This is one of the best and easiest to read Ukraine sitreps on the Net. Please feel free to read and repost.
New map of the fighting dated February 1-2. Click to enlarge. Use this map to locate the towns described in the sitrep.
There has been very little change in the situation in the past day. Nevertheless, there has still been very heavy fighting, mostly in the Debaltsevo area. The NAF lost an incredible 70 KIA in one day yesterday.
Most of the fighting is centered in the Debaltsevo area. Although the NAF took Sanzharovka on January 22, fighting has nevertheless been ongoing there. Even today there were heavy battles with mortars and automatic weapons as the Ukies are only 1/2 mile out of town.
The video above shows heavy fighting ongoing in Sanzharovka. The NAF has taken the town, but the Ukies are just outside, and heavy battles with mortars and small arms are ongoing. I do have a feeling that the man in the winter uniform whose face is blacked out may indeed be an active duty Russian soldier. Otherwise there would be no reason to black out his face. But you can see that the vast majority of these NAF forces are not “Russian army.” Note where the NAF troops are arguing over how to use a handheld weapon that they have acquired. They don’t know how to use it and are looking around for the manual to figure out how to work the thing. Obviously not on duty Russian military. Duh.
Redkodub has apparently finally been taken by the NAF.
Although Nikishino has indeed been taken by the NAF after being held by Ukies for 6 months, in truth the Ukies are still located on the high points in the Nikishino suburbs. An attempt was made to dislodge the Ukies from here, but it failed. There were 7 NAF KIA and a lot more wounded. The leader of the group did not want to try to take this position, so he was arrested by NAF officers on charges of not following orders.
Very heavy fighting continues in Chernuhino. The Ukies hold half the town and the NAF holds the other half. The NAF claims that the Ukies are using human shields in this town. There are still quite a few civilians here, but the Ukies are preventing them from leaving. They are holed up in basements and the situation is very grave, similar to that of the Debaltsevo civilians. Some civilians tried to leave town to the east in a small convoy, but Ukie National Guard forces fired on them, and they had to turn around. A Ukie group from Chernuhino left town and tried to break through the Debaltsevo encirclement, but they were repulsed.
The NAF is now in Komuna, which is right on the western outskirts of Debaltsevo.
Komuna is highlighted on this map in orange. It is right on the western outskirts of Debaltsevo.
The problem in Debaltsevo is that 3,200 NAF troops are trying to defeat 5,500 Ukies. So the Ukies have numbers on their side.
There was a short ceasefire today to allow civilians to flee Debaltsevo. Quite a few left to Ukie controlled territory but few left to NAF territory. This is because the Ukies never told people that they could flee to NAF territory. The Ukies used the civilian evacuation to rotate fresh troops and move ammo into the city.
Kerry, Hollande and Merkel and trying desperately to negotiate a ceasefire now that their Nazi allies are losing big in the Debaltsevo encirclement. The Western offer has been unacceptable to Putin as it requires the NAF to pull back to the old Minsk lines. The Ukies are also offering Donbass limited decentralization which will not be satisfactory. Kerry is threatening that the US will arm its Nazi allies if Putin does not say uncle. The negotiations at the moment are going nowhere.
The NAF is attacking a town called Komunokova on the outskirts of Gorlovka. This is located halfway between Mayorsk and Svetlodarsk on the road between Gorlovka and Artemovsk.
Gorlovka was very quiet today.
There was very heavy shelling in Donetsk yesterday.
Besides Debaltsevo, the main other area of combat yesterday was Peski, west of Gorlovka near the airport. It appears that the NAF do control the town, but the Ukies appear to be situated right on the outskirts of town. The situation is fluid and the fighting is very heavy in this town.
In addition, there is heavy fighting in Avdeevka near Peski. A number of civilians were evacuated from this town, indicating that there is heavy fighting going on. An NAF group disguised as Ukie Adair Battalion members was operating in the town.
There has been little change in the front to the east, although Schaste has come under heavy shelling, and the Ukies are shelling Permovaysk.
To the south of Donetsk, Styila, Komsomolskoe and Starobeshevo came under heavy shelling by Ukies.
NAF troops dressed in Ukie uniforms intercepted a Ukie supply column in Mariupol. 16 Ukies defected to the other side and the column was seized.
As with previous days, the most focus has been on the Debaltsevo pocket, where 5,500 Ukies are trapped and surrounded. As far as the rest of the front, to be honest, it has been pretty stalemated for the last two weeks without major movements of the front lines.
The Ukies are fighting very well in this latest stage of the war, much better than they did last time. They hold their ground and fight very bravely. They are very reluctant to give up any territory. The Ukies in this round are definitely a highly formidable opponent.
The NAF said they would issue a call-up of 10,000 volunteers to augment their army and they said they hoped to have a 100,00 man army eventually. This was misinterpreted by the press as the NAF saying they were calling up 100,000 men. The truth is that the NAF could probably take in 75,000 volunteers in Donbass alone. The NAF are overwhelmed with men wanting to sign up and they simply lack open positions, uniforms and equipment for them. Furthermore, there appear be quite a few men taking shelter in Russia who may well wish to join the NAF also.
Evidence of Russian troops in Donbass is hard to come by. Most of the forces seen on videos are obviously NAF as they are too old, too out of shape or are improperly groomed to be regular Russian forces. Many NAF forces are fighting on their home turf. I have seen videos where they are walking through a town pointing out each house and saying who lives there.
However a great deal of the funding and equipment surely comes from Russia. The notion that the NAF is getting all of their weaponry from confiscations from the Ukies is a lie. Quite a bit of it is coming in from Russia, often in large convoys. Whether or not Russian troops are also coming across the border is hard to determine as the NAF has their training bases in Rostov so after training, these forces move across the border and could appear to be Russian troops.
It is surely the case that the Russian military is not only supplying the NAF but is also helping to train them at the Rostov bases. However the presence or quantity of actual Russian on duty military in Donbass is a question that is much more difficult to answer. At the moment we are not able to say conclusively whether there are any Russian troops in Donbass and if so how many how many there are. If they are there at all, their numbers appear to be quite small.