Despite the talk of absence of the encirclement, the junta failed to unblock the M-103 road and capture Logvinovo.
Fairly serious attempts have been made, which were triggered both by the military necessity of saving the encircled Debalcevo group and by political reasons, because unblocking the pocket until February 15th will allow the junta to claim that it holds the remaining part of the Debalcevo protrusion for the period of the next “truce”.
Correspondingly, military and political necessity will push the junta towards maximally intense attacks by the Svetlodarsk group on Logvinovo, Nizhnyaya Lozovaya, and the high points in the area of Sanzharovka.
It will be very important for the junta to pull this off by this date, which will fix a possible military success within the framework of the signed cease-fire agreement.
If it will hold on to Debalcevo, then the junta will keep at least partial control over the crucial transport hub and the encirclement won’t reach its logical conclusion.
The chief of the general staff Muzhenko is leading the operation on unblocking the encircled group. In the nearest time the departure of additional reserves from the side of Artyomovsk is expected, where the junta concentrated 2 heavy battalion-tactical groups and various reinforcement units.
As the front near Popasnaya stabilized, it will be quite logical if the junta will try to use its main trump card on this direction to resolve the Debalcevo operational crisis.
What’s remarkable is that despite today’s junta reports about the offensive on Logvinovo, Poroshenko already announced that the NAF violated the cease-fire during the evening in Brussels even though the cease-fire starts only on February 15th and it was the AFU who were attacking and not the NAF.
But we had seen this bloody clownery between September and December, so there’s nothing surprising here, we’ll get to hear more of these kinds of announcements in the coming days.
Under Mariupol the junta “offensive” ended up being especially senseless and both sides returned to the previous situation when the positions of the sides are separated by a strip reminiscent of a neutral strip.
Overall, all of this activity appeared to be personal PR by Turchinov and creation of a certain background before the Minsk meeting. The north-Lugansk front also remained stable.
Shelling of the cities didn’t stop and we can be sure that during the remaining days until the possible cease-fire the junta will try to fire the maximal number of artillery and rocket munitions on Donbass cities. Naturally, the NAF and the “Russian mercenaries” will be accused of this shelling.
Because both sides perfectly understand the dubious nature of the Minsk agreements, the junta continues to hold the general line directed at the maximal destruction of social, industrial, and economic infrastructure of Donbass, which it is not going to restore — for this the junta has neither the means nor the desire.
So in the next couple of days the Donbass cities are guaranteed to be shelled, which will lead to new victims and destruction, the NAF have no military ability to completely prevent these attacks, at best they’ll be able to suppress artillery positions on a couple of locations, reducing the possible damage.
Obviously they’ll try to make up for the expected casualties in the area of Debalcevo by hammering the AFU units that try to break out of the encirclement.
Losses and POWs
Over the recent days the number of junta losses increased due to the encirclement, which is typical for pocket situations. The number of POWs increased, attempts to surrender are noted even despite the presence of “anti-retreat units” (the wicked anti-soviet myth about shooting own soldiers in the back was actually implemented by the Ukraine side and also the attempts by demoralized units to retreat towards the settlements, which allows the NAF to tighten the encirclement ring.
Nevertheless, our forces also have suffered losses (mostly in the blocked bottleneck of the Debalcevo cauldron), where the fighting is especially fierce. The junta inflicts most losses on us by artillery fire.
In the cauldron itself there’s no complete disintegration of the defense system of the enemy yet, the enemy continues to show frantic resistance, which will be now fueled by the fact that the time until which it is necessary to hold on is fixed.
For our forces the aforementioned terms will serve as an additional motivator for solving military tasks by the given date. In this respect, offensive and defensive actions by the sides will be subjected to not only military necessity but also to political necessity.