Artillery Duels In Eastern Ukraine: Propaganda And Reality

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This video is based on a military analysis by Denis Seleznev; Voiceover by Harold Hoover

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Media coverage of the recent escalation in the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine has once again shown that mainstream media provides a slanted view on the military situation in the region. It is especially interesting to observe how various mainstream outlets and so-called “NGOs” blamed militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) for an alleged usage of human shields in artillery duels. However, all these reports just hide how things really work on the ground.

The recent escalation began in late January starting with a large-scale offensive by Ukrainian Armed Forces in the industrial area of Avdeevka, north of the DPR capital of Donetsk. Meanwhile, artillery strikes dramatically intensified along the entire contact line.

The escalation deeply affected Donetsk, Makeevka, and Yasinovataya which compose a de-facto, united, highly populated, urban, complex with industrial infrastructure.

A Soviet-made 82mm mortar, widely used by both sides in the conflict, has a maximum firing range of 3km.
A 120mm mortar has a firing range of 5km. D-30 122mm howitzers and 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers have a firing range of about 15km. 2S3 Akatsiya self-propelled howitzers have a firing range of about 18km, and BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher systems have a firing range of between 30 and 40 km in case of the usage of modern rockets.

If DPR and Ukrainian artillery units want to hit each other they are pushed to deploy these weapons much closer to the contact line. In case of a real combat in the area of Donetsk, and especially in case of a counter-battery fire, DPR forces are pushed to operate from areas located close to the urban complex. Furthermore, artillery units have to maneuver on a constant basis in order to avoid artillery strikes by the enemy.

In turn, Ukrainian Armed Forces have many more options to deploy artillery and other combat systems in non-populated areas but they don’t do this because in this case they will not be able to blame DPR units for shelling some residential areas.

It’s obvious that both sides implement a kind of military censorship hiding on an official level. However, this allows the mainstream media and think tanks to highlight some facts while hiding others in order to create a wide range of media forgeries, manipulating public opinion over the conflict.

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  • Rodney Loder

    I think this latest outbreak of violence is for the benefit of causing Trump to support Poroshenko, if he’s still the boss in Kyiv it’s been so long below the slime I’ve almost forgotten.
    Who remembers “Sashko Bilyi” a sincere lad he was, they said at first that he shot himself twice, so proud he made them feel.
    Or, better still my Sister in Religion if not Reason, Samantha Lewthwaite, shot dead Nov. 2014, Debaltsevo Eastern Ukraine, fighting with the Aidar Battalion, bested in a sniper duel by a volunteer from Russia, Samantha mother of 4 first married Suicide bomber Germaine Lindsay, then married an extremist killed in a fight with a splinter group of al-Shabaab.
    We are all trapped (except for me) by the prisim of our own existence (existentialism) only way out is to disembark from the common point of departure and think in terms of reality the subject of existence.

    • Daniel Castro

      Weren’t you in Syria preaching to ISIS?

      • Rodney Loder

        No not as yet, I think the problem is that some people are mixed up, basically it boils down to knowing the difference between a man made fabrication and a Divine One of which there is many put there by Allah for a very good reason, if He wanted everybody there wouldn’t be a problem with reality, but there is and only I can sort it out, that’s Allah’s problem already fixed by me, our problem is IS seemingly are showing some reluctance to be a part of the solution to human problem, they can blame al-Assad and I support them here because only al-Assad is preventing me taking up residence in Damascus.

        • Daniel Castro

          Well, when you get there tell us the news.

          • Rodney Loder

            OK, no worries.