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Uh so has Debaltseve fallen?

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No need to worry Steve. But thanks for taking care.

No problem!

 

 

So I am still not sure what the (now meaningless anyways) Minsk II agreement had in mind for the Debaltseve area? How was that supposed to go down? Were the Ukrainians supposed to leave without the Separatists/Russians to interfere? After Ilovaysk I can understand why the Ukrainians would not want do this again, but I am still wondering what the original plan was.

As far as I can tell, Poroshenko sought to have Debaltseve specifically addressed, Putin did not, and Merkel/Hollande appear to have pressured Poroshenko to "trust" that such specificity was not necessary. The agreement was absolutely crystal clear on one thing, though, and that was all fighting was supposed to stop on the 15th. Period. No exceptions. Poroshenko appears to have wanted an immediate ceasefire, but Putin wanted it to take place 3 days later. Once again, Merkel/Hollande pressured Poroshenko to accept Putin's proposal.

The obvious plan on the separatist/Russian side was to capture Debaltseve prior to the 15th, which is why Putin insisted on three days of delay for the ceasefire to begin. When it became clear that was not possible Putin started publicly stating that Ukraine's forces there should surrender because they were surrounded, and the agreement didn't make provisions for surrounded areas. So when the separatists/Russians continued their offensive from the 15th on they claimed they could do so, even though the agreement absolutely forbid it. Which is why everybody but Russia holds the position that Russia and the separatists grossly violated the Minsk agreement. Again.

With a controversial war playing out in real time? Good luck with that, Steve. ;)

I can try and keep a lid on the politics, but I know trying to prevent people from talking about the war at all is pointless. So this thread will continue to server as a discussion about the war until it runs into problems. I have a Plan B in mind if that happens :)

Steve

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Er, that turned out to be a long answer :) Hopefully a useful one.

 

Very much so! :)

 

So basically you are saying, that the Ukr Forces have copied NATO structures and are trying to apply NATO doctrine, correct? I get your plug and play analogy, but was asking myself if this does not complicate matters? If a new unit enters the combat zone, it has to understand terrain and the use of it. IIRC swapping in new units was always complicated and the new ones would usually take unnecessary casualties learning the terrain. So it would be better coping with this than having a unit exposed to the enemy for a longer period? Also, the casualty figures were for a 16? day period. Quite a lot of unit movement in a very short time, id say.

 

Returning now to the ongoing discussion:

Reading further through the western( mostly german) media i found that the mainstream opinion is that Minsk II was done to save the best fighting units in the Ukr army from destruction in Debaltseve. This would fit with the russians pushing for a capture of the town before the cease fire is in effect. If they managed to withdraw orderly than it was a success! What is your take on that? Does the Ukraine have an army left? Casualty figures are noway excessive, but if on the other hand the army is still in a kind of transition it may very well be that a lot of the good units have been spent by now. There seem to be also rumors about mutineers, servicemen simply not following the call to arms etc( again, not my opinion, just what i found in the medias)

 

Strategy-wise, with exchange ratios like those achieved in the fighting, it could be a sound strategy bleeding the separatists white by fighting first then giving ground, especially if you have a bit room and manpower to trade. Looking at the map there is not so much of strategic interest in the near vicinity. Just dont let your people find out, they wont understand... The rails are pretty wrecked what i heard, so it may really be a phyrric victory for the rebels.

By the way, this also would probably be in the interest of Russia, weakened allies have no weight.

 

So, whats next? Prorussian folks are feeling forward towards Mariupol, which is said to posses some strategic value as a porttown. Though if i had to decide, id go for Starobilsk. If its in my hand, pretty much all territory to the northeast of it is undefendable. And id start my attack with faking one that is as far away as possible and draw all the good units away.

Now, for the Ukraine, rebuild and upgrade forces, try to manipulate world opinion against russia( not sooo hard...) and transform this into money so i can build an army strong enough to be able to wipe the separatists from the board, one after the other.

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So basically you are saying, that the Ukr Forces have copied NATO structures and are trying to apply NATO doctrine, correct?

Imperfectly and out of necessity, yes. They are learning as they go because this is the opposite of their prewar structure and training, which was still deeply rooted in Soviet doctrine.

 

I get your plug and play analogy, but was asking myself if this does not complicate matters? If a new unit enters the combat zone, it has to understand terrain and the use of it. IIRC swapping in new units was always complicated and the new ones would usually take unnecessary casualties learning the terrain. So it would be better coping with this than having a unit exposed to the enemy for a longer period? Also, the casualty figures were for a 16? day period. Quite a lot of unit movement in a very short time, id say.

