01.25 1800 ET Update: The Debaltseve Salient May be Closing – Ukraine Faces Massive Loss of Troops

by John Galt
January 25, 2015 19:55 ET

The situation in the Debaltseve salient appears to be deteriorating with the Ukrainian military divided between hunkering down and fighting it out to some reports via the internet of Ukrainian draftees in the military switching sides and fighting with the pro-Russian rebels. This map of the situation and speculation that the pro-Russian forces may have now seized Popasnaya may indicate the salient, or pocket is closing.

Debaltseve_012515updatedmap1800etjgfla

When one zooms in on the pocket closing, if the reports are true, then the severity of the Ukrainian situation which is now enduring rumors of mass desertions within the pocket becomes apparent:

Debaltseve_012515updated2map1800etjgfla

An unconfirmed VK.com (Russian version of Facebook) posting by an alleged front line participant in the conflict says it all (sorry for the formatting, posting it raw via GoogleTranslation from NovorosNews):

Bulletin Novorossia | Reports from the Front
Honor and Memory (18+!)
Operational message on 25/01/2015 00:36 Posted by militia (as of 19:00). “Bahmutka – trimmed. Crimean – while under the forces of the APU. Height – deserts, APU has departed to the Crimean. Received information from residents Raygorodki that militia surround their village. APU was digging in. If Raygorodke, all goes well, and the success will be. Due to the fact that there are 16-year-old boys, and we Trehizbenku surrounded. continued shelling of the Old Aydar. with happiness and Villages APU lead fire in Lugansk. In Happiness city remained without heat. Because of the shelling. According Bahmutke militias going to the boiler Debaltseve. In Debaltseve situation is complicated, the APU was in good boiler. VSN firing from 3 directions. Fighting for Popasnaya continue. Stakhanov APU fired hospital. 23:38 Posted by militiaman Prokhorov: It was reported that in Dokuchaevsk just overtaken captured tanks APU, nove, even the trunk not to shoot. Presumably, the trophy was taken in the course of reflection militia attack near APU Elenovka. 23:29 Message from the press center 1 Cossack regiment them. Platov: “Forces of the 1st Cossack regiment im.Platova and partly by the LC tank battalion had taken the high ground near g.Debaltsevo. Assault Group Cossack regiment took control of the part of the route and Sanzharovku Mironovsky – Debaltseve than blocked the transfer of additional forces in the ATO Debaltseve . there are fights for the commanding heights of the village near Mironovsky that will take Debaltsevo in the ring. In the course of the promotion of our regiment invaders are huge losses. At the onset of the behavior of 30% of the force ATO fled. All attempts to send the armored forces ATO to help their failed, all those were destroyed. This is revenge for the destruction of the Cossacks in Stakhanov. ” 23:13 Posted by resident Dokuchaevsk: “From one o’clock APU beating around the city like hell with all that we can, beat with Volnovakha, Novotroitsk , at least 3 killed, many wounded, one woman in serious condition, destroyed one 5 etazhka, many houses on fire! Shoot still today at 18:00 was particularly hard shelled our city Dokuchaevsk. Punishers 2 packages Castle thrown. Hit the roof of a house. 2 floors on the market has developed. There are victims. Eyewitnesses say that people under the rubble crying still. Today is hell, people are praying and waiting for the release of militia Volnovakha. ” 22:57 Ukrainian media are increasingly alarming report about the situation in Debaltseve: Publication Segodnya.ua published the following text: In Debaltseve Ukrainian soldiers are asked to provide fire support. The battle has been going on for more than two hours. Ukrainian military, which cost in the region Debaltseve in urgent need fire support. According to one of the fighters on the Ukrainian stronghold moving tanks, trying to surround both sides. The battle has been going on for more than two hours. To depart impossible since around minefields. Battalion require urgent assistance sappers and fire support. In turn, the speaker of the special operation Leonid Matyuhin said that the staff up to date with what is going on and do whatever is necessary to