By Roman Burko
Fierce Fighting over the Weekend for Control of the H21 Highway
Over the past day ATO forces conducted simultaneous attacks in many different directions. The dynamics of the events is extreme, so this report will not include all actions. However, a focus on the actions affecting the H21 highway is necessary. This highway is the only major road that connects Donetsk with the Russian Federation, and the loss of this highway would spell the defeat of Girkin’s group.
The fierce fighting for the control over Ilovaisk has continued, and the town has been changing hands. The ATO forces entered the southern outskirts of Shakhtarsk. Fighting also continues in Molodetsk (a few kilometers south of Shakhtarsk), and, if the operation can be completed successfully, the terrorists will face the threat of a new siege of Torez and Snizhne. It is possible for the terrorists in Shakhtarsk to get reinforcements from the direction of Yenakijeve via Zhdanivka.
The fierce fighting over Krasnyi Luch is also continuing.
If the control over H21 is completely lost to Girkin, there is a higher likelihood of a terrorist thrust from Donetsk in a south-easterly direction towards Starobesheve and the border. Increased activities of terrorists were observed in the southern outskirts of the city close to the Donetsk bypass road split in the direction of Mariupol. It was noted that a new DPR checkpoint has appeared in one of the settlements on the road connecting Donetsk and Novoazovsk.
In Donetsk itself the militants forces have been moving towards Makiivka. There are two possibilities for the terrorists’ actions: gathering forces for a counter strike if the ATO forces start to advance on Yenakijeve, or preparations for a breakthrough towards Shakhtarsk in order to try regain control over the H21 highway.
Horlikva Under Increasing Pressure from ATO
In the area of Horlivka the ATO forces have continued their advance from the south-west, and as a result of a night time battle the terrorists have had to change their deployment positions. According to some reports the terrorists have moved into the building of a clothing factory in the town.
We can observe the situation where some of the terrorists are intending to leave the town, relocating to Yenakijeve and further on to Makiivka. Other forces are however remaining in fortified locations, including the mercury plant, which is constantly shelled by the ATO forces. The ATO forces continue to maneuver in order to establish the siege of Horlivka.
Update on the Situation in the Luhansk Region
Over the past day another equipment deployment towards Sverdlovsk was observed in Krasnodon. From there, it could be moved further in the direction of Antratsyt. According to the locals, a column of several tanks moved today in broad day light through Krasnodon. One of the tanks even caused a road accident, colliding with a trolley bus, killing the driver as a result. The accident took place in the center of the town not far from the unfinished cinema building.
The squeezing of terrorists from Luhansk in the southbound direction continues, however this fact is complicated by the constant arrival of militants and armed vehicles from the direction of Krasnodon as we mentioned earlier.
For over a month now we have been repeating over and over that regular deployments of armed vehicles and troops to support terrorists have been moving via Krasnodon and Sukhodolsk. The problem has still not been resolved… no comments…
Girkin’s announcement that, if the invasion of Russian Army into Ukraine doesn’t happen, he is going to retreat from the town of Antratsyt, could be considered as a bluff or just a game for diversion. The South-Eastern direction of Antratsyt represents a network of water obstacles and woodlands that may allow Girkin to hold the town for quite a while, executing counter strikes south-west towards the areas of Yesaulovka and Nyzhniy Nagolchik, as happened last night. That is why the ATO advance from the south-west has not been successful so far.
According to information received, the terrorists are gradually leaving Pervomaisk and pulling back to the previously prepared positions in Staknanovo and Irmino. These localities are being converted into powerful fortified areas.
In terms of other actions, we will omit the information regarding the unfinished ATO maneuvers and strikes so as not to reveal the operational plan. These actions will be reported later.
War is a delicate matter… Ares’ sword is in the hands of Ukrainians. Glory to the Nation! Death to the enemies and Glory to Ukraine!
Source: Burkonews.info, translators: Roman Vlasof and Max Alginin