Dmitry Tymchuk: Military update 05.20 #FreeSavchenko

information_resistance_logo_engDmitry Tymchuk, Head of the Center for Military and Political Research, Coordinator of the Information Resistance group, Member of Parliament (People’s Front)
05.20.2016
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

(See end of post for acronym glossary)

Operational data from Information Resistance:

Russian-terrorist forces remain active in Donbas, firing along almost all sections of the demarcation line, most of all in the area of Avdiivka and its suburbs (including Opytne); near the Butovka Mine ventilation shaft;  south of Luhanske; in the vicinity of Novotroitske and Berezove; along the ZaitseveMayorsk strip; and in the coastal direction of operations.

In the Avdiivka area, terrorists shelled the ATO forces’ advanced units from a position east of the Yasynuvata Junction using 120 mm mortars, following an earlier shelling of the “industrial zone” with 122 mm artillery from the direction of the Mineralne–Yakovlivka line. During daytime, militants fired 82 mm mortars from several positions, while two sniper groups operated in the same area (with large-caliber sniper rifles).

Near Novotroitske, the enemy used automatic 82 mm mortars and sniper fire from the southern waste mound (outskirts of Dokuchajevsk).

From the southern part of Staromykhailivka, a pair of militant BMP-2’s targeted the ATO forces’ positions east of Krasnohorivka station (near Geologicheskaya Street), firing mainly from their on-board 30 mm automatic cannons.

Near Stanytsia Luhanska, a militant grenade launcher group was observed; heavy machine gun fire was also recorded.

Recently, the enemy’s actions have observed the following specifics:

• sharply increased sniper activity;

• repeated attempts by small militant groups to covertly approach the ATO forces’ positions in order to suddenly open fire (detecting their approach is made more difficult by the “vegetation”); in all cases, shooting comes with the aid of covering fire (mainly from AGS-17’s, heavy machine guns and mortars);

• enhanced coordination between terrorist units (the obvious benefits of extensive training and exercises in combat coordination organised in the militant “training centers” in Donbas during February and April of this year);

• active reconnaissance (by DRGs, UAVs, and radio intelligence) of the ATO forces’ front edge and tactical rear, as well as multiple attempts to scout the Ukrainian troops’ operational and tactical rear using DRGs and UAVs (in the latter case, militants are primarily interested in the locations of combat equipment, command points, and fuel and ammunition storage sites);

• DRGs staffed by the Russian Special Forces appeared simultaneously in several sections. These are professionally trained groups arriving from Russia in the course of rotation of the regular Russian Federation Armed Forces units in Donbas. Their task at this stage is to “learn the lay of the land”;

• militants are gradually moving heavy weaponry closer to the front again. Terrorist tanks have been spotted on several sections of the front simultaneously (for the moment, in small groups of 2-3), while the presence of 122 mm and 152 mm towed artillery systems and self-propelled guns has been noted in several directions of operation (for now, in “scattered” battery formations of 4-6 systems and guns). There is no doubt that militant use of cannon artillery at this stage mainly serves two purposes – preparatory artillery fire and “running-in” the new reinforcements in artillery details;

Increased discontent has been noted in several units of the “1st DNR AC,” specifically among local militant “personnel” used in clashes and armed provocations against Ukrainian troops. Local militants are unhappy with the “multi-layered cake” configuration for Russian-terrorist forces’ combat formations used by the Russian command on a number of sections of the front. Units manned by local militants with poor combat training, as well as by mercenaries under disciplinary sanctions (essentially, “cannon fodder”) are brought directly up to the front line and engaged in combat. The second line consists of local militants who received a relatively high level of training from Russian instructors, led by the latter; as well as Russian mercenaries trained in Russia. The third line consists of Russian Federation armed forces units.

Displaying little concern for camouflage now, militants are moving heavy armor, forbidden under the Minsk agreements, in close proximity to the front line. South of the Putylivka neighborhood (Donetsk) a battery of 152 mm “Msta-B” howitzers was transferred on trailers hauled by Kamaz trucks (6 guns); near the Donetsk International Airport (DAP), four terrorist “Gvozdika” 2S1 122-mm self-propelled guns were spotted travelling to the southern direction of operations.

In the Proletarskyi district of Donetsk, we observed the transfer of up to 5 “Kamaz” trucks with military personnel, bearing insignia of a red star in a circle. Until now, no such insignia has been seen on representatives of Russian-terrorist forces units.

A large group of militants (about 300 persons) from the local Donbas population, previously members of armed gangs of the “1st DNR AC” (mainly riflemen and sappers), have been sent from Khartsyzk (Donetsk oblast) to the training base of the GRU of the General Staff of the Russian Federation Armed Forces near Saint Petersburg (Russian Federation). The militants wore Russian-issue fatigues with an insignia depicting a dark-green flag with two ribbons (light green and light red in color), and an inscription in Armenian across the width of the flag. According to information from militant circles, the group will be trained in the GRU base on Russian Federation territory “under the patronage” of a private-sector military company, and afterwards participate in the hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh. This group was transported on board of “Ural” automobiles with tactical markings “55” and “23.”

Following the “LNR’s” example, the “DNR” launched a large-scale hunt for “Ukrainian spies and saboteurs of the Special Operations Forces and SBU.” According to the information possessed by the “DNR MGB,” a formidable Ukrainian sabotage and intelligence network is at work in Donetsk and Horlivka. The directors of the militant “state security” administration have tasked units under their control to urgently develop and implement “a plan of action to identify and neutralize” Ukrainian saboteurs. Particular attention should be paid to the governing bodies of local housing and utilities services, allegedly rife with “spies.” Mass searches have also been ordered in residential and business premises, looking for secret caches of weapons and explosives. Rumors are circulating among rank and file “DNR MGB” employees from the local population that the “DNR” leadership and Russian “supervisors” are using these searches to identify targets for subsequent “expropriation.”

Ukrainian military servicemen control their position outside Avdiivka, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, April 16, 2016. Photo: AP

Ukrainian military servicemen control their position outside Avdiivka, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, April 16, 2016. Photo: AP

Source: Dmitry Tymchuk FB 

Glossary:

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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This translation work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The rights pertaining to the original work remain unaffected.

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