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kinophile

Battle of Debaltseve - article

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"Nine kilometers north of Debaltseve, near the village of Sanzharivka, height 307.5 likewise played a crucial role in covering the M3 approach, this time from the north. Manning strong point “Valera” on top of the hill, was a platoon belonging to 15th battalion of the 128th brigade. Equipped with just two BMP-2s, a few heavy machine guns and several types of grenade launchers, they were reinforced with a single T-64 tank, belonging to the 17th brigade. Its ammunition seized from a separatists T-64 that was taken out in front of the position the day before.[46] On January 25, the first in a series of attacks was launched against the strong point, when up to five separatist tanks assaulted the position, accompanied by, possibly Wagner, mercenary infantry.[47]The defenders of Valera were able to repel the attack, destroying four out of five tanks in close combat and thereby preventing the separatist completing the encirclement from the north."                           

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"Violent clashes between Ukrainian and Russian tanks occurred, with Ukrainian reconnaissance units even managing to penetrate into the center of the town.[56] Although ultimately the attack failed in recapturing the village, the rapid Ukrainian counterattacks, in close cooperation with artillery, did enable them to block any further separatist advance in the direction of Debaltseve. "

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“Cyborgs,” as the Russians came to call the Ukrainian defenders when referring to their perseverance and bravery"

OMG. It's self-claimed nickname, of course. As Russian proverb says, if you don't compliment yourself, nobody compliments you.

 

Edited by DMS

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13 hours ago, kinophile said:

when up to five separatist tanks assaulted the position, accompanied by, possibly Wagner, mercenary infantry.

No, that was tank battalion "Avgust", which also mostly consisted of Russians. Tank breakthrow had to support cossack company of 6th regiment, but they had low motivation and after several close hits of UKR shells rejected to attack.

Wagner's convoy was badly beaten three days after near neighbor VOP "Serhiy" in 4 km to the north from VOP "Valera" (in the article mistakingly pointed that Wagner was defeated also by "Valera" garrison, but this is mistake of the source). Also 21st of Jan first attack on VOP "Oleksiy" was repelled. These three failed attempts forced the enemy to reject from the plans to cut off UKR group in Myronivske-Svitlodarsk line and shift own main efforts on other flank to Vuhlehirsk (rus. Uglegorsk). By unknown reasons official UKR version of battle recognizes the start of Debaltsevo battle from the moment of assault of Vuhlehirsk, cutting off all successful defensive clashes 21-28 Jan.  Maybe because this version is profitable to our political establishment, which was explaining the loss of the city by total superiority of the enemy. Of course, examples of battles on eastern flank, when platoon-sized strongpoints were successfully repelling much stronger enemy attacks don't fit in this conception.

Good article, but I'm again wonder how some western researchers write about some facts and even give the links on the sources, but if we open that sources, we will not see anything about it. I'm about this

Quote

The village of Svetlodarsk, situated about 15 kilometers north-west of Debaltseve, was temporarily occupied by units belonging to the Horlivka group on January 24, threatening the M3 highway, serving as the logistical supply line from Artemivsk towards Debaltseve, that was soon dubbed “the road of life.”[43] A Ukrainian counter-attack, however, managed to recapture the village [44].

Svitlodarks was never captured. The enemy only shelled it two times 24th and 27th Jan. The source 43 says nothing about this, source 44 says "In fierce fighting on 23-24 January the enemy managed to seize the villages of Troitskoye and Svetlodarsk, posing a threat to the M-103 highway. Obviously, the goal was to completely surround the Debaltsevo group and take the road. However, the Ukrainian command was prepared for such enemy actions. A timely counterattack by Ukrainian armour allowed the Ukrainians to drive the enemy from Troitskoye and establish a reliable foothold there. Simultaneously the enemy was ejected from Svetlodarsk". I suppose the author was confused by unappropriate translation "ejected from Svitlodarsk". It means the threat was driven off the town vicinity (why village?), but not "enemy was expelled from the town itself". This is about enemy attemts to trumple our defense on our eastrn flank since 21th Jan.

Quote

"Violent clashes between Ukrainian and Russian tanks occurred, with Ukrainian reconnaissance units even managing to penetrate into the center of the town.[56] Although ultimately the attack failed in recapturing the village, the rapid Ukrainian counterattacks, in close cooperation with artillery, did enable them to block any further separatist advance in the direction of Debaltseve. "

Again incorrect. There weren't "violent tank clashes", though yes, the usage oh armored vehicles in this battle was large. Enemy lost most of own armor on AT-mines, and could hit some UKR armor with tank guns and further with ATGMs, during UKR assault attempt, but that all had the "surprise!" characther, not controlled action. The company of 13th mot.inf battalion with tank and AT support, defended the Vuhlehirsk had the bad commander with CM COMMAND/MORAL level maybe -2, they also had not so good training and low than average motivation, more - after the assault started, commander left the battlefield. MT-12 crews of support even didn't stand to the guns. 9P149 Shturm-S reacted too late, when enemy already was in the town, so one was shoot out directly in the center of the town, when it drove to the own position, other either was abandoned by crew and destroyed or captured by the enemy, I can't сall to remind now 

Edited by Haiduk

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Thanks @Haiduk

This is one of the more "accurate" (?) or at least more detailed, Western accounts that I've seen publicly, but as you note there are discrepancies in timeline and particular events. 

Do you have a link to that official UKR account?

Edited by kinophile

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16 minutes ago, kinophile said:

Thanks @Haiduk

This is one of the more "accurate" (?) or at least more detailed, Western accounts that I've seen publicly. 

Do you have a link to that official UKR account?

The author used mainly sources for 2015 -2016 years, which were writen by "hot pursiut" and many information in that time was on the level of rumors, distortet or inaccurate. Also as I see "spoiled radio" effect, alas. I will point errors later. 

There is official Report of General Staff about Debaltsevo in Ukrainian. Enough detailed, useful, but biased according to political position - as I told almost no one word about eastern flank fights, also all guilt for Debaltsevo loss they put on 40th battalion, not on stupid decisions of Sector C HQ like to take away garrison of Lohvynove etc. True picture is possible to see by several articles (the author pointed some of them) of artillery spotter officer of 25th battalion with codename ArtyGreen and very detailed articles about battles (on tactical level) by Dmytro Putiata, but all this in UKR/RUS only. This is huge part of work to translate it, alas.

Edited by Haiduk

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10 hours ago, Haiduk said:

True picture is possible to see by several articles (the author pointed some of them) of artillery spotter officer of 25th battalion with codename ArtyGreen and very detailed articles about battles (on tactical level) by Dmytro Putiata, but all this in UKR/RUS only. This is huge part of work to translate it, alas.

I'd be game to attempt that. I've some good friends who speak Ukrainian, here in Toronto.

Do you have a list of those articles you consider good sources/coverage? 

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