The conflict in the region of Donbass in Eastern Ukraine has been ongoing between the Kiev government and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics since 2014. The hot phase of the conflict in fact finished in 2015 after the devastating lose of the Ukrainian Army in the battle of Debaltseve.
Since then the shaky ceasefire regime has been established in the area thanks to the Minsk agreements. Under the same agreements both DPR/LPR forces and the Ukrainian Army are prohibited from using heavy weapons, at least publicly.
In this conditions, the Ukrainian Army has started employing a costly, but effective, at least in the terms of psychological impact, approach of trench warfare. It uses anti-tank guided missiles Fagot and Konkurs against firing-points and separate targets in the DPR/LPR-controlled area.
The Fagot is a second-generation tube-launched SACLOS (semi-automatic command to line of sight) wire-guided anti-tank missile system developed in the USSR. One missile costs approximately 4,000 USD. The Konkurs is also a Soviet wire-guided anti-tank missile system developed in the USSR. One Konkurs missile costs about approximately 13,000 USD.
Therefore, it is hard to describe the usage of anti-tank guided missile against separate targets and firing positions as a very cost-effective approach. On the other side, it allows to achieve an apparent result, especially in the field of psychological pressure on enemy personnel. Another important point is that the usage of these anti-tank demonstrated a growing professionalism of ATGM operators in units of the Ukrainian Army deployed in eastern Ukraine. One of the reasons behind this is their constant participation in combat actions of various intensity, without a need to save munitions and with the employment of modern methods and combat systems. One more factor is assistance from and deployment of high professional US and NATO instructors and specialists.
Alexander Khodakovsky, a former commander of the DPR’s Vostok Battalion, which was formed during the 2014 events in Donbass, noted the current situation a separate post in Vkontakte social media on March 10.
“Apparently, Ukraine lives richly,” he said adding that just recently a guided missile hit a fortified position of DPR forces. Khodakovsky said that no casualties were caused by this attack, but in a previous case one person was killed.
At the same time, as Khodakovsky notes in his post, DPR and LPR forces have no resources to provide an adequate answer to such attacks.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Interview with Igor Strelkov
- In Video: Ukrainian Military Struck DPR Positions With Anti-Tank Guided Missile Near Donetsk