A brief but important update.
1. First the official summary from the Ministry of Defense of the DPR.
"At this moment (as of 11:10am) there is a firefight in the area of the settlement of Spartak and Peski. Sounds of explosions and shots can be heard in the western part of Donetsk. Ukraine continues to increase the group of its forces along the demarcation line despite the Minsk agreements. This includes both the regular army service-members and also the national guard militants. Over the last day they opened fire against the DPR positions 41 times, due to which four militia fighters were wounded. The AFU violated the cease-fire regime 41 times during the day and the night, during the night they violated its 9 times. Four militia fighters were wounded due to the shelling in the area of Peski. Such a high number of victims during a truce is not a regular occasion.The Ukrainian servicemembers, targeting the militia positions, attacked settlements. The village of Shirokino, Kalinovka, and Zhabynky inside Donetsk, mine no. 6 and 7 in Gorlovka, and also the village Signalnaya fell under fire. The used 82 mm, 120 mm mortars, machine-guns, RPG, AGL, small arms. The Ukrainian security forces engaged artillery in the village Signalnaya from the side of Slavnoye yesterday at 7:15pm, but the specific artillery system couldn't be determined. As a result, damage was recorded in private housing areas, there is no information about wounded and killed civilians."
A direct hit by the artillery shell into the administrative building of the Donetsk train station was recorded, the representative of the militia HQ command of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic told RIA Novosti. "We recorded a direct hit by the artillery shell into the administrative building of the railroad station. The EMERCOM units deployed to the event location. The type of the weapon used to perform a strike is being determined," — told the agency source.
https://vk.com/feed?w=wall-35660695_15402 (in Russian) - link
Overall, the picture is the same as it was in the late December - early January: the junta is gradually intensifying the military action.
2. In the area of the Svetlodarsk wedge, the enemy, besides accumulating reserves in the area of Artyomovsk and fortifying the positions in the area of Troitskoye, Krasnyi Pakhar, Dolomitnoye, and Travnevoye, is also fortifying the positions in the area of Kodema and Semigorye, with the goal of preventing the formation of the Svetlodarsk cauldron. Meanwhile, the junta has to constantly remember the variant with Popasnaya, the breakthrough near which may lead not only to the NAF approaching Artyomovsk but also to the interception of the very same road on which the Debalcevo group used to hang and on which the Svetlodrask group now hangs. Given the penetration of the enemy defense at Popasnaya, the NAF may not attack Artyomovsk head-on, but rather take a turn directly to the road and intercept it in the area of Klonovoye, repeating the scenario of Uglegorsk and Logvinovo. In this respect the concentration of enemy forces at Artyomovsk (the artillery and the MLRS are mostly kept to the north of the city) suggests that the enemy is seriously considering the possibility of a deep NAF breakthrough, which may threaten the Svetlodarsk group. The accumulation of mechanized reserves serves the goal of preparing a counter-strike in case the front won't hold.
3. The enemy continues to accumulate forces and engages in active reconnaissance in force coupled with periodic artillery strike in the area of Shirokino. The obvious goal is to put Shirokino under its complete control, but our forces hold their positions fairly confidently. Shirokino has more tactical than operational significance and, say, given a NAF breakthrough north of Shirokino to the outskirts of Mariupol (where the NAF infantry already seeped through in the winter), holding the positions at Shirokino will lose any meaning, because the communications of the Shirokino AFU group will be threatened. So, despite all of the intensity, this fighting has more local significance, within the confines of the ongoing war of nerves.
4. The humanitarian workers who returned from Donetsk told another story. In February there was a video, where our side returned a soldier whose arm was torn away to the junta. He was abandoned during the "organized retreat" from the Debalcevo cauldron.
It turned out that this was not the only such story. During the retreat, in the columns that were exiting Debalcevo through the fields there was a "KAMAZ" with immobile WIA. The column was shelled and those who could run had to run, but the "KAMAZ" with the WIA stayed where it was. Everybody except one of them froze to death during the night, and the remaining survivor was captured with heavy frost bites of the hands. The man was morbid and after healing him somewhat he was returned to the opposite side without preconditions. There his hands were amputated (they were black already when he was captured), but he managed to survive. Recently he called our commander in Donetsk, who effectively saved his life, and thanked him and also invited him to his wedding. He is happy to have survived and even managed to bring his private life into order, despite the horrible wounds brought by the war. Once you learn such stories you understand just how ugly a civil war is. In regular life without war they could be friends.
5. And regarding the topic of the increase of non-combat losses of the AFU by a factor of 50.
Our non-combat losses increased by a factor of 50 this year, both irreplaceable and health-related. The reason for this is precisely the reduction of military discipline (c) the chief military prosecutor of Ukraine Matios.
Here we see an obvious attempt to underwrite the big losses in the winter campaign in the hindsight as non-combat losses, which increased suddenly and sharply. Because officially "there are either no losses or almost no losses", the significant loss of personnel must be explained somehow. For example, how can they explain the major loss of "cyborgs", who "retreated from the ruins of the new terminal in orderly manner"? So this is why they invent additional non-combat losses, where they put those who were killed, captured, or went MIA. Just like after the South Cauldron 1.0 KIA and WIA were recorded as "MIA" in order to reduce the number of victims of the first major defeat of the AFU. Naturally, the genuine problems with military discipline, deserting, and health-related losses make these machinations with its own losses somewhat easier for the junta.
http://voicesevas.ru/news/yugo-vostok/11245-hronika-voennyh-sobytiy-v-novorossii-za-22032015.html - the online-broadcast on the "Voice of Sevastopol" for March 22
http://cassad.net/tv/videos/6395/ - a video-review of the military map from "Cassad-TV" for March 20
http://cassad.net/tv/videos/6384/ - a video-review of the military map from "Cassad-TV" for March 21
Original article: http://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/2101397.html (in Russian)