- According to the field reports, the Russian servicemen captured by Ukrainian security services (Evgeniy Tur and Alexander Bondaruk) provided the information about gradual reorganization within the militant groups, and about cleanup operations and «disappearances» of unwanted or uncontrollable individual militants or even their whole groups, conducted by the Russian armed forces, under the protection of the Russian special services. This “restructuring” has as its goal the creation of a unified army of Novorossiya, strictly controlled by the Russian security services. So far these activities have resulted in the worsening of the situation caused by periodic skirmishes among gangs, Cossack groups, DPR, and LPR groups. In such circumstances we foresee increased deployment of the regular Russian military, which will replace the poorly disciplined gangs in the Donbas.
- Over the past week, the guerrilla movement in the Donbas has become more active. Previously, we saw isolated attacks, but now you can see the tendency of increasing activity against the separatist and Russian forces by locals living in the occupied zone.
And now let’s cover the current situation on the front lines:
Throughout the week, the fighting continued in the Donetsk airport. However, on Friday, the terrorist activity diminished, most likely due to the increased activity of the guerrilla movement in Donetsk, as well as the need for the President of the Russian Federation to attend the G20 Summit in Australia. In Donetsk the terrorists have begun to use railways to transport heavy vehicles, ammunition, and fuel. The main destinations are the Mushketove train station, because of the large industrial zone and motor pool nearby; the Mandrykyne train station, since it allows for covert deliveries of equipment to Petrovskyi district, the Cargill factory, the checkpoint near the Hamaliya petrol station, and also the Olenivka area, since train movement to the Olenivka train station can be observed by the Ukrainian Forces. Locals report that on some flatcars they saw equipment whose outlines resemble the Tochka-U short-range ballistic missile system. Here, the most likely the directions for attacks remain unchanged: Petrovskyi district – Kurakhove (with forces up to one battalion battle group); Kuibyshivskyi district – Pisky, Spartak – Avdiivka to encircle the airport. We wrote about other potential goals in the previous summary.
The militants are gathering their forces in the area near the town of Olenivka. Most likely the march on Volnovakha is indeed in their plans. Besides, the relative silence in sector «М» is very disturbing. At the same time, our insiders have confirmed the arrival of BM-21 MRLS in Novoazovsk. It’s possible that soon we should indeed expect attacks in the directions mentioned in our previous report, aimed at cutting off the town from the supply lines. This is also evidenced by the mine laying in the Sea of Azov near Novoazovsk. It is also worth mentioning the equipment redeployment from Amvrosiivka and other rear areas toward the line of contact. We are also aware of the militants’ attempts to find the sites where they could span the Kalmius River. Therefore, the most likely strike is intended to go around Mariupol from the north in order to break through and continue on to Crimea. The activities of the Russian military in Crimea, with the concentration of air defence and artillery systems in the isthmus, also confirm that. Although it is too early to speculate about the offence from Crimea across the isthmus, since it would only be possible in the case of a successful attack of the militants on Berdyansk and the retreat of Ukrainian forces from Mykolaiv and Kherson regions.
The enemy has continued straightening the front line in the area of route Т1303, where checkpoint 31 is holding the line. Due to the loss of checkpoint 32, the enemy now effectively controls the Seversky Donets river crossing in the area of Trokhizbenka, however the terrorists are unlikely to rely on just a single river crossing. That’s why it is still important for them to strike towards Lysychansk and Rubizhne in order to regain control over the bridges. Later on there is a possibility of an offence on Shchastya from the North.
Artemivsk is another tasty morsel for the militants. If they can capture it, they will close the trap around Debaltseve and open the way to Slovyansk and Kramatorsk. Judging from the increased numbers of the militant’s sabotage-reconnaissance groups in the north of the region, as well as their special interest to the routes Н20 and М03, that’s exactly what their plan is. However, Debaltseve remains the stumbling stone, that gets in the way of realizing their intentions. While being practically trapped, the ATO forces hinder the militants’ movement from Horlivka and Pervomaisk. That is why the militants will try to solve the task of completing the trap at the first stage, concurrently with the attack on Mariupol. Most likely the strike will be delivered towards Horlivka- Holmivskyi – Svitlodarsk, reaching Myronivske reservoir and thus cutting off the supply lines. After that, converging strikes from Yenakijeve and Alchevsk are possible (besides, the militants’ activity in the area of both towns has increased and in Horlivka a provocation took place on November 15th).
As for Shchastya, the local forecast remain unchanged. Considering the amount of BM-21 that have arrived at the area of Vesela Hora, we can expect a heavy artillery bombardment, to simulate a large offensive, in order to divert the attention of UMF from other directions.
Our attention today was also attracted by some intersecting reports. According to the statement made by Censor.NET editor Yury Butusov a few hours ago:
“The check points on the border of Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhia regions are reporting significant increase in transportation activities from Ukraine to the Donbass and Crimea areas occupied by Russia. According to the soldiers, the number of trucks going to the terrorists has increased manyfold. Trading companies primarily transport food products.… ”
At the same time, in the afternoon of November 16th, we received several messages from Donbas residents that there are rumours spreading among the militants, suggesting to stock up on food supplies within the next 2-3 days, since after that tough firefights are expected, and the supply of food will not be available.
If these rumors have any substance, it becomes clear why the food deliveries have increased just now.
The material is prepared by: military analyst Artyom Vasilenko from InformNapalm team and the InformNapalm project coordinator, journalist Roman Burko.
The info is based on the materials from open sources as well as insider information. It is mandatory to reference INFORMNAPALM.ORG/BURKONEWS.INFO when copying the material.
Translated by Roman Vlasov
Edited by Max Alginin