By New Cold War.org editors, Jan. 19, 2015
Ukraine is shaken by the news that successive efforts to retake the Donesk airport by militias and the Ukraine armed forces on Jan. 18 were repulsed, causing heavy casualties on the Ukraine side as well as losses and capture of equipment, including tanks. Below are links to two detailed reports on Ukraine army attacks across the Donbas region on January 18.
Further below that is the full text of a ‘situation’ report by Boris Ryzgin on his ‘Colonel Cassad’ website.
Novorossiya Today has published a list (very lengthy) of the districts of Donetsk city that were subjected to intense bombardments by Ukraine forces on Jan 18. Shelling has continued on January 19, though not as intensively as the day before. Hospital #3 in Donetsk was hit by Grad rockets today, killing a doctor, injuring five people and destroying the cardiology dept. (See the adjoining photo and a news story in Russian here.)
Ukraine deployed fighter aircraft on Jan. 18, including reportedly bombing the town of Makeevka. Ukraine said three of its soldiers were killed in all the fighting that day. Self-defense forces say the number is around 200.
Russia has criticized the re-launch of intense military attacks by Ukraine, saying it could have “irreversible consequences” for the unity of Ukraine.
A two-minute news video (in Russian) of the situation at the Donetsk airport yesterday includes display of U.S. weapons that were captured in the airport from retreating Ukrainian militias. The evidence has been delivered by officials of the Donetsk Peoples Republic to the Special Monitoring Mission for Ukraine of the OSCE. They are demanding a formal investigation. Watch the video here:
A rally of several thousand people took place in Kyiv on January 18 (video here), timed to coincide with the launch of attacks by the Ukraine army and militias. Kyiv called it a rally for “peace” and hypocritically used the uproar over the killings in Paris at the office of Charlie Hebdo to bolster its very own “Anti-Terrorist Operation” (its name for its war in eastern Ukraine). President Petro Poroshenko told the crowd, “We won’t give away an inch of Ukrainian land and we will return Donbass”.
The rally was also called to confuse international opinion and deflect condemnation over the shelling of a bus in Ukraine-controlled territory on January 13 that killed 12. Similar marches on the ‘bus’ theme also took place in Kharkiv and Dniepetropetrovsk. The OSCE mission says 2,000 and 1,000 peole took part, respectively. It says there were 5,000 in Kyiv.
Two reports on the Ukraine military attacks of Jan. 18, 2015
1. Ilovaysk-2: Right Sector and National Guard once again betray Armed Forces of Ukraine
By Roman Nesterenko, translated to English and published on Fort Russ website
Yesterday’s attempt by Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) to retake Donetsk Airport from the militia utterly failed not only because the Sparta and Somali battalions [of the Novorossiya Armed Forces] are the best infantry in the world right now, but also because Ukrainian forces and, especially their leadership, shot themselves in the foot in a manner similar that had earlier led to their humiliating defeat at Ilovaysk [in late August 2014].
2. Situational report, 18 Jan 2015
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Novorossia News Summary for January 18, 2015
By ‘Colonel Cassad’ (Boris Ryzgin)
1. The junta had lost the new terminal and, in spite of all the attempts to reclaim it, has suffered a tactical defeat here. Today’s attempt to strike at the junction between the village of Spartak and the concentration of airport buildings turned into a battle at the Putilovskiy bridge, where the breakthrough attempt was destroyed. Novorossia Armed Forces (NAF) infantry, which has held the new terminal for already a couple of days, with artillery support it quite comfortably defeated junta attacks. Junta’s failure does not mean that new such attempts will not occur over night or tomorrow.
2. At the same time NAF launched an attack on Peski, penetrating into the village and engaging in street battles, slowly but surely advancing. The enemy is putting up desperate resistance, which means that one cannot yet speak of full control over Peski. Both sides are actively using tube and rocket artillery and are bringing up reserves, which prevents a rapid resolution of the battle, which is now one of attrition. Junta artillery near Peski, Avdeyevka, and Krasnogorovka is coming under very heavy artillery strikes, as are junta positions near Maryinka. The intermediate objective of this effort is to reduce the intensity of bombardment of civilian areas. Our forces reached the outskirts of Avdeyevka, which suggests the village may be attacked overnight.
3. DPR and LPR are heavily suffering from terror bombardments of the fascist junta. Today Gorlovka suffered most of all, as enemy shells hit not only the outskirts but the center. Casualty numbers are still unknown, but it is likely to reach dozens. Enemy aviation struck Gorlovka for the first time since summer, which indicates the seriousness of junta’s intentions. Apart from shelling, the enemy conducted reconnaissance by force in front of Gorlovka, which failed. In spite of the high intensity of operations, the enemy has not introduced new forces into battle.
4. Neither side was successful in launching attacks in the vicinity of the Bakhmutka road and Slavyanoserbsk, due to the high level of artillery activity. Counterattack attempts toward Stanitsa Luganskaya following failed junta attacks along that sector likewise had no result, and the town is still held by the junta.
5. In spite of superiority of forces around Mariupol, NAF has not yet gone on offensive, preferring to shell enemy positions. Enemy reserves are still held in depth due to fear of attack by NAF mechanized forces.
6. The very visible Voyentorg activity is based on foundations laid down in November, when efforts were being made to increase the pace of its activity, including the training of its “workers” and fine-tuning of “instruments.” The pace of intensification was being delayed due to political considerations, but as soon as diplomacy reached its dead end which was evident after Milano [???], it received a green light and Voentorg began to work at a pace exceeding its August 2014 efforts. The preparations were not in vain, as already in November it was clear that the events were leading to war which, in spite of all the mantras to the contrary, will begin in winter and not in the spring, since the US is not about to wait for Putin to order Novorossia to surrender. Of course, those who observed these preparations already in November could poke fun at all those suggesting Putin was about to surrender Novorossia so it could join a “unified pro-Russian Ukraine.” I think that many will now understand my careful optimism in December-January. From the point of view of military planning, junta’s current behavior was being predicted since November. Warnings from DPR intelligence and defense ministry, Strelkov, Petrovskiy, and others (aside from collection of information through own channels) reached the “Voentorg leadership” one way or another, and the leadership undertook practical measures (some of which can be seen on Novorossia roads) to meet the possible threat. Naturally, knowledge by itself does not provide a 100% guarantee that countermeasures will be 100% effective (I heard certain doubts concerning this point from quite competent individuals), combat operations will show to what extent the threat was anticipated by those whose job it was to anticipate.
7. Naturally, the unfolding scenario is making it extremely difficult to return to the Minsk or Normandy format, particularly since the junta needed those formats only in the event it suffered a military defeat, and the US likewise does not need to conduct negotiations unless it has to. Therefore all attempts to steer the situation toward a political resolution will be torpedoed by Kiev and Washington. Russia did not want this scenario and strenuously tried to avoid it (and, moreover, will try to put the toothpaste back into the tube), but due to the circumstances and the insistent demands by the “fortress of Good” it could not avoid it and therefore now it has no choice but to win (by inflicting one or more defeats on junta forces) because a military defeat in Novorossia is unacceptable to Russia. One can only expect that as junta suffers defeats Russia will experience sharply increased diplomatic and economic pressure.
We can only wish NAF fighters and Voentorg workers bravery and successes in their battle against the fascist junta. They have a lot of work ahead of them. I want to warn against any “cakewalk” talk, as the struggle will be hard, prolonged, and bloody. One must not underestimate the enemy. But Novorossia will not return under junta rule.
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