help the war. 22:46 Posted by militias: “I decided to depict the front, what would people it became clear that where there. At the moment, we control Artemovo and Maori. Noise control too full, but nearby position APU. Under relative control militia dolomite, Travneva – there is still fighting, so you need to wait. Novoluganskoe, Mironovskoe and Myronivka – there are street battles. Red Plowman – dozachitska passes, but it can be considered already ours. By Trinity (LC) beating APU with ACS. Popasnaya – we did not take it, but we went in there. Go street fighting. And most likely, they will continue all night until will clean. APU really do not want to lose Popasnaya – in fact more in the flesh to Artemovska no serious barriers! Fights are also in Kirov (near Dzerzhinsk) and near Magdalinovka (here the enemy counterattack Maori). Dzerzhinsk on until we go, you need to develop the same tactics as inflated troops take the city (and experienced) and fortified for street fighting. In general, Debaltsevsky boiler continues to be closed, and the enemy in battle involves more reserves – that it is worse, because it is already 4 days sends into battle reserves, and we are their only input only, and then only in small detachments. ” 22: 33 Operative report from the militia of 01.25.2015 as of 22:00. Fights are near a thin, experienced, Avdeevka. Fighting hard, often with varying degrees of success. Considerable losses on both sides. In Lugansk team Brain systematically squeezes out Popasnaya APU. The first APU under attack Elenovka repulsed. In general, today’s “pressure” on Elenovka can be seen as a red herring cover fairly large movement of enemy forces, in an arc around Donetsk: from the north-west to south-west. They will remain there and will try to push our defenses with continue to move south or south to Mariupol – depends on another cunning plan ATO headquarters for the collection of Donbass. It is obvious that somehow miraculously, three months before the command MAT realized that “Debaltseve” – the name of another boiler, break through that does not have prospects. Therefore withdrawn gradually whom perhaps for the rest of the wait when we will achieve them. We have little choice – will have to finish. Release the power APU likely used to align the front (well, it’s such a cunning military). The number of prisoners Debaltseve today increased by 30 recruits APU. Destroyed today APU camp with the technique to the north of Krasnogorovka and checkpoint near p.Lastochkino. 21 : 50 25/01/2015 destroyed the enemy firing positions near Artiomovskiy. 22:28 Posted by militiaman Prokhorov: After a massive armored group artudara APU with Taramchuka broke through the front, rear workaround is trying to capture Elenovka. Defending militia defeated armored group – APU suffered loss of life, there are prisoners. Now APU Elenovka shells hail. ZY Red Plowman (at Svetlodarsk) – ours! 22:23 Posted by voenkora with the call sign “Steppe”: “shelling and gunfire in Donetsk in the evening on January 25 merged into one continuous roar fighting intensified in the city at the same time working several enemy sabotage groups. After Ukrainian punitive evening fire brigade Petrovsky district “emergency” are taken to the hospital wounded civilians. In the neighborhood Trudovskoy reserves after shelling – three civilians killed Donetsk. From the standpoint of the Ukrainian military in Staromykhailivka committed shelling the village. Abakumov, near st. Turquoise was fighting with Ukrainian-mortar saboteurs who were eliminated. Before they were able to neutralization seriously damage several residential houses of the private sector in the village. It is also engaged in the capture of saboteurs Putilovke, near Adminposelka the Kiev district of the city. There’s also the whole night was insecurity because of the intense battle in the sand and under Avdiyivka. From the south Donetsk was fired from the village Lugansk, where the gun mount Ukrainian military. Immediately after hitting army DNR Counterbattery was opened, suppressing enemy positions. Ukrainian Army of Volnovakha several packages MLRS “Grad” fired Dokuchaevsk, near the old market and the city center, and Elenovka. Fire from the direction of the district center of Granite been Telmanovo and part Starobeshevskiy areas