south of Popasna, using mortars (82 mm, and 120 mm in two instances), ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns, AGS-17 grenade launchers, and heavy machine guns in the course of these provocations. Shyrokyne and Novotoshkivka were also shelled from mortars and grenade launchers.
Militants are using a similar tactic in these attacks: a camouflaged advance to the neutral strip to reduce the effective fire range, covert occupation of firing position, sudden opening of heavy fire from small arms, followed by a retreat under cover of 82 mm mortars, AGS-17 and AGS-21 grenade launchers, and sometimes, the on-board guns of ACVs (positioned beforehand at the front line for this purpose). In some cases, we record blatant provocations intending to summon return fire in order to discover the location of the ATO forces’ firepower. Militants usually use groups of up to 30 personnel (in most cases, split into sub-groups: firing [subgroup], cover, surveillance, diversion, etc., depending on the objective and missions; sometimes, a singular unit is used).
In the course of most of these provocations, the enemy demonstrates a very low level of coordination. Sometimes, the “cover” fire forces open fire with delays; terrorists often act clearly unprofessionally – making noise, failing to properly camouflage their movements and the occupation of positions, opening fire in an uncoordinated way, or firing chaotically and without aiming. In several regions (the area of Shchastya and Stanytsia Luhanska, as well as in coastal areas), we recorded cases of militants accidentally detonating their own mines and tripwires. According to the IR group’s data, such low levels of training are typical for units of Russian mercenaries arriving from Russia as part of troop rotation, as well as for groups of local militants, who were “drafted” and “mobilized” recently, and underwent brief preparation in the “DNR-LNR training centers” – essentially, “cannon fodder.”
Militants tanks were observed transferring from Oleksandrivka (Donetsk, vicinity of Mar’inka) to the southwest, in the direction of Luhanske.
Militants continue actively preparing for the “ATO forces offensive” in the Artemivsk direction of operation. Another terrorist reinforced “motorized rifle company” arrived in the vicinity of Horlivka. This unit was previously part of the training center in Mospyne (now disbanded) and includes four BTR-80 armored personnel carriers, two BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, two MT-LB multipurpose vehicles, 3 KAMAZ trucks, Ural KUNG truck with a trailer-mounted DES-100 diesel power station, two UAZ-469 vehicles, and three civilian off-road vehicles.
In total, over the past 3 days, the “Horlivka garrison” was strengthened with, as a minimum, a reinforced battalion – up to 600 personnel, 30-32 various armored combat vehicles, 8-10 tanks, and 4 cannon artillery batteries (deployed east of Horlivka), in addition to the forces and equipment deployed here earlier. Thus, two “motorized rifle brigades,” as well as several “separate” companies and battalions, and artillery units are deployed in the vicinity of Horlivka at this time.
Several militant rocket artillery units were recorded near Stakhanov – three 122 mm BM-21 Grad MLRS, on positions in the southwest outskirts of the settlement, under cover of buildings in the private housing sector. Four more MLRS, with two MT-LB vehicles and two Ural trucks (battery transport and load vehicles) were spotted on the march towards Stakhanov from Bryanka.
Three militant DRGs (4-5 personnel in each group) moved from the vicinity of Luhansk in the direction of Shchastya. Two of these groups were trained in the “LNR” [Luhansk People’s Republic], and one in the “DNR” [Donetsk People’s Republic]. The mission of each group is laying minefields and taking prisoners.
Repair groups were formed from among militants of the “4th separate mechanized brigade of the 2nd LNR army corps,” to repair combat equipment at the facilities of the “repair company” base currently being created in Krasnodon. At this time, the “repair company” of the “4th SMB 2nd LNR AC” is located in Alchevsk, Leninhradska Street. All units of the “2nd LNR AC” are urgently receiving spare parts for combat equipment.
Reconnaissance units of the “4th SMB 2nd LNR AC” (with permanent location in Alchevsk, Perevalsk, and Krasnyi Luch), together with militants of the “2nd SMB 2nd LNR AC” mortar battery, moved to the advanced positions in the vicinity of Sokilnyky and Pryshyb. We recorded active efforts by militants to camouflage their heavy armor and reinforce defensive structures near Vesela Hora, Slovyanoserbsk district.
According to the orders of the chieftains of the “2nd AC LNR,” all combat equipment of its units has been fully fueled. The tank battalion of the “2nd SMB 2nd AC LNR” has 40 tanks at its disposal, and 6 fuel trucks are used to supply them with fuel and lubricants.
Source: Dmitry Tymchuk FB
This translation work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The rights pertaining to the original work remain unaffected.