The Flow of Russian Reinforcements and ‘Aid’ Continues
According to the National Security Council, the Ukranian Armed Forces “by means of the fast diplomatic measures” prevented a Russian attempt to send troops across the border under the guise of a humanitarian mission of the Red Cross. Where, and in what form, such an attempt was carried out, and how many people were involved in it, we couldn’t find out. But while diplomats prevent the invasion of the Russian ‘peacekeeping’ column, the invasion continues in full swing in the form of transfer of additional forces and columns with weaponry travelling through the villages of Velykyi Sukhodil, Sievernyi, and Popivka. From there the columns of reinforcements pass through the towns of Sukhodolsk and Krasnodon.
Over the past 24 hours it was reported that another convoy of several armored vehicles went from Sukhodolsk to Luhansk. According to our data, which is slightly different from the official report, the highway M04 between Krasnodon and Luhansk is still not liberated. So it is still too early to speak about the complete surrounding of Luhansk.
It is noteworthy that the transfer of terrorist forces mostly takes place at night for reasons of stealth, and to make photo and video fixation difficult. Unfortunately cases of firing on civilians by the terrorists are increasing in these areas. But since these actions can no longer be attributed to the “punitive operations of junta” (due to these areas being far from ATO forces), the terrorist’s intentions appear to be forcing panic among civilians, rather than conducting ideological indoctrination.
Besides the border shelling, the Russian forces continue to explore the Ukrainian positions near the border areas using UAVs. According to the Border Guard Service the use of Russian UAV was detected in the areas of departments “Henichesk”, “Berdiansk” and “Kyrylivka” . These UAVs were gathering intelligence from the side of the Azov Sea and moved along the coastline. These unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down by Ukrainian forces.
Also a Russian UAV was detected in the port area of Mariupol and at the site of a Border Guard Service “Krasnyi Chaban.” In that area the UAV were performing flights from the administrative border with the Crimea. It is no secret that the most powerful group of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is concentrated on the outskirts of occupied Crimea. Kremlin appointees on Crimea are in constant tension and expect that Ukrainian forces will try to liberate the territory occupied by Russia after the liberation of Donbas. Perhaps at this stage their fears are somewhat exaggerated, but not unfounded, as the territorial defence battalion Crimea has already been created.
The battle over Krasnyi Luch and the Southern Border
Speaking of the columns of reinforcement, it is worth noting that the preliminary concentration point of their forces is Antratsyt and Rovenky. Over the past period the details became known concerning the retreat of the ATO forces from the area and Dolzhansk and Chervonopartizansk. Attacks by militants on our forces took place from Antratsyt in the direction of Yesaulovka – Nyzhniy Nagolchyk – Diakovo. Given the concentration of terrorist forces in Antratsyt, the retreat of ATO forces from this area was predictable. At the same time, ATO launched an offensive on Antratsyt, so the probability of counter-attack in the rear of a group of troops in Miusynsk slightly decreased. Let us note that the release of Miusynsk can only be considered successful if the group of troops leading the offensive on Krasnyi Luch from the north-west (through Faschevka on the M03/E50) liberates it and connects with the Ukrainian forces in Miusynsk. Only in this case, two tactical groups of our forces will surround Donetsk militant groups. Judging by the fact that the ATO forces were able to take the settlements Vahruscheve and Kryshtalevyi, the surrounding of the terrorists is near.
There are reports that, to the west of Krasnyi Luch, Torez is also being turned into a fortified zone.
The Battle to Surround Donetsk and Horlivka:
ATO forces launched an offensive on Yasinuvata (the second attempt). It was strange that before the onset of the attack the direction from which it was conducted was fired upon from multiple rocket launcher (GRAD) from Makiivka, and the forward thrust of the ATO forces coincided with the movement of DNR columns from Makiivka to the same point. In addition, the reinforcement of equipment to Makiivka from Khartsyzsk was seen even a little earlier. The impression is that the terrorists knew the exact time of the operation and someone constantly warns them (again appeals to take the security forces through the polygraph remain not heard).
As of the evening of the 8th August Ukrainian forces re-established themselves on the outskirts of Marinka in Donetsk. Fighting also broke out on the southern outskirts of Donetsk.
As far as Horlivka is concerned, here the movement of militants from the city towards Makiivka was detected. Most likely, yesterday’s attack by the ATO forces from the side of Krasny Partizan and the liberating of Panteleimonivka concerned militants that in the event of an offensive by the ATO forces on Yenakiieve, Horlivka will be completely cut off. In this regard, terrorists gradually begin to leave the Horlivka. But this leads to an alternative danger; that terrorists could be regrouping for a counterattack in the area of Yasinuvata, and further to Panteleimonivka from the side of Makiivka.
We have further information, that according to local residents within Horlivka, the tanks of terrorists are being repaired in the Kirov Machinery Plant.
The Luhansk Oblast
Ukrainian forces continue mopping-up operation around Debalseve and also continue attacks on Pervomaisk. In Stakhanov the terrorists are building fortifications in one of the power plants. Therefore the terrorists continue to strike towards Popasnaya from Pervomaisk in order to divert attention from activities in their deeper rears.
As far as the situation in Luhansk is concerned, it is extremely critical for civilians. Militants continue with mortar attacks on infrastructure. The terrorists of LNR deliberately fire at hospitals, schools, boilers and substations with the intention to provoke a humanitarian catastrophe.
Concluding Comments on Strategy
It is pleasing to report that after unsuccessful attempts to block the border in May-July, the command of ATO forces finally started “to wheel” from the south-west direction along the border, now striking in a northern direction on Thorez (via Shishevki), on Snizhne and on Miusynsk. Thus, a long and narrow corridor is eliminated, and a more rational approach begins to be applied. The only drawback is the presence of the forces of the Russian Federation behind ATO forces. These forces are grouped on the border with Ukraine in the area of Kuibyshev, Novoshakhtinsk and other areas.
With this change in strategy the position of the ATO forces is starting to change positively. It is possible to predict that, if such successes continue, in the near future the terrorist forces will be dissected into three separate groups:
1) Donetsk, Makiivka, Kartsyzsk (but only if an attack from the side of Amvrosiivka in southwest direction from Thorez will give positive results);
2) Thorez, Snizhne (if ATO forces succeed in taking of Krasny Luch and build on the success of this offensive);
3) The remaining parts of the Luhansk region comprising the border areas, the city of Luhansk and the northern zone towns of Alchevsk/Stakhnov/Pervomaisk.
No matter who says what, the difficulties of this period harden and strengthen the Ukrainian people, who now become more united. The whole world supports Ukraine, while conversely the Russian elite are driving themselves into a corner and dooming their people to oppression. We believe that this can only lead to the fall of the Kremlin colossus. Glory to Ukraine!