controlled by the DNI. In the sand APU complain about the incessant shelling and a lack of ammunition. Here is what they wrote: Here the constant shelling. Airport, Sands, thin, water – under fire cannon and rocket artillery militia. There is a loss. Working intensively artillery reconnaissance. Very big concern is the resource of ammunition in our warehouses and waste databases strategic reserve. Yet “slug hunger” is not felt. But we must understand that this resource we have – is finite. The enemy, he is inexhaustible, as the enemy, unlike us, these weapons are produced. It is impossible to wage a protracted war without ammunition production, on some reserves. And we all – from shells to the BM-21 “Grad” and up to the grenade launcher grenades – storage. Even the country’s only ammunition plant – a separable, in Lugansk. ” 21:51 Evening Post News militia of New Russia: “Today, in the direction of movement Kramatorsk noted five trucks with rockets for the complex” Tochka-U “. The situation in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic remains tense. APU using MLRS, artillery and mortars continued shelling the positions of the national militia, as well as residential areas and infrastructure of New Russia. The main efforts of the enemy concentrated in the Donetsk and Debaltsevskom directions. For the current day were numerous cases of the use of weapons: – three times (9.20, 16.10 and 16.15) with firing positions located near the village of Avdiyivka and Krasnogorovka from artillery and mortars fired MAT residential areas of Kiev and Donetsk Petrovsky areas, as well as railway Station; – in 13.20 Tank shelling and mortar fire at 15.00 from the positions of the sun Novotroitskoe undergone DNR near Olenovka; – at 14.30 from Granite artillery shells fired by militia DNI in the New Marevki; – at 14.35 from Dzerzhinsk, and 15.20 from the village Kodema using cannon artillery fire made ​​the enemy raids on residential neighborhoods Gorlovki; – 15.00 mortars from the village Taramchuk soldiers fired in the vicinity of the DNI Olenovka; – at 16.20 with firing positions near Bogdanovka artillery shelled the village Styla. civilian casualties and widespread destruction specified. Repeated attacks by MAT underwent Army DNI position in the area of the airport in Donetsk. From 8.50 to 13.00 eight times using multiple rocket launchers, artillery and mortar fire on them deposited blows from the settlements Avdiyivka and experienced. APU to regroup to strengthen groups in the direction of the Ministry of Defence DNR action units. It was noted the active movement of combat units from the APU Novoivanovka and Red Army in the direction of Donetsk. According to intelligence reports, the area Avdeyevka APU transferred to 30 tanks, and also noted the movement of up to four mechanized mouth and two tank companies. ” About 21 21:34: 15 (for MSK) was an intensive battle with artillery on both sides in the area bp Nikitovka – Maori. It is also reported that the attempt to break the APU parts in the area was stopped Elenovka militia. According to preliminary data APU lost two tanks and two armored personnel carrier. 21:22 Posted by volunteer with the call sign “Happy”: Popasnaya doge we almost take for 26.01. Provisions RZSO profit. Debaltseve blockade. 21:03 APU per day about 30 times shelled towns DNR. “wounded three people in Donetsk Kuibyshev region. Faulty boiler room and hospital number 21. The shelling also recorded in Makeyevka, damaged buildings PTU number 87. shelled areas Dokuchaevsk and Elenovka “, – said the deputy corps commander of the Defense Ministry DNR Edward Basurin. 20:56 the evening in Donetsk tense situation . Petrovka had a few shells hit the heavy artillery or mortar. In the vicinity of the airport was shooting battle with trying to break parts of the MAT. MAT by Avdeyevka firing on the area in the shopping center “Metro”. There are reports of actions DRG APU in a suburb of Donetsk. 20:15 The Ukrainian side receives information about that evening of January 25 the settlement on the site Pervomais’k – Golden clashes began. 20:12 militia headquarters DNR reported new shelling of Donetsk and Makeyevka. In the Kirov district, about 80 homes were left without heat and hot water, RIA “Novosti”. The shelling was subjected to the village in October (Makeevka). Affected houses, pipeline and power grid. The shelling killed one person, one was seriously injured. 