Yes, it complicates things. But there are only so many units that can be in the line at one time. It appears that Ukraine has determined that it is smarter to have a unit go into the line for a little while, gain experience, uncover problems, etc. and then move it out so another unit can move in and experience the same learning curve.

As for casualties, before the separatist/Russian winter offensive the losses for the entire ATO were a couple KIA and a few times that wounded. So the combat losses for most units were about zero except for those in the airport or Debaltseve area.

 

Returning now to the ongoing discussion:

Reading further through the western( mostly german) media i found that the mainstream opinion is that Minsk II was done to save the best fighting units in the Ukr army from destruction in Debaltseve. This would fit with the russians pushing for a capture of the town before the cease fire is in effect. If they managed to withdraw orderly than it was a success! What is your take on that?

See my previous response. I do not agree that the ceasefire was done to save the Ukrainian forces. Germany, France, and Russia were the ones that first talked about Minsk 2, not Ukraine. In fact, Russia deliberately did not invite them to talks. So I am not sure how it can be seen that Minsk 2 was somehow designed to save Ukraine's best units. Especially when the Minsk 2 agreement had no provisions for Debaltseve at all.

 

Does the Ukraine have an army left? Casualty figures are noway excessive, but if on the other hand the army is still in a kind of transition it may very well be that a lot of the good units have been spent by now. There seem to be also rumors about mutineers, servicemen simply not following the call to arms etc( again, not my opinion, just what i found in the medias)

Ukraine had less of an army, in all senses of the word, in August when Russia counter attacked to save the separatists from total defeat. They suffered more casualties at that point than anything since then, including Debaltseve. And yet they have only gotten better since then. So I think the reports of Ukraine's military falling apart (I know Der Spiegel just published something like that) are not accurate. Of course I could be totally wrong, but what I see doesn't indicate there is a collapse in the near future.

 

Strategy-wise, with exchange ratios like those achieved in the fighting, it could be a sound strategy bleeding the separatists white by fighting first then giving ground, especially if you have a bit room and manpower to trade. Looking at the map there is not so much of strategic interest in the near vicinity. Just dont let your people find out, they wont understand...

The Ukrainian strategy appears to be threefold:

1. Show Ukraine to be the nation that wants a peaceful settlement in order to denny Europeans an excuse to not act.

2. Show the world that Russia a) is waging war in Ukraine, b.) it has no interest in stopping, and c) there is nothing that Putin says or does that can be trusted.

3. Kill as many separatists and Russians as possible to cause problems for Russia's internal politics and finances. The intent is that the more Cargo 200 that goes back to Russia the harder it is for Russia to lie about what is going on to its own people. When they do figure out what is going on, despite Russian propaganda to the contrary, they hopefully are not going to be happy. Especially because wars cost a lot of money and Russia is about to plunge into a deep economic recession that is largely due to the war (i.e. petroleum prices are not, but sanctions, trade, and military spending are). Remember, this combination was largely responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union, so Ukraine's hope is that history can be repeated.

Of course this is a risky strategy, but it is the most practical. Ukraine is in a very bad economic situation itself and it requires aid from the West to function. This means having to agree to European terms when the Europeans insist.

 

The rails are pretty wrecked what i heard, so it may really be a phyrric victory for the rebels.

By the way, this also would probably be in the interest of Russia, weakened allies have no weight.

Short term it is a piece of ground with no real value. Long term it DPR/LPR requires it to stay connected. I think Russia would have preferred it remain intact, but it is true that all the wrecked infrastructure is going to cost someone a LOT of money to fix. Which is why I said that Russia absolutely does not want responsibility for Donbas. Yet they don't want Ukraine to have full control over it, just the expenses of supporting it.

 

So, whats next? Prorussian folks are feeling forward towards Mariupol, which is said to posses some strategic value as a porttown. Though if i had to decide, id go for Starobilsk. If its in my hand, pretty much all territory to the northeast of it is undefendable. And id start my attack with faking one that is as far away as possible and draw all the good units away.

The Novorussian types are fanatics, so they do not look at things from a practical point of view. If they did they would know that Mariupol is militarily outside of their grasp. Further, it is outside of Russia's grasp unless it makes a huge additional investment of forces. Not thousands or fives of thousands, but tens of thousands. Ukraine has enough forces in the area and Mariupol is large enough that anything less than that is bound to fail. And the thought of going all the way to Odessa is just, well, silly :D

 

Now, for the Ukraine, rebuild and upgrade forces, try to manipulate world opinion against russia( not sooo hard...) and transform this into money so i can build an army strong enough to be able to wipe the separatists from the board, one after the other.

