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
(See end of post for acronym glossary)
Operational data from Information Resistance:
Russian-terrorist troops in Donbas continue firing at Ukrainian troop positions in the ATO zone and at a number of settlements adjacent to the front. The nature of the shellings has changed dramatically – most of them are now carefully aimed so as to damage specific targets and the advanced units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Unsighted fire is now rare. Except for the “traditional” weaponry (small arms, stand-mounted antitank and antipersonnel grenade launchers (SPG-9M, AGS-17, AGS-21, and 82/120 mm mortars), militants make active use of the on-board weaponry of armored vehicles (mainly BMP’s and BTR’s), heavy machine guns, and specialized sniper weapons (including large-caliber sniper rifles).
An upsurge is apparent in the activity of terrorists’ “small troop groups” – various types of DRG’s and small infantry units (up to one platoon in strength). Making use of the recently bloomed “foliage,” these groups operate in the neutral zone, attempting to penetrate the ATO forces’ tactical rear. Their tasks include laying mines to disrupt nearby communication lines in the tactical rear of the Ukrainian troops; carrying out sudden fire strikes with infantry weapons; staging ambushes; and actively reconnoitering the ATO forces’ combat formations.
For example, near Stanytsia Luhanska, the enemy actively makes use of the “greenery” along the Severskyi Donets river to approach the ATO forces’ positions and fire heavily on the advanced Ukrainian troop units. These fire raids are carried out at night by small infantry groups using small arms, under-barrel and stand-mounted grenade launchers, and heavy machine guns.
In the vicinity of Avdiivka, the Donetsk International Airport (DAP) and Pisky, militants use similar tactics, operating from positions near Yasynuvata Junction (and south of it), west of Spartak, and Vesele under heavy covering fire from mortars and grenade launchers. They are constantly trying to approach the ATO forces’ strongholds and observation posts to within an effective range for small arms, and open heavy fire.
During the past few days, terrorists stepped up their activity in the Mariupol (coastal) and western Donetsk directions of operations (Mar’inka – Krasnohorivka), with mass shellings and a high level of sniper group activity. In addition, in these areas militants frequently used BMP’s and BTR’s. A similar situation can be seen on stretches along the front to the north and west of Horlivka (Zaitseve, Mayorsk, Leninske, Novhorodske), where the enemy is also actively using mortars.
“Information” about preparations for a “Ukrainian troop offensive” keeps circulating among the operational command staff of the so-called “1st Army Corps” [AC]. Allegedly, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have already prepared two attack groups, which are currently concentrated in the operational and tactical rear of their battle formations in the ATO zone. According to militant “intelligence,” these groups will start advancing and deploying to the front line “only right before the start of the offensive.” According to the “1st AC’s” latest “intelligence,” there has been a massive redeployment of the Ukrainian troops’ military command, logistics supply, and combat support towards the demarcation line. Terrorists view the movement of the ATO forces’ headquarters closer to the front as a clear sign of an offensive in preparation. Under this pretext, militants are trying to accumulate more forces and resources at the front line, including weapons and heavy armor which are supposed to be withdrawn under the Minsk agreements.
On several “threatened” stretches, terrorists have concentrated fairly large amounts of forces and resources, including tanks and artillery. For example, two reinforced battalions, stationed in two echelons, have been concentrated north of Donetsk in the Yasynuvata – Spartak – Yakovlivka area, with another battalion-size reserve unit on its way to reinforce this section of the front between Makiivka and Donetsk. According to the “narrative,” militant command is examining the possibility of a “Ukrainian breakthrough” either at Yasynuvata, or further north, towards Yenakijeve. Militants have deployed a tactical group (of up to one reinforced battalion in strength) in the southwestern part of Horlivka, with similar troop groups noted in the vicinity of Dokuchajevsk and Telmanove (we received confirmation that militant heavy armor was being transferred near Kuznetsi, Novoazovskyi district, with some of it deployed further north towards Telmanove, as reinforcements or in reserve). In the lead-up to the May public holidays, it is possible that these formations may escalate the conflict to undermine the alleged expected offensive by the ATO forces.
After the scandal around the massive embezzlement of fuel among the armed gangs, an audit was carried out in a number of “1st DNR AC” units and two “2nd LNR AC” “brigades,” to assess the technical condition of the main fleet of heavy armor, which, in compliance with the Minsk agreements, was withdrawn from the demarcation line to the required distance and is currently located at several storage centers (in reality, only some of the heavy armor has been withdrawn – overall, no more than 30% of all heavy armor is assigned to militant units close to the demarcation line). The audit revealed that 45-50% of the heavy armor in the so-called “storage centers” was not combat ready – most of this equipment has been dismantled (cannibalized) after arriving at the storage center. The militant command has launched several investigations into these thefts, and has decided to replace the heavy armor in question with combat-ready heavy armor, which is currently being transferred from Russia.
Source: Dmitry Tymchuk FB
AC – Army Corps
ACV – armored combat vehicle
AGS-17 – automatic grenade launcher
ATO – Anti-Terrorist Operation
BMP – infantry fighting vehicle
BTG – battalion tactical group
BTR, APC – armored personnel carrier
BRDM – armored reconnaissance and surveillance vehicle
BRM – armored reconnaissance vehicle
DAP – Donetsk International Airport
DNR – “Donetsk People’s Republic”
DRG – sabotage and reconnaissance group
ELINT – Electronic Intelligence
GUR – Defense Intelligence
KSM – command and staff vehicle
LNR – “Luhansk People’s Republic”
MGB – Ministry of State Security
MOD – Ministry of Defense
MT-LB – light multipurpose tracked vehicle
MLRS – multiple-launch rocket systems
OMSBR – Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade
SBU – Ukrainian Secret Service
SPG-9 – stand-mounted grenade launcher
TZM, TLV – transporter-loading vehicle
UAV – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (drones or other)
ZU-23-2 – anti-aircraft artillery system
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