There has been several Strelkov posts today, but this one pretty much repeats most of their contents. Further, for my dear readers, Strelkov now has an official web presence, over at iCorpus.ru. All further Strelkov SITREP posts will be linking to that.
During the night 18-19 June the opponent has redeployed a large quantity of forces from the area of Dolgenkoe, where his base and camp are, towards the area of Krasny Liman. In total up over 130 units of various military vehicles, including about 20 tanks and 40 BMDs, BMPs, and BTRs. The militia’s sabotage team managed to disable one of the column’s BTRs. During the night, the militia had fired on the opponent’s base camp in the “Kombikormovy” area.
Early morning, 19.06.2014, the opponent, using two SU-25 aircraft, a battalion of self-propelled howitzers, a Grad MLRS battery and several mortar batteries, carried out a massed tank and motorized infantry strikes on the positions of the Krasny Liman militia unit around Yampol. The first attack was deflected, and one of the opponent’s tanks damaged. Around 11:00 the opponent renewed his attack and, despite casualties, breached the front. During combat, the opponent lost four BMDs and a large quantity of manpower, however he has managed, utilizing his collossal firepower advantage, to capture the villages of Yampol, Zakhotnoe, and the bridge across Seversky Donetz river. The Krasny Liman unit lost vast amounts of personnel and weapons and was dispersed. The Slaviansk unit that arrived to reinforce it was also unable to stop the superior enemy force, however engaged him in unequal combat in the village of Krivaya Luka.
As of 18:00 combat was still ongoing, militiamen are attempting to fight through the opponent’s positions to Slaviansk.
Simultaneously wit the attack on Yampol, large tank and motorized infantry forces have attaqcked Seversk, where they are engaged in combat with units subordinated to Alexei Mozgovoy (the Lisichansk Battalion). Combat is ongoing as of this writing.
Attempting to aid the units fighting up North, the Kramatorsk militia company has attacked the opponent’s positions around Markov (East of Kramatorsk.) During fighting for the roadblock they managed to damage a BMP and a BTR. A militiamen received a light wound. On the positions around Slaviansk and Semenovka there has been no change.
Early morning the militia has fired mortars at Mt. Karachun and the opponent’s position in Vostochny. In return the opponent used a tank to shell Semenovka, and at 18:00 shelled central Slaviansk with howitzers. A lot of damage has been sustained by buildings in the city.
We must therefore state that the Ukrainian military has carried out Poroshenko’s orders to finally encircle Slaviansk. Despite the valour and tenacity of the militiamen, they are incapable to hold off massed tank, aviation, and artillery blows in open terrain from an enemy that also vastly outnumber them in personnel. The militia and people of the Donezk People’s Republic call on the leadership of the Russian Federation to immediately aid Novorossia, in order to prevent a further genocide of the Russian population.
With the SITREP online, I’d like to add a few words of my own.
From the start of this conflict, the rebels have decided to avoid guerilla warfare, and the usual tactics of guerillas/terrorists – we have only very rarely seen acts of sabotage, very few attacks outside Donezk and Lugansk Oblast, and less than one mine or IED attack a day. The rebels instead of this attempted to form a regular military, fortifying and holding urban areas, and attempting to hold terrain.
This has worked relatively well for them, because despite its vast quantitative advantage, the Ukrainian military has failed to make use of this advantage due to the quality of its troops – both enlisted men and regular command – being substandard. We have seen defections, mutinies, enormous tactical failures (evident during the attack at Volnovakha, and during the recent Il-76 shoot-down). We have seen vehicles captured by the rebels (how on heaven’s green earth do you let a tank be captured?). Further, the Ukrainian command has been unwilling to utilize its full force in urban areas.
Eventually however something has to give I am loathe to say ‘beginning of the end’ yet, but it is possible Slaviansk will be taken in the coming few days. Slaviansk is important to the rebel effort in several ways:
1. It is important symbolically. Both due to its name and because of how charismatic Strelkov is – you have come here for the Strelkov SITREP - and because of how long it has already been standing, it is the site now of a Russian Alamo of sorts.
2. It is a transport hub for the entire Donbass region. With control of Slaviansk, the Ukrainians will have a freedom of maneuver along the main highways of the region.
3. Finaly, the entire Slaviansk sieging force – 15-20,000 strong, perhaps half or more of the Ukrainian force in East Ukraine – will be free to maneuver in the region, striking perhaps Lugansk or Donezk or wherever it likes.
However, the rebels can still turn it around. Gubarev and others have stated on social networks that the rebels now possess a “large quantity of tanks”. Possibly an offensive maneuver of these tanks (recapturing Donezk airport, or lifting the Slaviansk siege) or a series of sabotage attacks in Central and Western Ukraine, could damage Ukrainian morale and disrupt the Ukrainian offensive effort.