Fresh analysis from comrade Litvinov with the details of fighting for the Luhansk airport that may be stirring for many of us.
Fighting in Donbass, July 13–14.
The crucial events of the two last days unfolded in the Luhansk area and in the borderlands. By the onset of these events, the group of the punitive corpus consisted of six significantly isolated from each other groups of forces.
1. The group of artillery and mortar positions and checkpoints in the area of the settlements Marinovka – Dmitrovka – Chervonaya Zarya – Kozhevnya, which blocks the movement towards the Russian border through the "Marinovka" checkpoint and allows routing the supply convoys eastward to Dyakovo. This area lies within the combat zone of the DPR militia.
2. The forward base and the group of checkpoints in the area of Dyakovo, which cuts the Rostov – Debaltsevo road and provides routing supply convoys eastward.
3. The group of artillery and mortar positions and checkpoints in the area of the settlements Zelenopolye – Dar'ino – Yermakovka – "Dolzhansky" checkpoint, which covers movement to Novoshakhtinsk.
4. The group of artillery and mortar positions and checkpoints in the area of the settlements Porechye – Nizhnedereveyechka – Prokhladnaya – Kalinnik – Cheremshino – Korolevka, which allows to keep the checkpoint "Izvarino" and the checkpoint "Chervonopartizansk" and the approaches to them under fire.
5. The garrison of the Luhansk airport.
6. The area of Schastye – Veselaya Mt. – Metallist – Zheltoye.
Each of the first four groups consisted of up to one battalion tactical group from a mechanized or a tank brigade and of one tactical group of light infantry. The garrison of the Luhansk airport consisted of up to two tactical groups of light infantry. North of Luhansk the main forces of the 128-th Separate Mechanized Brigade (up to two battalion tactical groups) and up to four tactical groups of light infantry. Already by July 8th it became clear that the command of the punitive corpus took off from the Lisichansk direction no fewer than one battalion tactical group from within the 30-th SMBr and redeployed it in the area of Metallist.
In the morning of July 13th the initiative was still with the militia. The DPR forces attacked the supply convoy, which tried to move towards Dyakovo. From its side, the LPR militia continued to apply pressure to the artillery district, which impedes movement to Izvarino and Chervonopartizansk. This pressure, which started on July 12th by the attack of MLRS against the checkpoint in the area of Nizhnedereveyka, continued with a coordinated attack on both artillery positions of the enemy. And if the mortar shelling of positions near Kalinnik didn't bring the desired outcome, then the attack on the firing positions near Porechye, which fire on Izvarino, led to a quite significant success. Through mortar fire a platoon of towed howitzers D-30 was put out of order, and a platoon of the mechanized infantry that tried to fight off the mortar attack lost 2 IFVs from the fire of LAWs. The disturbing rafale of the punitive troops bases in the area of Dyakovo and Zelenopolye continued.
However, the main events of the day unfolded in the Luhansk area. As it was pointed out more than once already, the Luhansk airport is an extremely weak spot of the punitive corpus. Its abandonment has significant political drawbacks for the punitive troops. The airport garrison is sufficiently strong in order to not be afraid of the assault, but it is sensitive to the blockade of supplies. At the same time, the garrison is incapable of spreading the zone of its control and of establishing the unobstructed reception of supplies neither for itself nor, likewise, for the whole border group.
By concentrating northward of Luhansk an additional battalion tactical group, the command of the punitive corpus started a wrapping movement through the perimeter from the North to the East and then South of Luhansk itself already on July 12th. However, the available forces were naturally insufficient for blockading Luhansk by its perimeter. Therefore, the idea of the conceived operation was, as usual, distinguished by its audacity and its adventurism. The convoy of the battalion tactical group should have, by rolling on the areas with urban development with a brief strike of the MLRS battery, forced the militia to scatter, after which it was supposed to proceed without hindrance, moving towards its main goal – the Luhansk airport. By strengthening the garrison, the convoy was supposed to, by widening the zone of control, establish the unobstructed receipt of cargo in the airport.
If the militia didn't scatter after the first salvo from the MLRS, then they should've been suppressed with fire from self-propelled howitzers and tanks. As it is typical, the whole operation was built exclusively on the conviction of low resilience of the militia and on the lack of its firm command. Otherwise, a simple calculation would show that before the onset of darkness the convoy won't be able to make it to the airport. Which is what happened. The convoys tried to breach from Alexandrovsk to Beloye and then to Georgiyevka through Rodakovo, Sabovka, and Yubileynoye. To the surprise of the punitive troops, if the militia withdrew, then they were replaced with fresh detachments. And the battered detachments were collected and re-entered fighting again. Naturally, the strike of the MLRS, shelling by tanks and howitzers is quite hard to withstand for the unseasoned militia fighters. Naturally, the unseasoned detachments tries to shoot out its ammo load as fast as possible and then exit combat. But with literate management this is sufficient to stop the armor convoy, change its direction and waste time.
In addition to that, already on the morning of July 13th the command of the LPR militia withdrew a portion of its detachments from the South to Luhansk and performed a bombing and assault raid on the enemy convoy that was preparing for the offensive. The fighting of July 13th in the Luhansk area was very dramatic, all the more so that again the informational support of the punitive troops worked very well, which tried to make an impression of the start of the encirclement or even the assault on the city. The brief counterstrike of the militia reserves from the Metallist area toward the Veselaya Mt. bound the enemy convoy, which was supposed to provide the deep bypass of the city for the first convoy with the goal of breaking towards the airport. Eventually, the first convoy had to return to its starting position, because the threat emerged of it being cut off from bridges in the area of Schastye. The main group of the punitive troops wasn't able to break into the airport before darkness. As a result, the most part of the supply for this convoy was cut off and dissolved. During the night, the main forces of the convoy were also beaten up. The majority of the artillery in the convoy, a part of tanks and of the motorized infantry broke into the airport. The dissolved detachments of the convoy were breaking into the airport during the night and during the most part of the day of July 14th.
A part of punitive forces, failing to make it into the airport, withdrew into the area of the settlements Molodogvardeysk and Sukhodolsk. At this point they were immediately declared to be terrorists withdrawing to the Russian territory by their command. It appears that the equipment of the detachments is lost for the AFU. The blockade of the Luhansk airport wasn't lifted, on the morning of July 14th the militia MLRS hit the airport. Furthermore, the airplane of the Ukrainian air force that was shot down at 6000 meters makes the possibility of properly supplying even the strengthened garrison of the airport by air very dubious. On the other side, the long-range artillery emerged in the airport, which, given the ammunition, will allow the punitive troops to perform terrorist bombardments of the Luhansk living blocks. In any case, the group of the AFU that broke into the airport was significantly weakened compared to their initial capabilities.
Despite the difficult situation near Luhansk the LPR militia continued to press against Dyakovo and Zelenopolye, mostly by shelling and reconnaissance and sabotage raids. Between Chervonopartizansk and Sverdlovsk, near Alexandrovka, on July 14th yet another supply convoy of the punitive troops was beaten up. The DPR militia near Dmitrovka continued to attack enemy convoys successfully. Overall, the punitive troops continue to spend their far from limitless reserves on inconclusive operations. From the forces that were freed up after the fall of Slavyansk only one heavy battalion tactical group didn't reveal itself yet – from the constitution of the 51-st Separate Mechanized Brigade.
Author: M.V. Litvinov
http://voicesevas.ru/news/yugo-vostok/2834-voyna-na-yugo-vostoke-onlayn-15072014-hronika-sobytiy-post-obnovlyaetsya.html – online-broadcast on the "Voice of Sevastopol", for 07/15.
Original article: http://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/1668664.html (in Russian)