Category Archives: Novorossia SITREP

Novorussia SITREP: Debaltsevo cauldron *not* closed yet

Here is, according to Colonel Cassad (by far the best source of info right now) the map of the situation this evening (local time):

Junta in blue, Novorussians in red

The junta forces are definitely in a bad operational situation.  They are surrounded all all sides except the north, but the highway leading north which the junta needs resupply its forces in and around Debaltsevo and which it could use to withdraw these forces is under constant Novorussian fire. 

They crucial city of Uglegorsk  (УГЛЕГОРСК on the map, bottom left) is mostly in Novorussian hands, but the outskirts are still held by the junta.  In Chernukhino  (ЧЕРНУХИНО on the map, bottom right) the Novorussian attack was successfully repelled by the junta forces.

Yesterday evening I listened with interest at the combat report of Basketok, the military commentator of the Anti-Maidan website who looked at the bigger picture and who commented in some details about the situation around Mariupol.  So, as they say, there is good news and there is bad news.

The good news: the junta appears to be completely unable to mount any effective offensive.  Except for one successful counter-attack north of Peski, even the junta can't even claim a single tactical success.

The bad news: the Novorussians are clearly stronger, and they are generally prevailing, but nowhere near the kind of superiority to achieve an operational breakthrough.

At this point in time, and unless something qualitatively changes, my very tenuous prognosis is that the Novorussians will close the Debaltsevo cauldron and most of the junta forces will either die or be taken prisoner with only a minority extracted on time.  I hope that Novorussians will be able to take Avdeevka, Pervomaiskoe, Nevelskoe, Krasnogorovka and Mar'inka and relieve the pressure on Donetsk, but I don't see the Novorussians retaking Mariupol (I hope that I am wrong, of course).

If I am correct, and that is a very big "if", then the new frontlines will give the Novorussians a more or less viable line of contact.  The one agreed upon in Minsk left most of Donetsk within striking range of junta artillery, unless, of course, the junta complied with a 40 or 50 kilometer withdrawal, which it clearly did not.  This is why the Novorussians have indicated that a return to the original Minsk line of contact was unacceptable, and this is the correct decision, of course.

The last very good and important news item is that the junta's mobilization is a disaster which now forces the junta to even use road cops to hunt down draft dodgers.  I know that I have said that many times in the past, and caught hell for doing so, but time is definitely not on the junta's side, not politically, not economically and not militarily.

The Saker

Novorussian SITREP January 23

Over the past 48 hours not much has changed.  


The airport is confirmed fully in Novorussians hands and the main combats are in the towns of Peski, Avdeevka, Krasnogorovka and Marinka which are shown in black on the map below:

Combats to protect Donetsk
In all these locations the Novorussian Armed Forces are on the offensive in order to push back the Ukrainian Repression Forces.  If the Novorussian succeed in booting the Junta forces out of these cities they will have to operate an important retreat as the terrain behind these cities open steppes were the Ukrainian artillery cannot hide.  In other words, if the Novorussians take these town the terror attacked on Donetsk will stop.


Gorlovka is still being hammered by the Ukrainian artillery which has resumed using cluster munitions.


The Novorussian artillery regularly conducts strikes against the outskirts of the city were the Ukrainians have dug in.

The big news of the day is political: Zakharchenko has declared that the Novorussians are done taking prisoners and that they have no more interest in prisoner exchanges (which exchanged Ukrainian prisoners not for Novorussian soldiers, but for random citizens, criminal and even mentally retarded people).

In the meantime, the Minister of Defense of the Donetsk Republic has declared that 597 bodies have been recovered from the Donetsk Airport and that more are under the rubble.  Keep in mind that what the Ukrainians like to call a "brigade" is usually a battalion-size force, about 600-800 men.  In other words, it is quite possible that the entire 93rd "Zhitomir" Brigade whose commander was taken prisoner by the Novorussians has basically ceased to exit.

I would argue that it is quite possible that the Ukrainian front might break down and that the Novorussians could liberate a good part of historical Novorussia. 

As for Poroshenko, he still promises a unitary Ukraine, only one official language and a total war against the "terrorists".

Regardless of the Kremlin's efforts to cool down the situation, I don't see any reason at all for the combats to stop.  And since Voentorg is working at full capacity, there is a good chance that Moscow is still pretending that a negotiated solution can be found when, in reality, the Kremlin has already decided that no negotiated outcome is possible, at least not with the freaks currently in power in Kiev.

The Saker