19:58 Comment from El Murid about the situation with Popasnaya: It’s a message about taking Popasnaya. Message not yet fully confirmed, but the likelihood of this is quite high. Kiev did not expect offensive operations in the area, as its “hold” very scarce militias, which was barely enough on defense. Therefore district Popasnaya – Trinity became the junction between the two fortified areas, where, and was dealt an unexpected blow to the militia. Introduced in the emerging breakthrough tanks in very large numbers, apparently, became even more unexpected. Such breakthroughs are strictly for Science repressed attack on the flank, but it is here on such a blow at the forces of Kiev not. Shooters have already said that according to his information Kiev command throws to plug breakthrough operational reserves from other directions, the benefit of small distances. However, while the caulk comes down to head-counter fights that effect does not work. In such circumstances, information about taking Popasnaya quite plausible: the command of the APU is not up to it, he has a problem with the planned break-road Artemivs’k Debaltseve. However, the loss Popasnaya as a major defensive unit, too, is not ice, but is pending threat: it means that the militia managed a week of fighting, finally broke through the first line of defense MAT and create a gap. In this case, plug it right now nothing – you need to eliminate more urgent problem slam Debaltsevskogo boiler. There comes a crisis in the battle. Both sides are extremely insufficient strength, very little room to maneuver, so now any good, or vice versa, the unfortunate decision to either side becomes crucial. 19:52 Headquarters ATO confirmed the offensive operations against the forces near the settlement of ATO Popasnaya. 19:37 Posted by Militia: Around 19:30 direction n.p.Krasnogorovka APU were firing at Petrovka. 19:18 Contradictory information is disseminated by Ukrainian media in describing the events in the Debaltseve. It is reported that on January 25 militia by increasing the pressure on the position of the APU, there are active attacks the position of the Ukrainian military. Ukrainian edition LB.ua one of 40 military battalion teroborony reported that they have killed and wounded, and the forces of ATO forced to retreat. “Post quietly renting. 200 th, 300 th is, how much – I do not know. Already 3 hours we intensively come ” – said the military. According to him, in the attack on the Ukrainian position involving tanks, infantry and artillery militia. Later edition LB.ua added that the scouts of the 54th Brigade, which are under Debaltseve, refuted the information that the Ukrainian military retreat. And confirms that today’s attack on their position is much stronger than in the previous two days. 18:56 According to local residents, near the settlement Kirov about 18:00 (MSK) were artillery duels. 18:52 militia reflect counterattack Noise and Artemovo. APU beat on our businesses in Kayutino of ACS. Now fighting continued under Debaltseve and Uglegorsky. In Red Plowman cleaning, collision Mironovskaya Mironovka and Novoluganskom. We are trying to suppress artillery APU Nizhnelozovom. Is stripping in Lozovoi and Sanzharovke. Also there is very good news. We are engaged in an attack Popasnaya. The fact that it is ours – it hastened to say, but what is soon to be sure. Around 18:48 18:35 (by MSK) APU from Avdeyevka firing on the area in the shopping center “Metro” and the old airport terminal in Donetsk. On the part of Sand – mortar attack p.Oktyabrsky. In themselves Sands continues shooting battle. It is also reported that the shooting occurred in the Mallorcan fight. 18:17 Journalist Dmitry Steshin reports about taking Popasnaya militias. Around 18:14 17:50 (by MSK) near Elenovka got into a fight. Petrovka is also under severe fire. 17:31 There is an increase in the concentration of groups APU near the settlement Elenovka. In the settlement Sands continuing clashes. 