The debaltseve pocket is closed: how Ukrainian tank was found with the Buryat

on Wednesday, February 12th, marks 5 years since the conclusion of the second Minsk agreement, which still are the only “road map” to resolve the armed conflict in the Donbass. The content of this document largely dependent on the progress of the debaltseve battle that unfolded in those same days. During the fighting at Debaltseve, the enemy endeavored to surround the Ukrainian group and managed to achieve some success, capturing major settlements Logvinova and Uglegorsk.

“Apostrophe” continues a series of publications military historian, researcher Chernihiv regional historical Museum named. Tarnowski Michael Jirkova, devoted to the dramatic events at Debaltseve, which took place in winter 2015.

the West

the Capture of Uglegorsk opponent seriously changed the situation on the Western face of “debaltsevskogo pocket”. Theoretically the enemy if sufficient forces could continue the offensive in the direction of Debaltsevo (either along the highway or through lozove) and in the direction of Svetlodarsk (via Milky — lozove).

And the attack on debaltseve has seriously restricted the natural water barrier, a narrow river Karabolka: to cross her armor was only possible via three dams. In order to fend off this potential threat personally by the chief of the General staff Viktor Muzhenko gave the order to undermine them.

But the commander of sector “C” Viktor Taran was strongly disagrees, citing “a fear of ecological disaster.” In the end, three groups of engineers who was directed to perform this task, you did not only one — of the 73rd marine center for special purposes. Just a few days, it is the presence of dams allows the traysku to deploy tanks near Lohvynove.

in the meantime, on February 1, the command of the militants tried to attack in the direction of Svitlodarsk, but stumbled on a serious resistance to our soldiers, who entrenched on the commanding heights, it was refused. Then the Russians decided to move their efforts to the Eastern face, continuing to hold in tension our defenses in all areas through constant “disturbing” actions of reconnaissance and sabotage groups.

And here on the evening of 8 February one of these groups, 90% consisted of Russian military personnel from the 25th special forces brigade, on a tip from local residents took to the outskirts Logvinova. And it turned out that the village is empty!

Logvinova is a small settlement located along the highway in the valley, but of paramount importance as the only all over the road. It turned out that literally a few hours before the 1st battalion of the 30th mechanized brigade, which defended this strategically important point, the order of the commander of the sector was shot and directed in the direction of Debaltsevo. In making this decision, Viktor Taran was guided by unverified information that the enemy broke into the area of Novohryhorivka was required urgently to parry the blow (actually there defence held out, although the blow was really).

In Logvinov remained only an observation post of the 54th separate reconnaissance battalion with one BMP-1. His soldiers, seeing the approach of the enemy, simply abandoned their positions.

While the generals understood what was happening and returned with the March battalion of the 30th brigade, the Russians very wisely ordered the “gift of life” and hastily began to pull in Line the tanks of the 5th tank brigade of the armed forces (better known as “Buryat”, since paragraph postannoy dislocation is located in the city of Ulan-Ude in Buryatia and the entire staff from there).

took up defensive positions in Logvinov, the militants staged a real massacre, because for six (!) hours nobody has banned driving on the road M103. There are different assumptions about why it happened, however, neither the official version of events from the General staff, nor the numerous interviews the people involved do not answer this question. As it became known to the author from their own sources, scouts 54 Orb reported to the command on the surrender of the village, and those supposedly — command sector. If so, then the decision to close the route with two parties should be the responsibility of the Colonel of a battering RAM.

In a very short time was shot, blown up by mines from nine cars that moved on the road from Artemovsk (Bakhmut), and out of Debaltsevo. Killed 25 soldiers, and the most painful was the death of four officers and the driver of the UAZ that drove in debaltseve mail of the General staff and secret radio equipment.

And some of our military finished after getting captured — all militants filmed on photo and video, and then posted to the Network. At least three soldiers from the 30th mechanized brigade they bury immediately behind the village, and the body of their commander was later found in the morgue of Donetsk with signs of torture and abuse (were mutilated head and no ear).

Almost a “pot”

the First attempt to recapture Lohvynove “immediately” was taken on the morning of February 9, forces the same of the 1st battalion of the 30th mechanized brigade, held here the defense a couple of days ago. Ukrainian soldiers hoped to knock a little reconnaissance, but by the time the enemy has already managed to bring 2 tanks and one BMP. Plus, having extremely unmotivated and tired infantry battalion Sobko obviously gathered enough forces to counterattack. Soon after losing two tanks, “thirty” was forced to withdraw.

