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Col. Mashovets: An analysis of events

The latest analysis from [Ukrainian] Lieutenant Colonel Konstantin Mashovets:

[Balzac’s] shagreen, it shrinks…

1. Of course Girkin can tell as many tales as he wishes of hordes of Serbian “Chetniks” burning with desire to die under Ukrainian forces’ heavy machine gun and mortar fire. However, this is unlikely to change the fact that his operational rear is simply falling to pieces (this “paper commander” has been warned that his rear units will be on fire if he decides “to fight till death,” and this is what is actually happening). After all, Girkin is actually not capable of stopping the Ukrainian forces advancing around Horlivka to Yenakiieve and cutting off “crazy Lyosha’s” (Oleksii Mozgovyi’s brigade) route to Luhansk behind his back–Girkin simply does not have the necessary forces. If he wasn’t squabbling with Vostok [battalion] and wasn’t throwing it all into a grueling battle of encounter, he could have maintained operational communication with Luganda [a neologism combining the words “Luhansk” and “Uganda,” referring to Luhansk People’s Republic]. But now he will have to work his way South, through the sparsely populated steppes, where they are expecting [him] already…

2. Apparently, my words yesterday about starting positions and areas not [being used] for a “reverse attack” anymore, but for a simple breakthrough “for the sake of saving the idea,” have turned out to be largely prophetic. The Alchevsk-Stakhanov-Bryanka triangle is gradually turning into a starting area for the terrorist breakthrough out of the Donetsk sack (first and foremost the remainder of Vostok and of [Oleksii] Mozgovyi’s “Fedayeens,” and then his crony, “the Honorable” Bezler). Yesterday, “comrade Mozgovyi” broke in here, tired and worn out, having lost the majority of his “armored troops” during the breakthrough from the Lysychansk loop through Pervomaisk (he has no more than three armored vehicles left). This maneuvre did not come easy to him; the losses of his consolidated (or rather rag-tag) brigade cannot even be defined as “significant,” but rather “fatal.”

3. Just as I anticipated, it was the flanks that became the overall “misfortune” for the terrorists. The classical operation by Ukrainian forces in Avdiivka-Dzerzhynsk-Kostyantynivka is a convincing illustration of that. The “terrible and frightening“ Bezler was simply skirted around the flanks and forced to quickly break away from the leading units of an advancing Ukrainian team. Somewhat stunned, Bes [Bezler’s call sign] was forced to swiftly retreat to his lair, [the city of] Horlivka, which the Ukrainian troops managed to hem in from three sides as a result of such successful MANEUVERING actions. Whereas only three days ago, he tried “to cut off” the Artemivsk formation of Ukrainian forces which was aiming at Popasna, intending to derail all activities on “educating comrade Mozgovyi…”

4. This morning, the terrorists in Luhansk made a titanic attempt to stop the collapse of the centralized and organized resistance in the Luhansk defense node. [They carried out] several chaotic fire strikes (primarily in the south-eastern part and in the strip from Rozkishne to Ternove, in the general direction of Chervonopartyzansk), [tried to]  shrink the expansions of the territory around the airport controlled by Ukrainian forces, and [made] a few strange and unfocused attacking convulsions. [All of these actions] did not change the general operational situation–Ukrainian forces in this sector continued to squeeze the terrorists’ defense from three sides. They [terrorists] really have only one corridor left, towards Izvaryne, through Krasnodon and Sukhodillya, and even [this corridor is] at times quite noticeably fired at by Ukrainian artillery and aviation. By the way, this morning’s wails about the “armored armada that broke through Krasnodon” were precisely aimed at “misleading and winning some time” to more or less adequately prepare for resistance to counterattacks on the Ukrainian military formation, which was entrenched in the southeastern outskirts of Luhansk and restricted the terrorists’ maneuvers. I think that they will continue to fuss around in this area for another two or three days, then the savviest of them will make a run for the border through Krasnodon, while the rest will be exterminated…

5. Today in the South, one of the commanders of the tactical team almost undermined “the entire operational plan” of the ATO command. In a complete surprise to the separatists and their own commanders in the area of Marynivka and Saurivka, where terrorists bit into the ground and continue to hold the border access points with artillery strikes from an adjacent site (the last “way out” for Girkin & Co.), a consolidated tactical group from a regiment of Ukrainian troops, [that was] transporting injured soldiers, broke through combat formations of illegal armed groups at the flank and joined the positions of Ukrainian troops, deployed to the north-west of Amvrosiivka. In general, in the Sverdlovsk–Dmytrivka–Dolzhansky triangle, apparently the terrorists don’t have any chances left ANYMORE. The narrow strip [that leads] to the [Russian] border, which was cleared by Girkin’s incredible efforts a week ago, remains the “only bright spot” for them.

Girkin dreams of being like General Anton Denikin. I don’t know how much he actually resembles Denikin physically, but the most interesting thing is that in his “military practice” Girkin is making the same mistakes that the “Commander-in-Chief of the South of Russia” made during the [Russian] Civil War.

By Lt. Col. Konstantin Mashovets, blogger, Ministry of Defence
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

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