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    February 17, 2015

    Ukrainian soldiers ordered to break out "on their own"




    Junta troops taken prisoner at Debaltsevo

    Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

    Fighting around Debaltsevo escalated during the second half of the day, according to DPR. “The situation has grown more complex. The level of shelling from the outside of the cauldron has increased. UAF moved against Logvinovo to break a corridor into Debaltsevo,” DPR Ministry of Defense representative Eduard Basurin announced on Tuesday.

    He added that DPR forces do not respond to provocations but resist enemy offensive actions. According to Basurin, the militia had established contact with the Ukrainian military and are holding the first meeting of the Joint Control and Coordination Center.

    Apart from that, the mothers of Ukrainian soldiers surrounded in Debaltsevo say that troops there received orders to abandon their defensive positions and equipment and attempt to exit the encirclement in small groups. They say command and control has been completely lost, which means the soldiers are on their own. This became known to several mothers who established telephone contact with their sons. On February 17th the relatives of the soldiers are holding a spontaneous meeting at the Ministry of Defense in Kiev.

    J.Hawk’s Comment:

    So it’s clear that the Debaltsevo cauldron is crumbling, it’s only a question of how many Ukrainian soldiers will manage to exit it. Some no doubt will, but others will become prisoners--there are reports that some 300 junta troops surrendered in Debaltsevo alone so far. But whatever equipment they brought with them to Debaltsevo is going to fall into the hands of Novorossia’s army.



    These were the best units the Ukrainian army had. Let’s not forget the “fourth wave of mobilization” had only just begun, so the forces at Debaltsevo were the remnants of the regular, pre-civil war Ukrainian military or the survivors of the campaigns of 2014.  For all the problems with the most recent wave of mobilization, the Kiev junta can count on a trickle of replacements. But the heavy equipment is for all intents and purposes irreplaceable.  Once these tanks, BMPs, artillery are gone, they are gone for good, and it would take a long time to bring the Ukrainian military back to the state it was in only two months ago.
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