During the night over Slavyansk breaking so called ceasefire, there were more than 10 unmanned aircraft gathering intelligence.
In the morning the enemy planes dropped off military cargo on parachutes, in the area of Kramatorsk airport. We restrained ourselves from using our anti air defense.
The enemy has resumed the movements of military convoys along the highway Kharkov-Rostov, around check points Gas Station and Vostochniy ( the enemy calls them, check point #3 and #4 ). According to our intelligence, one of the convoys delivered a large shipment of shells, that will be used for artillery strikes on our positions. We consider these actions a break in ceasefire. As a result of such actions, we carried out a mortar attack on one of the convoys in the area of the check point Vostochniy. The enemy’s mortar battery located in the area of the same checkpoint, responded by shelling Semenovka. We responded by shelling the enemy’s mortar battery, with our own, the enemy has casualties.
During the duration of the rest of the day, our recon groups observed as the enemy kept moving more troops and armored vehicles to the front positions located on the edges of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk. The enemy is getting ready for a complete cleansing of Yampol.
Slavyansk Garrison is warning, that we will not let our enemy use the declaration of ceasefire, to get into state of maximum readiness to storm our positions.
On all the other fronts our units, are sticking to the ceasefire agreement and are limiting themselves to observing the enemy’s actions.
We have a request:
As you know by now, we have been awarding Crosses of St. George. The only difference between these Crosses and the original Cross of St. George version used during the First World War is an engraving and its position [on the Cross]. As of this time, we have created granted approximately 30 of these awards (including several – posthumously), Crosses have been issued to a dozen of award holders.
However, the Cross of St. George is our highest form of recognition at this time. The personalized knives and pistols are also important, but we need another award of a lower rank than the Cross of St. George (which is issued for services rendered in connection with performing tasks directly on the field of battle), but which would permit us to reward [other] military achievements, including those not associated with an extremely high risk to life.
Simply speaking, we consider it necessary to institute an award of a Medal “For Military Valour,” taking, as a starting example, an appropriate USSR medal. Russian Federation does not have claims on this type of award (there is already an approximate equivalent – the Suvorov Medal). With a few changes in design, a medal like that would suit us well.
I propose that there take place a competition for the layout of the specified medal, to be conducted with a quick turnaround deadline. And, once a layout is confirmed, several hundred of these medals (to begin with) would need to be manufactured.
My gratitude, in advance, for all the proposals! I ask that the moderators [of Icorpus.ru] create a separate forum for this discussion.
Translated from Russian by Gleb Bazov
06.24.2014 10.50 am
Yesterday at 18.00 o’clock, the enemy established a forward mortar brigade at the village Vostochi. Using this mortar brigade they opened fire on Semenovka, 5 of our fighters received light wounds. With the return fire we were able to destroy one mortar installation. All day, until it got dark, the road through Semenovka has been under fire by the enemy tank, more specifically they were targeting our trucks “Gazelle” that deliver food to the city.
On the morning of the 24th the artillery strikes and positional fighting has resumed around Semenovka, our side has wounded.
To the west of Kramatorsk the enemy has created new check points, which they are strengthening with armored vehicles. To the North East of Kramatorsk around the village Malinovka, we spotted units of Right Sector with SS Galicina markings on their uniform.
We still don’t have the ability to restore water flow to the city of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, all the main water pumping facilities are under control of Ukrainian army and National Guard. The enemy keeps reinforcing their positions around the village of Krivaya Luka-Zakotnoe. As you can see, there is no way to abide by ceasefire under these conditions.
06.24.2014 11.00 am
At this moment there is a mortar shelling of the village Visiko-Ivanovka, water pipes that supply Slavansk, Kramatorks and other cities of DPR are located in this village, the pipes are the target.
06.24.2014 18.31 pm
During the rest of the day the enemy has shelled Semenovka two more times. Unfortunately one of our fighters, that was wounded early morning, a local from Horlovka, has passed away. The last mortar shelling has finished just minutes ago, our fighters are pinned in the trenches.
