So, by yesterday's evening the defeat of the junta groups which were advancing on Luhansk and Izvarino, and also the degradation of the South cauldron, became obvious to everybody.
In essence the offensive that started on July 1st and which had decisive goals concluded with a significant defeat, which has a number of signs of a catastrophe. A portion of forces ended up in an operational encirclement and with severed communications. Instead of a united front, the junta forces currently exist as a number of scattered and weakly coordinated groups, which perform some tactical operations which are weakly connected with the joint plan of closing the border and of surrounding Luhansk.
The junta's mistake was that in its staff structures it was supposed that if a united broad front of encirclement of the DPR and the LPR territory will be established and if the border is closed, the remaining part will be a matter of paperwork. It was supposed that the encirclement ring that was formed by the mechanized units will be able to withstand the attack of the light infantry of the militia, which won't be able to transition to offensive actions directed at intercepting supply channels.
The plan clearly didn't take the possible appearance of the artillery and tanks in meaningful quantities with the militia into account, as the result of which the advantages of the ambitious plan became its drawbacks. Instead of the punitive operation the junta got pulled into full-fledged fighting with the use of heavy armor, which considering the stretched communications (the militia maneuvered with forces through internal lines) rapidly led to the exhaustion of the offensive capabilities of the strike groups.
The first to fizzle was the "south claw", for which the oxygen was cut off by the position on Saur-Mogila, which after the emergence of the D-30 howitzers battery and MLRS, became essentially unapproachable and the whole South group started to hang on a thin supply line, which was constantly fired upon. The attempts to supply the group by air and to support it with aviation led to only additional losses. By the morning of July 16th, the junta's military started to pull out of the cauldron, suffering significant losses from the powerful artillery fire of the militia.
Considering that the blockade ring isn't unpenetrable, a significant part of the junta forces will be able to break back, but the losses in men and machines will be significant, and the units that broke out of the cauldron will have limited combat readiness.
Keeping the Luhansk airport turned into a problem for the junta, it is again fully encircled, there are in essence no supply lines, and the garrison itself only increased and is constantly shelled with tubed and rocket artillery. Because the unblocking strike failed, here an attempt to break through to their own is likely, because at current tendencies the airport group will soon run out of ammo and food and will be forced to capitulate.
The North group retreated from the "intestine" that was beaten to the airport, leaving the settlements that were captured with big losses, including Alexandrovka. The partial retreat through Schastye to the North of Luhask also began. Big losses and demoralization of the military make further offensive actions against Luhansk impossible, and besides the tendencies of transitioning of the LPR militia to the decisive counter-offensive through Metallist and Schastye are foreshadowed. The junta will try to build a defensive position here, meanwhile it will try to pull out a part of its forces, in order to redeploy them to the Lisichansk protrusion to try to take revenge for its loss on the Mozgovoi group, which holds the triangle Lisichansk-Severodonetsk-Rubezhnoye.
An attempt to cut off the supply channel of the LPR and the DPR in the area Izvarino-Krasnopartizansk-Krasnodon failed utterly. The fighting, which started already in June continued here for two weeks, but the crucial points remained in the militia hands. Huge losses (the bigger ones were only in the South cauldron), loss of machinery, and demoralization of the military by July 15th made it impossible to continue the offensive, which rapidly turned into a retreat by 30-40 km, and during the retreat the junta forces suffered heavy losses from artillery fire and militia MLRS, and also from the actions of the reconnaissance and sabotage groups of the LPR.
Overall, by the 16th the junta lost the operational initiative on the LPR territory, which transferred to the militia fighters. Despite the lack of forces, they already perform actions directed at encircling the routed enemy and inflict significant losses in manpower and equipment. The key factors, which allowed to use the strategic adventurism of the junta plan for encircling the LPR became:
1. The appearance of numerous artillery, which allowed to slow down the attacks of even the fairly large mechanized convoys and to inflict significant losses to the advancing infantry of the enemy. The artillery is now the main defensive weapon of the militia, it is not enough for the offensive, but for holding the defense it is sufficient.
2. Strengthening of the air defense of the LPR, which allowed to lower the importance of enemy aviation significantly. The destruction of the radar station in April-May wasn't in vain. The appearance of a combat-ready "Buk" is a significant aid. The operational Su-25 is for now a cherry on a pie, but also not unnecessary.
3. Saturation of the militia infantry with anti-tank means, and also with armor, which allowed to provide certain robustness of the LPR infantry in defense.
4. Literate command on the tactical level – the militia fighters didn't hesitate to retreat when it was needed and conversely firmly held their ground in those points, which couldn't be given up. Overall, the level of the LPR infantry ended up higher, than of the junta's infantry, despite the numerical superiority of the junta.
5. High quality of the work of the reconnaissance and sabotage groups of the LPR on enemy communications, up 20-30% of all junta's losses are due to the attacks on communications and rears. It is also worth noting the good work of the state security of the LPR, which quickly eliminated the enemy reconnaissance and sabotage groups and the groups of spotters, which tried to operate on the Luhansk territory.
Now the militia will try to take advantage of the fruits of the victory that they won, namely capture/destroy as many soldiers and vehicles of the retreating enemy as possible. This problem is a bit harder than the ones which were solved earlier, but I think that certain successes here are inevitable. Witches will be hunted and heads will be rolling during the nearest few days in Kiev.
The main result of the 2 weeks of combat – the LPR managed to stand despite the 2 weeks of a full-fledged military operation against a regular army. The republic grew stronger and showed a meter-length teeth, which turned out to be unexpected for both the fascists and some defeatists. This victory means that the war will continue for a long time and the question is gradually moving from "survival" to "counter-offensive".
Respect and honor to the heroes of the LPR defense, over the 2 weeks of heaviest fighting they pulled off a major accomplishment.
Original article: http://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/1671547.html (in Russian)