Yes, that is apparently Ukraine's strategy.

As for Russia's strategy, I have yet to see one that makes any sense. It has been little more than a list of goals with very loose planning that so far hasn't worked. Which is why it is so hard to predict specific Russian actions.

Steve

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Steve, would you be willing to give an interview about your Ukrainian war expertise for any noticeable newspaper? Your insights are of incredible value. That might attract some flak but there are positive benefits too in it I suppose.  

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In the context of the Debaltseve discussion, I thought I'd share this, the first part of which evidently shows some of the retreat. The armored side of it looks thoroughly organized, but the UKR grunts look to be both agitated and motivated to leave. Wish there was more footage, but the main point of the video is discussing the overall military situation, what Putin's up to, implications for NATO and why it's time to arm Ukraine.

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/video/time-u-supply-ukraine-weapons-025450978.html

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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This article talks about signs the "separatists" are withdrawing heavy weapons (UKR armor's coming, but so is a trainload of newly arrived Russian tanks) from Debaltseve toward Donetsk. It places it squarely in the context of their having secured the planned objective.What I find of considerable interest is this:

 

A Reuters witness saw a 20-vehicle convoy of separatist military trucks with anti-aircraft missile systems and howitzers leaving Debaltseve in the direction of Donetsk.

 

At first, I thought the reference was to towed ZU-23s, but the explicit SAM reference makes it something else, but what?

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

 

P.S.

 

What are the default font and point size? I couldn't find a way to get back to them here.

Edited by John Kettler

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Steve, would you be willing to give an interview about your Ukrainian war expertise for any noticeable newspaper? Your insights are of incredible value. That might attract some flak but there are positive benefits too in it I suppose.

I am happy to piece together information that I find, but I do not think I have the credentials to be interviewed for anything. Unlike some who blabber all over the Internet, I understand the limitations of my observations. Though for sure I have more qualifications to comment on this than some of the people I've seen Russia Today use as "experts". One day I decided to fact check some of their "experts" and it was worse than I thought. I figured they were picking people who were on the fringe of their disciplines, but in fact they were just fringe! So I guess if Russia Today wants to interview me, at least I'd be improving the quality of their reporting :D

There are plenty of people that have more knowledge, more smarts, and more information at their fingertips. It annoys me that they aren't being interviewed. Or even consulted! Such is the state of the media these days :(

Steve

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BTW, I found a qualifying remark about the estimated forces on the separatist/Russian side of the Debaltseve battle. The 15,000-17,000 number I used was for the entire sector of front and that included more than Debaltseve. Unfortunately, I do not know how to correct for this. However, I think a good guess is probably in the range of 8,000-12,000.

The lower total force number for separatists/Russians side does two things:

1. it makes the force on force ratio change from a theoretical 6:1 down to something more like 4:1 max. I already adjusted it down to a more likely 3:1 ratio, with local areas being higher (as should be expected in an attack).

2. it proportionally increases the separatist/Russian losses as a percentage of force. I had estimated 20%, but now it would be more in the range of 37% (8,000 force size) to 25% (12,000 force size).

I doubt the average total casualties was in the 37% range, so that means either the force size was around 12,000 or the casualty estimate is too high. It is probably a combination of both, which means that perhaps the casualty % for the separatist/Russian force is still around 20% as previously estimated.

Based on the various reports I've seen over the last month or so, 20% "feels right". Not less, but probably not significantly more.

Another thing to add. DPR did state that of its forces 568 were POW and 1500 MIA. Who knows how accurate that number is, but it at least shows that the separatists are talking about casualty numbers in the same ballpark as the estimates from the Ukrainian side:

http://dnr-news.com/dnr/14470-kiev-uderzhivaet-580-plennyh-iz-dnr-esche-1500-chelovek-propali-bez-vesti-morozova.html

Steve

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Another note. I would rather this thread not turn into a "news feed". Which means I would rather not have people link to articles that aren't directly related to a specific discussion of the combat aspects of the Debaltseve battle or other combat activities. Generalized information about the war is out there in abundance for those who are interested.

