Donbass Escalation Update, February 3, 2017

Original by Yuriy “yurasumy” Podolyaka published at Naspravdi; translation from Russian by J.Hawk

Fighting of unprecedented intensity: this is how the observers and participants are characterizing it.  Fighting with varying degree of intensity (mainly confined to artillery bombardments) has broken out along nearly the entire line of contact. It was particularly hot both today and yesterday in the vicinity of Donetsk (the sector from Gorlovka to Maryinka).

The nightmarish night in Donetsk

This night was the hardest and most fearful in a year or more. First several shells struck the city center. Then a wave of panic swept the social media. It culminated when a car with ammunition blew up, which was initially reported by local media as a Tochka-U strike, then an Uragan strike. Roughly at the same time, strong artillery bombardments blanketed the Kuybyshevskiy and Kievskiy districts of Donetsk.

In the meantime an “information bomb” blew up in Avdeyevka. A humanitarian aid distribution point was hit and several people died. British journalists also came under fire in Avdeyevka. This happened a few hours prior to the UNSC session.

Incidentally, this to a large extent explains the fierceness of US UNSC Ambassador Nikki Haley’s speech.

 Provocation or accident

What happened? Was it a provocation or an accident? It seems there are too many accidents happening all in one place. But it’s not the provocation I was afraid of yesterday. This provocation had a different purpose and a different audience.

What I really don’t like is the stepped up rhetoric in the media. Both sides are doing it. It’s happening against the backdrop of a sharp military escalation. Both yesterday and today, there were exchanges of artillery fire practically along the entire line of contact. In this situation it’s enough for a single provocation to cause a large number of casualties to unleash something much larger…DPR leaders issued several bold statements yesterday, including Zakharchenko who threatened Kiev with consequences if the shelling continued. Threatened with an Avdeyevka caudron…

But right not it’s better not to think about that, though one should recognize there is about a 10% chance of this happening.

 Fire in all directions

In the Avdeyevka area, UAF defensive positions have been pummeled by nearly continuous artillery fire during the whole of February 2. Over the last day, junta defensive positions along the flanks—Kamenka, Vodnoye, Opytnoye–also came under dense artillery fire.

The whole frontline from Maryinka to Gorlovka is becoming a site of continuous artillery duels. They deprived Maryinka of electricity overnight.

The situation around Mariupol has also deteriorated sharply during the last two days. The initially sporadic artillery exchanges are gradually becoming regular.

Losses

Kiev customarily issues a daily report of a few killed and a dozen wounded. Though it’s not clear how to reconcile these reports with the following information from Kiev:

“All concerned blood donors are asked to appear at the Military Hospital Blood Center between 9:00 and 12:00. It is expected to receive soldiers wounded in Avdeyevka. The biggest shortages are in Rh-negative blood types, as well as AB-Positive.”

This is from Channel 112 reporter Elena Morozova, from the Kiev Central Clinical Military Hospital…

Isn’t this odd? Let me explain. Most of the wounded are usually sent to Kharkov and Dnepropetrovsk. Once the hospitals there overflow, the remainder are sent to Kiev, Odessa, Vinnitsa, etc. Morozova’s report is from Kiev (!!!) where there is already a blood shortage (!!!). But, officially, there are no losses…or only a few…or at most a dozen or two. You get the idea.

This is just one of the indicators which the official propaganda could not interdict (though they were able to silence the Kharkov “sisters of mercy”) but which reveals the real extent of casualties.

Humanitarian situation

Still no electricity in Avdeyevka. The coke plant is working at 1/3 capacity, which keeps the city from freezing and maintains a relatively tolerable indoor temperature of 13-17 degrees Celsius.

The remaining population is slowly but surely departing at a rate of several hundred a day. The majority of kids are being evacuated to places in the northern part of the province. While there is a danger of a humanitarian catastrophe in the city (one direct hit on the coke plant would shut it down, unleashing a chain reaction that would destroy all of the city’s life support systems) but the situation remains relatively stable.

That’s all for now. I’m continuing to monitor the situation.

 

 

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  • Khang Tiger

    OSCE is only the western political propaganda

    • Byzantines

      Lavrov brought O S C E in Donbass.

      • 888mladen .

        The same happened with Serbia.

  • Volodymyr Nesterenko

    russian wankers get off Ukraine!