17:25 From the standpoint from Volnovakha APU applied a massive artillery attack on the settlement Dokuchaevsk. Produced multiple volleys barrel artillery batteries and MLRS. 17:20 From the standpoint of the APU in Krasnogorovka fired artillery shells in Donetsk (district Abakumov). As of 17:00 (MSK) near the settlement M that according to his information Kiev command throws to plug breakthrough operational reserves from other directions, the benefit of small distances. However, while the caulk comes down to head-counter fights that effect does not work. In such circumstances, information about taking Popasnaya quite plausible: the command of the APU is not up to it, he has a problem with the planned break-road Artemivs’k Debaltseve. However, the loss Popasnaya as a major defensive unit, too, is not ice, but is pending threat: it means that the militia managed a week of fighting, finally broke through the first line of defense MAT and create a gap. In this case, plug it right now nothing – you need to eliminate more urgent problem slam Debaltsevskogo boiler. There comes a crisis in the battle. Both sides are extremely insufficient strength, very little room to maneuver, so now any good, or vice versa, the unfortunate decision to either side becomes crucial. 19:52 Headquarters ATO confirmed the offensive operations against the forces near the settlement of ATO Popasnaya. 19:37 Posted by Militia: Around 19:30 direction n.p.Krasnogorovka APU were firing at Petrovka. 19:18 Contradictory information is disseminated by Ukrainian media in describing the events in the Debaltseve. It is reported that on January 25 militia by increasing the pressure on the position of the APU, there are active attacks the position of the Ukrainian military. Ukrainian edition LB.ua one of 40 military battalion teroborony reported that they have killed and wounded, and the forces of ATO forced to retreat. “Post quietly renting. 200 th, 300 th is, how much – I do not know. Already 3 hours we intensively come ” – said the military. According to him, in the attack on the Ukrainian position involving tanks, infantry and artillery militia. Later edition LB.ua added that the scouts of the 54th Brigade, which are under Debaltseve, refuted the information that the Ukrainian military retreat. And confirms that today’s attack on their position is much stronger than in the previous two days. 18:56 According to local residents, near the settlement Kirov about 18:00 (MSK) were artillery duels. 18:52 militia reflect counterattack Noise and Artemovo. APU beat on our businesses in Kayutino of ACS. Now fighting continued under Debaltseve and Uglegorsky. In Red Plowman cleaning, collision Mironovskaya Mironovka and Novoluganskom. We are trying to suppress artillery APU Nizhnelozovom. Is stripping in Lozovoi and Sanzharovke. Also there is very good news. We are engaged in an attack Popasnaya. The fact that it is ours – it hastened to say, but what is soon to be sure. Around 18:48 18:35 (by MSK) APU from Avdeyevka firing on the area in the shopping center “Metro” and the old airport terminal in Donetsk. On the part of Sand – mortar attack p.Oktyabrsky. In themselves Sands continues shooting battle. It is also reported that the shooting occurred in the Mallorcan fight. 18:17 Journalist Dmitry Steshin reports about taking Popasnaya militias. Around 18:14 17:50 (by MSK) near Elenovka got into a fight. Petrovka is also under severe fire. 17:31 There is an increase in the concentration of groups APU near the settlement Elenovka. In the settlement Sands continuing clashes. 17:25 From the standpoint from Volnovakha APU applied a massive artillery attack on the settlement Dokuchaevsk. Produced multiple volleys barrel artillery batteries and MLRS. 17:20 From the standpoint of the APU in Krasnogorovka fired artillery shells in Donetsk (district Abakumov). As of 17:00 (MSK) near the settlement M that according to his information Kiev command throws to plug breakthrough operational reserves from other directions, the benefit of small distances. However, while the caulk comes down to head-counter fights that effect does not work. In such circumstances, information about taking Popasnaya quite plausible: the command of the APU is not up to it, he has a problem with the planned break-road Artemivs’k Debaltseve. However, the loss Popasnaya as a major defensive unit, too, is not ice, but is pending threat: it means that the militia managed a week of fighting, finally broke through the first line of defense MAT and create a gap. In this case, plug it right now nothing – you need to eliminate more urgent problem slam Debaltsevskogo boiler. There comes a crisis in the battle. Both sides are extremely insufficient strength, very little room to maneuver, so now any good, or vice versa, the unfortunate decision to either side becomes crucial. 