Ilovaysk began to appear in the reports of the fighting on the territory of the DNR on July 12. It was then, near this city, employed militia forces, began the first battles. The significance of this city for the defense of Donetsk can be compared with the value of Nikolayevka for the defense of Slavyansk or Gravelly, for the defense of Lugansk. The lesson of this settlement punitive - meant the beginning of a near blockade of the city. This is not surprising, since the control of this city allowed the invaders is easy enough to intercept the road near or Khartsyzsk, Zugres, not entering in themselves, these cities, also it was done between the Slavic and Kramatorsk.
However, the command of the punitive corps, faced with stiff resistance in this city and being a slow long-term focus and perseverance to carry out one specific offensive goal, periodically lost interest in Ilovaisk. It is regularly trying to find the weaker place of the militia, under Soteska, the Red Ray, then Snow. As a result, and the garrison of Ilovaysk managed to take part in the breakthrough of the corridor to the checkpoint Marinovka and in the clean-up Miusinsk.
Another aggravation of the situation near Ilovaysk began on 10 August, when the assault groups of special battalions of the interior Ministry and volunteer battalions NSU tried to show Mat how to take the city. It should be noted that the army leadership punishers were aware of these opportunities, I may say formations, but had no choice. The basis of infantry VSU – highly mobile assault troops and regiments of special purpose (and in Ukraine they are not much different in the part of real training, what is called the special forces in Russia in Ukraine presents only the 10th of a detachment of GID, he/h А2245) has suffered an irreparable loss. Were crushed to a state of inability to conduct offensive operations all three battalions of the 25th brigade, and three battalions of the 79th brigade were withdrawn to recover. Mired in the battles of Lugansk 80-th brigade, and the battalions of the 95th brigade were fighting in the area of the red Beam and tried to break through to Khartsyzsk, Zugres and from the North through the Lower Pot and the Kirov. The command of the armed forces of Ukraine itself was forced to enter directly into the battle line of their own battalions of territorial defense, which differed little in quality and preparation of forces from the interior Ministry.
However it should be noted that the Ministry of internal Affairs and the personnel of the special police battalions and volunteer units of NSU felt about its own effective capabilities for a number of illusions, which subsequent hostilities dispelled. First of all, I supposed that due to the volunteer status of these parties will be on motivation and fighting spirit is equivalent to a militia. Actually in parts of the press seats in settlements under sporadic artillery and mortar fire of low intensity voluntary formation of punitive corps is really equivalent to a militia. But the militia and its commanders, aware of the low efficiency units are only able to that, had made a huge effort in terms of mastering the personnel of the heavy weapons infantry. In the battalions of the interior Ministry such training simply wasn't conducted. And indeed, why patrol battalion or ersatz-replacement of "Berkut" grenade launcher or God forbid, a portable missile system. Volunteer battalions NSU received the initial training, which was completely leveled almost complete lack of professional in the field of conducting land warfare military. Of course, that the relatively complex types of warfare, like combining the action of DRG and fire blows of heavy artillery, which are part of the most effective tactics of the Republicans of Donbass, were the volunteer forces of the punishers is not available. Not available, as due to neobychainoi personnel and controls, and because vulgar lack of heavy firepower in the interior Ministry. It is worth noting the complete absence in the composition of the volunteer forces and means of combat support, which in principle excluded the successful conduct not only offensive, but even defensive in the short-term interruption of communications.
Naturally, all these fine qualities of the volunteer armed forces of Ukraine led to a loud and rapid failure of the highly publicized storm of Ilovaysk August 10. Demonstrating that motivation to kill those who disagree with his point of view and motivation to master military Affairs properly is a huge distance, which is not irregular is overcome. Participated in combat action of the 2nd and 40th battalions of territorial defense showed the same limited combat capabilities. Those who persisted in their errors, were killed or wounded.