Regarding the downed chopper, I have not received any reports yet, once I receive the report and have all the details, I will either confirm or deny.
The enemy keeps massing large numbers of armor in the village of Krivaya Luka. According to the information from the locals, everyone is being removed from their homes, including the elderly. The locals are being blindfolded and transported outside the village, after they are told to get out of here, without any personal belongings. Several people have been killed right on the streets by the national guard, that’s considering we have very few fighters from that village.
I am categorically opposed to any “cult of personality” which some have started to sculpt out of my persona on various websites with a “patriotic” and “pseudo-patriotic” thematic. Actually, and frankly speaking, it is extremely unpleasant to read things about myself that are obviously devoid of reality. Many of the skills that are attributed to me I do not possess, not to any degree at all, and my “military successes,” for the most part, are explained not by any such “talents,” but by the enemy’s blatant ignorance in military affairs, its passivity and indecision.
I will be frank – I get absolutely no “rush” either from posters with an “idealized visage” or from fancy phrases like “an iron commander of iron strelkovites.” I can’t stand tarasconades [Note 1: desperate bravados], and such bravados are bursting through the seams already. Perhaps another, in my place, would have been convinced, but don’t expect it from me. I think of myself with measured skepticism, and I know equally well my accomplishments and my many limitations. I have no intention of engaging in politics in its pure form (I won’t even mention that this is neither the time nor the place for politics) and it is inappropriate to build, on the basis of my fleeting popularity, various “castles in the sky” or far-reaching plans in the genre of “patriotic fantasy”.
I especially cringe at the fact that, while a real war is ongoing (it’s irrelevant whether some like this term or not – the war is already upon us), my public statements are being used by way of an “ideological bomb,” aimed against the existing government.
I have written already, and will repeat again: having taken Crimea, Putin began a revolution from the top. The progress of [this revolution] is very, very difficult, it continues, but with constant vacillations from side to side. But it continues. And if we do not support [this revolution] now, its failure will sweep aside both him and the country. Moreover, during war, mutiny against the Commander-in-Chief is tantamount to a betrayal of the Fatherland. The “way of Guchkov-Milyukov-Lvov et al.,” who, in their own time, also implemented a rebellion in the name of “saving Russia,” led to a result we know well.
Note 1: Tarasconism or Tarasconade – a Russian-language Gallicism derived from the name of the city of Tarascon in Provence, France, which became famous after the publication of Alphonse Daudet’s “Tartarin of Tarascon,” the city of desperate braggarts. In other words, a tarasconade/tarasconism is a speech by a desperate braggart, alternatively, a desperate bravado.
Translated from English by Gleb Bazov / Edited by S. Naylor
Commentary to the Events of June 19 and 20
Q: Various Ukrainian mass media outlets published information about the losses of the [Ukrainian] punitive forces, and [according to them] the total figure is approximately 35 dead and 40 wounded.
A: If our sources in Izyum are to be trusted, the number of wounded, that were relocated there or sent to Kharkov after this battle, exceeds 300 men. However, I cannot guarantee this information – [it came to us] by way of the gossip mill. On the other hand, the numbers publicized by the Ukie media may well be right. Our losses in dead and wounded are approximately half of [the enemy losses] – our battalion was not destroyed, merely dispersed. It is now slowly coming together again. Once they are all back, our irretrievable losses will become clear. For now, there are 15 wounded in the hospital. They were evacuated in the first hours of the battle and at the end.
Q: What happened to the morning advance of the government forces? Are they still standing in columns, or have they been turned around to go hunt the tank forces [of the Novorossiya Armed Forces (“NAF”)]?
A: They turned around and left, all of them. Our battle group (from Lisichansk) has again occupied Yampol – those fighters that were unable to break through across the bridges to the south shore are now returning as well. They are taking up their previous positions. I am glad that the appeal to Russia was not left unanswered – the mere movement of Russian forces toward the border eliminated the Ukies’ attempt to break through to our rear.
Q: What is the status of the preparations to repel the Ukrainian army’s assault on Slavyansk?