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In the afternoon it was decided to strike as Logvinov, and Uglegorsk, where they accumulate reserves, the artillery chief of sector and chief of staff. The scope of the artillery barrage was impressive. As recalled by the officers of the 26th artbrigady, during 9-13 February Logvinov was released 96 of 220-mm rockets MLRS “Uragan”, 250 shells of calibre of 152 mm and 70 203-mm shells SAU 2S7 “Pion”. To understand the scale — the life of the barrel “Peony” is only rated for 450 shots.

But without adjusting all this power was actually lost — beat on the area. Barrage is not inflicted much damage.

Under artillery fire began to prepare serious local military operation to release Logvinova. For overall coordination on the night of 12 February in Luhansk from Kramatorsk arrived Syrski General — chief of staff of the ATO. Out of Donetsk were deployed additional forces, including paratroopers of the 79th and 95th brigades. How it was not easy to collect, shows at least the fact that the consolidated group of approximately 500 soldiers, six tanks, there were 10 (!) different units, including different products (for example, the reserve wouldl platoon of the battalion nazvanie “Donbass”).

the Operation was planned intelligently enough: the group was to advance in three directions to cover the settlement. At first the offensive, which began at 8:00, was very successful: the soldiers of the 30th brigade went into Line. Turned around and counter tank battle in the place where the victory was for our tankers, which destroyed 4 tanks of the Russian 5th tank brigade.

But then is not everything went to plan — 4th company of the 24th mechanized brigade, which was to attack from the rear, the order just sabotaged, remaining at the reference point 5 km from the village. The commander of the group for some time reported on “top” of the promotion, so Syrski had no real idea about the situation on the battlefield.

Meanwhile, the enemy was able to bring up reserves and to organize the artillery fire. The result was predictable — our group losses (killed 25 troops) retreated to their original position.

Although the next day Line again “leveled to the ground”, only the crews of tactical missiles “Tochka-U” has made 5 starts, but it was clear that the forces for a new operation just yet. Besides, the situation deteriorated in other areas.

the Loss Logvinov has made it very difficult supply debaltsevskoy groups. Although special forces and punched a different route, but it was a field road, which also shoots the enemy, and their capacity was extremely low.

East face

While the unfolding tragedy of Uglegorsk and Logvinov, on East face of “debaltsevskogo pocket” was not less important events. The enemy since the end of January, trying to knock down our defenses with a liquid circuit strongholds: “Mr-128”, “Sergay-128”, “Valera-128”, “Zenith-40”. But if the West acted in “Donetsk” formation (at that time no Cabinet system of the militants has not been, it was still gangs of the summer of 2014), then there attacked “Lugansk”, which had a much worse supply. And as shown by the fighting — much less motivated and prepared.

January 25, our garrison, representing only a reinforced platoon, the militants attacked the forces of a tank battalion. But, relying only on the power of tanks and artillery, they attacked without infantry support. In the end, two T-64 militants stormed directly on positions of the APU, but they were quickly burned. One tank shot at point blank range with grenade launchers, and the crew who tried to evacuate just killed, throwing grenades into the hatches.

Action enemy artillery was extremely inefficient — apparently “worked” the local “miners” and “metallurgists”. Overall, until the very end debaltsevskoy operations “Valera” action didn’t take, shelling it from afar.

a rather serious battles were fought in the area Nikishin. But here the enemy’s artillery showed their best side, almost sweeping away the positions of our military. With high probability, in contrast to “Valera” this was the work of Russian military personnel. In the end, after the destruction of all fortifications, our crew went North to the Redkodub.

However, here the situation was even more complicated — the opponent was able to cut supply routes and by February 6, the settlement was handed over. However, in General, in this area the militants failed at one stroke to break the defense of the APU in the future the Russians in this direction had to throw in HRe parts.

While the battle for Logvinova in Minsk for talks on 11 February arrived, Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande, Petro Poroshenko and Vladimir Putin. Began the famous night meeting prior to the signing of the Minsk-2, in which Russia tried to negotiate a ceasefire, and to rewrite the agreement of September 2014. How will the events develop under Debalcevo now depended very much…

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