However, the command of the guards in this area had very clear instructions to mark "independence day" a resounding success, according to the type of Slavic. And also to block the path of Russian humanitarian convoy if he, having failed to break through to Lugansk decide to visit Donetsk. Therefore, the increase in the number of volunteer units continued. Tactical the idea of these actions was twofold. Because the combat capabilities of the militia is rather limited, if to catch up with urban development in many of the armed people, they just do not have time to kill them all before they get to the key point. The second idea was a bit more constructive and consisted in the fact that once a regular part of the APU has held one or another town of Ilovaysk, or around any object in the city, there was urgent need to push for more punitive volunteers to the seat of the heroic play Karachun in miniature. However, this tactic was required and the regular army have their own tanks and artillery with them and are able to somehow communicate. The basis of the group of punishers in this direction was the battalion tactical group of the 28-th and 51-th mechanized brigade, and the artillery divisions of the composition of the 55th OABR and 27th Oreap. In the process of development of the offensive in the area command punishers pulled together everything he could, until his mouth the summary of the 93rd separate mechanized brigade and the 17th of OTBR and even of the 73rd centre of special purpose of the CPA. As a result, Exodus 16 August Ilovaisk was completely surrounded and all the surrounding towns were occupied by crowds of volunteers. For this we used 7 of the special battalions of the interior Ministry: "Ivano-Frankivsk", "Azov", "Dnepr-1", "Shakhtersk", "Kherson", "Svityaz" and "Peacemaker", 3rd reserve battalion NSU Donbass and the 40th battalion of territorial defense "Kryvbas" total staff size to 3,000 fighters, to interact with batalinii two tactical groups of the armed forces. The left flank of this group to Elenovki covered 2nd territorial defense battalion and the 3rd battalion of the 51st OMBRE.
The rear of Amvrosiyivka grouping in this area was provided by the 5th battalion of the territorial defence, units of the Nikolaev regiment of NSU and border guards. Simultaneously with these events, advancing from the North to Khartsyzsk and Zugres grouping of the APU managed to capture Zhdanivka. Forces militia in Ilovaisk did not exceed 500 people, however, followed on August 18, the storm again failed to dislodge the militias from the city failed.
And on August 21, the situation in this area has changed dramatically. After the interrogation of a captured intelligence chief of the 8th army corps is the militia eyes were opened not only on the number of them opposing factions in this direction, but also in its deployment, the condition of the rears and efficiency. And it came to light exceptional weakness of all these components grouping, which was obvious before. However, during 22-23 August, simultaneously with the concentration of forces to counterattack, DRG militia checked the information, still not believing her evidence. However, hundreds of Ukrainian tanks and going beyond the horizon of the other columns of armored vehicles have been identified. Basically were detected only school buses. Before proceeding to outline further developments, we will focus on stating a very important fact. Two weeks, 5-strong group of punishers involving not less than 100 field guns and mortars, and 70 units of armored machinery are unable to defeat and be forced to complete the remaining positions ten times inferior in number to her squad Republicans.
It should be noted that this conclusion was made in the command of the punitive group. They managed to knock the strengthening of the consolidated battalion tactical group of the 92nd separate mechanized brigade, which advanced in the ATO zone on August 23. Summary it was because her strength had armored vehicles in each battalion to form a pivot for the company, more resources battalion is not enough. But this postupati BTG did not have time – on 24 August, the militia inflicted retaliation, and BTG 92nd OMBRE was defeated in the field by joint action of DRG and artillery DND. It should be noted the following strengths of the armed forces DND manifested in these battles. First of all, along with punches to the forehead under Elenovka, where the fighting with the 3rd battalion of the 51st OMBRE lasted from 24 August to 2 September (10 days), blows were dealt to the weakest units of the 2nd battalion of territorial defense, which simply ran away. As a result, having moved from Mospino 22 kilometres, the armed forces of DNR already on August 24, took Novokaterynivka, Klenovka, Osecina, Lenin and Builder. And thereby cut off Kuteynikovo and Starobeshevo from Ilovaysk. Thus the main group of the punishers in area of Ilovaysk was deprived of supply.