Steve

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Steve,

 

If, and am not sure whether it's the case, your #159 was directed at me, I put up what I did because the first showed a snippet of the withdrawal and the second because I had a grog question about what was being described and it was in the context of the overall discussion ref Debaltseve. Your casualty numbers suggest a pretty expensive "separatist" victory there.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

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John,

What I want to avoid is a lot of links being posted to things which are fairly easily found. Links to a specific piece of information, such as the link I just added, is more appropriate because it is narrowly focused and not a source most people would find on their own. Videos of Ukrainian forces pulling out or arriving at friendly lines is the opposite.

The answer to your question about AA systems... at present the separatists/Russians have just about everything in the current Russian inventory. This includes their most advanced systems, such as Pantsir-S1. First anti-air missile systems started showing up back in at least July, perhaps June. Specifically at least a couple tracked 9K35 Strela-10 systems.

Steve

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Steve, you are way too modest and no, I hadn't RT in mind. :) I'll tell Huffpost journalist she will have bigger chances of getting you to speak if she ties more of her interview to CMBS. ;)

It would make for an interesting piece.

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Steve,

 

Understand regarding video I posted, but I'm a little confused about the second. Or maybe it's just poor description by eyewitnesses or reporter writing up their sightings? What threw me was that the quote specifically referred to trucks, theoretically ruling out the 9K35. But what I took to mean a towed weapon doesn't necessarily hold, for the Pantsir-S1 is truck mounted. Given the scarcity of such systems, it's remarkable the "separatists" would be provided such a telltale weapon, whose primary purpose is to protect the S300PMU on up from HARM and such. Maybe the Russians are expecting separatist Buk M1 ACQ Radar and TELARS to be attacked? Is either the S-300 or S-400 weapons system in Ukraine? Either/both would make perfect sense to justify deploying Pantsir-S1.

 

But a more interesting possibility would be protecting Iskander M! I just through looking at a fascinating video shot in occupied Crimea. A guy heard the police clearing the road for a Russian convoy and from his upper floor apartment got Hi-Res video of a remarkable Russian force on the move. It had Tigr escorts,1 x towed T-12M, trucks with troops (gun crews) and without, a Msta (I think) under tow, 2 x Iskander M, 1 x probable command vehicle with directional comm mast and flat plate antenna and 2 x SA-8b TELAR. If the Pantsir-S1 is in Eastern Ukraine, then to my mind, either Iskander M may already be there somewhere or is expected. According to this article, Iskander M may be a key part of any Russian effort to wreck Ukraine's national air defense system, also S-300 based. Unless there's been a change (was true for both SS-21 and SS-23), the CBU warhead for Iskander M is probably going to be hundreds of Grad warheads. Devastating to the vital radars involved. Iskander M is apparently expected to do what Russian aerial SEAD isn't really equipped to do itself.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler 

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John,

You are simply reading a general, anecdotal quote as something that absolutely it should not be taken for. In short, you are asking questions that need not be asked and looking for answers where there are none.

Again, please do not try to steer this conversation away from its primary topic. Discussing Crimea and what Russia has moved into it is not on topic. Unless Russia decides to go for a full CMBS style war in Ukraine this front is totally irrelevant to the war that is currently being fought.

Steve

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Steve, you are way too modest and no, I hadn't RT in mind. :) I'll tell Huffpost journalist she will have bigger chances of getting you to speak if she ties more of her interview to CMBS. ;)

It would make for an interesting piece.

Heh... probably, but even though I think I could improve the quality and perspective of mainstream media reports, there are others who could do a better job and have the sorts of credentials that should back up a media report. Though I agree with you that it's a sad statement that the media is in such a state that a game developer with a simple degree in history could possibly improve the accuracy and relevance of the reporting out there.

Steve

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OK, here's another missive for discussion. The following is an article posted by Tymchuk about Briukov's assessment of the battles for Debaltseve and the airport, with obvious support from Tymchuk:

http://inforesist.org/smi-poteri-texniki-vsu-za-2014-god/

(Note: For those of you who don't know, Tymchuk is ex-military and a generally reliable source for both information and criticism of military and political decision making and execution of decisions. Briukov was one of the first activists to help support the war effort through collection and delivery of supplies/equipment to Ukrainian volunteers and soldiers fighting against the separatists. He has a lot of contacts and is generally a huge critic of the Ukrainian leadership. His information tends to be decently accurate on the whole, but sometimes wildly inaccurate in specific circumstances. That is the problem when sources are pretty much first, second, and third hand low level fighters)

