Frontline update: UAF changes routine, “working against the clock” to prepare new offensive

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November 11, 2015 – 

Novorossia – 

Translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski 

“Update on the military situation in Donetsk from war-correspondent ‘Mag'”

The General Staff of the UAF is in a hurry as actions throughout their territories show. Usually, shelling and combat operations increase before the weekend, but the schedule has noticeably begun to change over the last two weeks. Just a week ago, they didn’t stray from the plan so much and shelling and attacks lasted from Friday evening until early Monday morning. [But now things are changing…]

Yesterday, November 9, and today, November 10, punitive forces shelled Donetsk and surrounding villages the entire night. In the morning, shelling was resumed for a few hours into the day. In the center of the capital of the DPR, nothing can be heard. Peaceful life is blossoming there. But on the outskirts, it is as if the war never stopped.

Some officials say that the Nazi battalions beyond Kiev’s control are the ones shelling. This is complete nonsense. First of all, the Nazi battalions haven’t had any heavy weapons, and either way [Kiev] has been afraid to issue them any. Kiev offered them to join the structure of the UAF or the Ministry of Internal Affairs so that they could obtain tanks and artillery. Those who went really received equipment and artillery. But we’re talking about those who aren’t submitting to the leadership of the UAF or the MIF. 

Now, shelling isn’t coming from one sector of the front with 1-2 mines and shells. Now they’re starting to fire more often from all parts of the front simultaneously for 5-6 minutes. 

I have a question. Are the “battalions disobeying Kiev” not behaving in an orderly manner? After last week, the NAF gave a short response in Peski district, and two Mi-8 helicopters urgently flew in but were intercepted by radio 15 300’s. This never happened before. Usually, between 7 – 10 in Peski and Krasnoarmeysk and so on, the wounded are taken out in UAZ’s. But two transport helicopters immediately flew in. These are some strange disobedient battalions…

Yesterday, after bombarding us with mines, a firefight ensued, and then the Ukrainians showered us with mines until the morning. The official authorities of the DPR counted around 120 mines that landed on the territory of Donetsk and surrounding towns. At approximately 6:40, there was a pair of loud bangs and residents weren’t sure if Grad’s were being fired again. During the day, it was quiet or, at least, no shelling was heard. But during the evening, action came at 17:45 when the Ukrainians started to shell the fields around the airport and Spartak with mines. After an hour, mines were launched at the main streets and the outskirts of Veseloe and the western outskirts of Zhabunki.

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Simultaneously, the Ukrainians fired at the hillock where militia are positioned near the Yasinovatsky fork. Frankly speaking, it wasn’t clear why they shelled the fields, the streets, and Zhabunki, as the settlement is in the neutral zone and only reconnaissance and sabotage groups from both sides drop go there and leave presents in the form of mines for each other. We’re used to mines and shells flying far behind the backs of the militia on peaceful neighborhoods. But here there isn’t even a front, and it’s even 300m to 1 km away from positions.

Maybe they were trying to defuse the mines in this way?

Later, militia positions were subjected to fire. Afterwards, shooting began. Not even firefights. The Nazi’s guns are firing, but ours are silent. Automatic grenade launchers and secondary guns were firing, but ours were silent, and the Ukrainians are beginning to fire fragmentation rounds and grenade launchers. We give a short burst, and then a Ukrainian tank rolls up and tries to shut up our shooter. And this lasts a few hours…

At approximately 19:00, I heard the roar of an aircraft, but the sound resembled a turboprop and not a jet. It flew to the north-east of Donetsk. In fact, many passers-by raised their heads and began to talk, and a Donetsk resident on the third floor event went to the balcony, and he also heard a rumble in the sky. For a while I’ve lived near the railway and in peacetime we used to hear incoming, landing aircraft. The dispatcher would send them for a second round over our neighborhoods before landing. The sound was very similar. I don’t know if it was intelligence or if they were jamming our communications. At approximately 21:00, I heard a bang in the sky, and it was said that our air defenses fired. But not much can be seen with such low cloud cover.

Simultaneously, they shelled Donetsk and around Gorlovka, and there was fighting to the South of the DPR in Granitnoe district where the Viking battalion is positioned. The Ukrainians at first started to attack Viking positions from the north-west and after an hour the Ukrainians tried to shell and attack from the south-west. The result for the Ukrainians was the same as always. 

There were also fights in Krasny Partizan district and later in the night in Zhovanka district.

I can tell anyone who is scared of an offensive that it’s raining now and this is forecasted to continue all week. Therefore, running through fields in the mud and trying to move equipment is very problematic. Therefore, although the Ukrainians are hurrying to meet deadlines, weather is dictating conditions. They will have to wait for the frost. I wish all my readers patience and good health! 

Note from J. Arnoldski: What war correspondent “Mag” describes appears to indicate efforts on the part of the UAF to clear existing mine fields with shelling and the dropping of new mines (intended to detonate the old ones?) in order to clear the way for forward movements. While doing so, the UAF appears to be increasing aircraft reconnaissance and distracting DPR militia with petty firefights and increased shelling at times different from the normal “schedule.”  This can’t be attributed to “uncontrollable” Nazi volunteer battalions, in Mag’s view, as they don’t have access to the artillery, the equipment necessary for conducting such preparatory operations, or the aircraft recently observed quickly retrieving wounded and flying around Donetsk. According to Mag, the UAF is attempting to prepare an advance before the snow and frost appear, but heavy rain is rendering any equipment and troop movements problematic anyway. All of this seems to accord with “deadlines” from the General Staff of the UAF for securing forward positions in preparation for a future offensive. In Mag’s opinion, however, an offensive shouldn’t be expected any time soon on account of weather conditions, and once again the UAF is merely “working against the clock” and trying to provoke NAF forces…unsuccessfully as always. 

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