I would like to mention that the armed forces DNR not to advance his shock units on. Although theoretically, the environment of the enemy was not complete. He could be supplied through Amvrosiyevka, Novoivanovka, and Victory Red. However, effective action at such a distance from their base in Mospino for units with DNR as the maximum battalion rear impossible with a little bit of serious counteraction of the enemy. This understanding distinguishes the Republicans from the punishers, "famous" 130-kilometer raids separate battalions, invariably ended their complete defeat at times inferior opponent. To block specified direction was used another way. After DNR forces deployed in under control area of their own artillery, it is in interaction with the DRG provided a contactless blocking cross-border route. That turned out to be particularly effective, due to the fact that unlike July, the Russian border was occupied by adequate forces of the Russian army, and to use Russian territory to maneuver the punishers proved to be impossible. The situation near the Russian border has been reversed. Now cross-border routes were safe for the troops of the people's republics. And created in advance in this area, the network nodes supply allows for operation at greater depth.
But the way the situation developed only where Republican troops struck their retaliation against the volunteer units of Ukraine, out of settlements and to a limited depth. This is good sets off the stress of the fighting in the area of Yelenovka, which was accompanied not only heavy losses on both sides, but the slow pace of progress to hundreds of meters per day. Town Luhansk, closely adjacent to Donetsk and the nearby town Share have not been released on August 24, and only 25. To Yelenovka, which is from these localities 5 km, DND troops were still as much as 8 days. To Pavlograd, located in five kilometers from the outskirts of Donetsk, in the East of the Yelenovka direction, the DNR fighters fought from 24 to 31 August. Also interesting is the fact that surrounded by punishers Ilovaysk managed to unlock only 31 were released in August its surrounding settlements: a Wide, Green, Minstrels, Grabski, Tretiak, multi player blocking all roads into the city.
It took 8 days of fighting, complex negotiations and a humanitarian corridor for punishers to solve this problem. All of this illustrates the very limited firepower and numbers available to the Republicans, especially when the offensive has lead to residential construction. And because already since the formation of "boiler" in Djakovo punishers are increasingly resorting to the creation of defensive positions in urban areas, assault actions in the cities currently difficult to attribute to the strengths of the Republicans. These fights will be extremely protracted and accompanied by considerable losses. It is characteristic that in other areas the situation is developing similarly. So the battle of Novosvetlovk and Hryashchevatoye lasted from 13 to 29 August (17 days). And these settlements were abandoned by the Nazis not as a result of head-on attacks of the army LNR, and LNR because troops managed to capture the height in areas a Fun mountain and Yellow with which it became possible to adjust fire on the river crossings and bridges across the Seversky Donets river. This in turn has deprived the Lutugino grouping punishers supply and forced it to retreat. Tellingly, to beat the 12th battalion of the territorial defence from the area of Metalist, located between the mountain and Cheerful Yellow LNR troops also failed. The invaders retreated, only being cut off from supplies.
Thus, the tactical capabilities of the armed forces of the republics of Donbass, though beyond what the punishers, but do not allow to conduct strategic offensive operations. They only give the opportunity to improve their positions, and do it consistently, not all the available operating directions simultaneously. The battles for the liberation of the major cities are able to absorb all available resources of the Republicans. At the same time, punishers can constrain in cities such forces of the republics for a long time (weeks) a mere rabble who will just hide in the buildings, occasionally shooting from small arms. The ceasefire no one should be misled. It is impossible to fight for power in modern Ukraine, not attacking the Republic of Donbass. The offensive punishers resumed either immediately after the violation of the ceasefire by either party, or upon restoration of the fighting capacity of their group. I'd like to think that the republics of Donbass will not repeat their June bugs and properly use the breathing space for addressing humanitarian challenges, regrouping and consolidating positions. None of the parties does not have sufficient forces to create a continuous front. Consequently, to have success will be the one who has the initiative. And possess her is not the one who will break the ceasefire, and the one who makes the most of a respite, more correctly appreciate their strength and capabilities, and the strength, capabilities and intentions of the enemy. The possibility that the ceasefire could never be broken military to consider the right not to have – in their view of the world, this option simply does not exist.
M. V. Litvinov
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