Now to my missive :D

I do not agree with one of the two main points. The point about "a few more battles like this and we'll have no vehicles left" is a fair one. However, saying that Debaltseve is comparable to Ilovaisk in terms of net results is way off the mark. There is no question, at all, that Ilovaisk was a disaster because of three factors:

1. Major losses of both equipment and personnel for Ukraine

2. Major losses of territory, including portions that are of strategic importance to Ukraine's war effort (i.e. the border with Russia)

3. Minor losses of equipment and personnel for Russia and the separatists

In Debaltseve the opposite is the case for points 2 and 3. Separatist and Russian losses in the Debaltseve and airport battles were very large indeed. For point 2, Ukraine lost no territory that was of major significance to the war effort, and the territory lost was quite small. In fact, straightening out the front is beneficial to Ukraine. Further, advocating a pull back a while ago would have amounted to the same thing, so obviously even those who agree with Tymchuk's report do not consider the loss of the Debaltseve and airport terrain itself important.

So that leaves us with point 1. This is more difficult to assess. Were the losses at Debaltseve and the airport overall an acceptable exchange for the damage caused to the separatist and Russian forces, or more generally to the Russian war effort on the world stage? This is not easily arrived at. However, my inclination is to say a qualified "yes".

I think Ukraine could have done a better job supporting the Debaltseve salient earlier in January. While it is true that Ukraine arrested, and severely punished, the attempts to cut it off at the neck, there really needed to be a serious counter attack to widen the path to Debaltseve. Militarily the position was not viable for several weeks and the amount of pain being inflicted on the separatist/Russian forces should not have been the reason for staying put. In other words, the path should have been improved or there should have been a withdrawal sooner. This is in agreement with the article's point about poor thinking regarding the logistics side of the force in the salient. If their equipment can't be kept operational, then collapse is inevitable.

A week or so before the withdrawal someone asked me why the separatists/Russians had switched to attacking Debaltseve directly instead of cutting it off at the neck. I said that it appeared to be because they found the going too tough at the neck because of tight terrain and very good Ukrainian artillery. Neither situation existed down at the other end and so it presented the better opportunity for success. And clearly that was the case.

To me the obvious plan was to keep the neck sufficiently constricted so as to weaken the Debaltseve force as it was directly assaulted. Over time the frontal attacks would sap the Ukrainians of ammo and functional equipment. Eventually there would come a tipping point and they would slaughter the Ukrainian forces as they retreated. That part did not happen and so the separatist/Russians were left with a fairly poor net result IMHO.

Ukraine would be well advised to move to a more proactive war of mobility instead of these fixed battles. As much as they have helped Ukraine kill off a large number of the enemy, it's not going to win the war. But I do understand that Ukraine's best chance for success in a war of mobility is as it was back in July. And that is to hit the line pretty much everywhere concurrently. There is no way for the separatists alone to resist such an attack and the net result will have to be another major commitment of Russian forces. This time, however, Ukraine should be on guard for that better than it did before.

Steve

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Here is a video showing what seems to be Rebels shooting at a passing vehicle of some sort. I guess at least part of the retreat was not so orderly performed. As mentioned in a previous thread retreating when in contact is not an easy task to perform properly.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVARL4JKZtc&feature=player_detailpage#t=506

 

Another one I found that claims to be Rebels cleaning an industrial area. Look at the autoloader when it spits out the casing. Also bunching up behind a tank doesn't seem to be that good of an idea.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK7ewCuIB4s

Edited by Tank Hunter

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Heh... probably, but even though I think I could improve the quality and perspective of mainstream media reports, there are others who could do a better job and have the sorts of credentials that should back up a media report. Though I agree with you that it's a sad statement that the media is in such a state that a game developer with a simple degree in history could possibly improve the accuracy and relevance of the reporting out there.

Steve

Yp, credentials might be an issue but then again predicted Syria and Ukraine flashpoints give you lots of interesting credit. Of course there are "other" better credentialed people out there but not many have given such insights as you have, have they? Besides, your time that was/is invest into following this conflict is nothing to scuff about. 

 

Anyways, I brought it up 'cos it could be realized. Am dropping it now 'cos it's offtopic here.   

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My major disappointment with media coverage, overall, is they have been really reluctant to bring in military experts who have examined the fighting itself. Instead, they have gone for the easy stories about how this or that place was or wasn't taken. As anybody can see from my postings here, this sort of reporting is a source of information to use for analysis by people who know what to do with that information. The reporting is not itself an analysis. Which is why they SHOULD be brining in people who offer that sort of perspective.