19:52 Headquarters ATO confirmed the offensive operations against the forces near the settlement of ATO Popasnaya. 19:37 Posted by Militia: Around 19:30 direction n.p.Krasnogorovka APU were firing at Petrovka. 19:18 Contradictory information is disseminated by Ukrainian media in describing the events in the Debaltseve. It is reported that on January 25 militia by increasing the pressure on the position of the APU, there are active attacks the position of the Ukrainian military. Ukrainian edition LB.ua one of 40 military battalion teroborony reported that they have killed and wounded, and the forces of ATO forced to retreat. “Post quietly renting. 200 th, 300 th is, how much – I do not know. Already 3 hours we intensively come ” – said the military. According to him, in the attack on the Ukrainian position involving tanks, infantry and artillery militia. Later edition LB.ua added that the scouts of the 54th Brigade, which are under Debaltseve, refuted the information that the Ukrainian military retreat. And confirms that today’s attack on their position is much stronger than in the previous two days. 18:56 According to local residents, near the settlement Kirov about 18:00 (MSK) were artillery duels. 18:52 militia reflect counterattack Noise and Artemovo. APU beat on our businesses in Kayutino of ACS. Now fighting continued under Debaltseve and Uglegorsky. In Red Plowman cleaning, collision Mironovskaya Mironovka and Novoluganskom. We are trying to suppress artillery APU Nizhnelozovom. Is stripping in Lozovoi and Sanzharovke. Also there is very good news. We are engaged in an attack Popasnaya. The fact that it is ours – it hastened to say, but what is soon to be sure. Around 18:48 18:35 (by MSK) APU from Avdeyevka firing on the area in the shopping center “Metro” and the old airport terminal in Donetsk. On the part of Sand – mortar attack p.Oktyabrsky. In themselves Sands continues shooting battle. It is also reported that the shooting occurred in the Mallorcan fight. 18:17 Journalist Dmitry Steshin reports about taking Popasnaya militias. Around 18:14 17:50 (by MSK) near Elenovka got into a fight. Petrovka is also under severe fire. 17:31 There is an increase in the concentration of groups APU near the settlement Elenovka. In the settlement Sands continuing clashes. 17:25 From the standpoint from Volnovakha APU applied a massive artillery attack on the settlement Dokuchaevsk. Produced multiple volleys barrel artillery batteries and MLRS. 17:20 From the standpoint of the APU in Krasnogorovka fired artillery shells in Donetsk (district Abakumov). As of 17:00 (MSK) near the settlement

The shelling today was incessant as this video of Soviet era D30 122mm howitzers illustrates outside of Horlivka:

Meanwhile, a late report this evening from a Facebook user Südfront indicates the pocket may indeed be closed and upwards of 8,000 Ukrainian troops trapped inside:

BOOM! CONFIRMED! Collapse of the Ukrainian army in Debaltsevo boiler: Two Bataillione switch on the side of the NAF, a Bataillion results, others withdraw. # # Popasnaya by the NAF conquered. pic.twitter.com/FdosI6pigY: For more updated important new information to what is happening in the Donbass go to the page of SouthFront2: Donbass Information: 01/25/2015

If the numbers and reports of defectors are true, the the ability for Poroshenko to hold on to power will now come into doubt. His reliance on a NATO/US led military solution would be too little, too late for a large portion of his regular military and mercenary force and indeed would open the door for Russian troops with their rebel allies to march virtually unopposed all the way around Mariupol, leaving it encircled, and on to Odessa. The actions of the Obama regime while he is on his foreign trip to India and Saudi Arabia regarding a military response (unlikely) or further sanctions (dangerous) may indeed determine the very survivability of the Kiev regime this week.

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