Unfortunately, the poor quality of the reporting lets unqualified people draw their own conclusions, often aided by the tone of the reporting.

Steve

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In way of an update, the separatists (true to their word) are showing they were serious when they said they didn't care about the ceasefire. They are shelling Ukrainian positions daily pretty much across the whole front.

While this is going on there are major redeployments and resupplying going on within the DPR territory in particular. This includes convoys from Russia as well as another trainload of munitions being offloaded in Ilovaisk.

The two suspected battlefields in the coming days/weeks are Avdiivka and Shyrokyne. Quick recent background on each:

Avdiivka is a key location as it offers Ukraine the ability to interdict the road network between Donetsk city and Horlivka. It also allows Ukraine a way to keep the recently seized airport from ever being used. As part of the offensive to seize the airport, separatists/Russians forces launched a series of attacks to seize Avdiivka. The offensive failed miserably and resulted in a large number of casualties for the separatist side for no gains. In particular one group was caught out in the open and was torn apart by artillery fire (the pictures were not pretty). The operations were effectively ended as a result.

Shyrokyne is on the coast of the Sea of Azov and was seized by separatist/Russians who invaded from Russian territory during the August counter offensive. It put the invasion force within artillery range of Mariupol and was the forward most position for the separatist/Russian base of operations at Novoazovsk (seized by separatists/Russians). After the January 24th shelling of residential neighborhoods in Mariupol by Russian artillery (killing over 30 civilians), Ukraine launched a limited counter offensive on February 10th to push back the line far enough to protect Mariupol from further attacks. It retook Shyrokyne and a number of less important villages to the north and west. This appears to have been the extent of the objectives set for the force. Since then there was at least one concerted counter attack operation which, after initial limited success, was defeated.

I mention these two places because the mainstream media has published almost nothing about either. Especially the Shyrokyne operation, which should have gained as much or more attention than the airport battle.

Steve

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Here is a video showing what seems to be Rebels shooting at a passing vehicle of some sort. I guess at least part of the retreat was not so orderly performed. As mentioned in a previous thread retreating when in contact is not an easy task to perform properly.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVARL4JKZtc&feature=player_detailpage#t=506

 

Another one I found that claims to be Rebels cleaning an industrial area. Look at the autoloader when it spits out the casing. Also bunching up behind a tank doesn't seem to be that good of an idea.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK7ewCuIB4s

 

Saw both these videos a while back myself.  My own perception regarding some of these pro-separatists videos is that those forces are really not that well trained.  Seem very sloppy in their execution.  Some battle or more specifically shooting scenes I perceived to be staged.  Regarding your second video, I kept asking myself "what happens if that tank needs to back up quickly?"

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Well this might not end well. Cameron mentioned something earlier about 'upping the ante'.

 

The Prime Minister has announced today that the UK will provide further non-lethal support to Ukraine by sending advisory and short-term training teams to build the capacity and resilience of its Armed Forces.

 

As part of wider efforts to support Ukraine and ensure a robust international response to Russia’s aggression, the teams will provide medical, logistics, infantry and intelligence capacity building training from mid March.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-announces-package-of-non-lethal-support-to-ukraine

 

I believe a total of 700 troops from the UK & US are going to train the Ukrainians.

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Saw both these videos a while back myself.  My own perception regarding some of these pro-separatists videos is that those forces are really not that well trained.  

 

+1.

 

During the last summer watched some "combat footage", which seemed to be more insane and wreckeless shooting with 180 degree sector. Somebody might call it firesupport or harassing fire, but for me it looks like stupid and unnecessary waste of precious ammonition, ordnance and other material. It's insane to see how the Separatists shoot blindly and literally "from the hip" VOGs all around. If I'd be their platoon or squad leader, I would not allow in circumstances such waste of any ordanance, but to save it to the critical situation where firepower is vitally needed. 

 

Anyway, in one video I noticed something which resembles quite low level of training among the separatists. There was a RPK gunner with very thich bandages in his left, supporting hand. The guy was practically unable to support the the gun and changing the magazine was very, very slow. 

 

If SAW provides about 30% to 50% from the firepower of the squad, this kind of wounded SAW gunner risks the firepower and combat effectiveness of the whole squad if he's unable to handle his weapon effectively. The SAW gunner lacks the reasonability to realize that he's unable to fight with such wounds and the squad leader (if one even exists) shows his incompetence that he allows the SAW gunner to continue in his vital role with such wounds while the gunner is obviousley unable to fight effectively.  

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