A: The situation has changed dramatically. In the morning, we were preparing to repel a decisive attack, and now … I won’t tell you what we are preparing to do … (smiling).
Q: Igor Ivanovich, can you please comment Valeriy Bolotov’s statement about the urgent subordination to the Lugansk Republic of Alexey Mozgovoi’s units?
A: Mozgovoi is subordinated to the headquarters of the DPR (“Donetsk People’s Republic”) militia. And, for a long time now, he has been fighting in close coordination with [our forces]. Successfully fighting. His weapons and ammunition supplies come from us. In this case, Bolotov is engaged in misplaced parochialism.
Q: Igor Ivanovich, would you please explain what is being done with respect to the apparent disunity of the [militia] detachments? Is anyone trying to solve this dilemma, trying to organize unified headquarters of LPR (“Lugansk People’s Republic”) and DPR under the command of a single Commander-in-Chief?
A: What is there to explain? Even in DPR we have no single [unified] headquarters. And you are asking that there be one for two republics … When the time is right, there will be. An army should be commanded by a single person, who is both a military professional and an experienced administrator. I am hoping that some volunteer general with combat experience and combined arms leadership [skills], able to build high-level contacts with Russian colleagues comes to our aid. Otherwise, this guerilla warfare will last a very long time.
Translated from Russian by Gleb Bazov / Edited by S. Naylor
Just now you heard the sound of shooting. These are tanks attacking Semyonovka, shooting at our position. The attack is from all sides. But there its not so bad, our fighters are dug in well. What is worse is that the enemy has simultaniously attacked our positions under Yampol (towards Krasniy Liman) and from the South attacked the town of Seversk, where we had a tiny garrison. In essence there is no real fighting to be done there, 30 fighters with carbines is not something that can stop a tank company and a motorized infantry battalion.
I just returned from Yampol where we suffered many casualties, in machinery and weaponry. For the same simple reason, the enemy there has once again thrown more than 100 units of armor, with strong support from artillery, Grads and mortars. The first attack was repelled by our fighters, they knocked out one tank, but to stop 15-20 tanks with two
immobile anti-tank guns recoilless rifles is difficult. The battle is raging on there, but its likely that they will break through by nightfall.
On the other hand holding the positions in Yampol is now meaningless, our garrison will be in full encirclement. And will carry on fighting like in the defense of the Brest Fortress.
[Sarcastic] I would like to send my deepest thanks to the Russian Federation for their strong support to us and the Russian Donbass People.[/s] I hope that if there is any decency left in Moscow that there is enough to make them take on some sort of action.
In the opinion of the Commander-in-Chief of the DPR (“Donetsk People’s Republic”) Militia, the announced ceasefire is merely a ploy to allow [Ukraine] to regroup its forces.
The news of a ceasefire immediately spread across Slavyansk. Where there is electricity, people learned about it through television, where there is none – with the help of radios that still catch the signal of the Kramatorsk radio station. The first thing that we asked [Strelkov] about:
Question: Will any of the militia fighters take advantage of the amnesty and leave the city using the announced corridor?
Igor [Strelkov] noted that simply leaving their positions is out of the question for the militia:
Strelkov: If anyone wants to leave the militia for one reason or another, he must first take part in the engineering-building works. This is [a requirement] that is independent of Poroshenko or any [purported] ceasefires.
However, the ceasefire itself has not been felt by any of the militia fighters or the civilians of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk. According to Strelkov, he found out about the peace initiatives at 7:00 pm, when he received a call and was told about the unilateral ceasefire by the Ukrainian side:
I smiled skeptically, told us Igor [Strelkov].
Strelkov: I thought to myself that we’ll find out at 23:00 whether this ceasefire is real or not. For many days now, at this time (when in Moscow it’s midnight), the enemy lobs its ammunition at us or at Semyonovka or Kramatorsk. Using two or three [artillery] batteries. I was wrong. The artillery strikes began at 21:30. Two [artillery] batteries, at four guns each, hit Kramatorsk, which is when the ceasefire ended. In the morning, an SU ground attack fighter bombed Kramatorsk, it missed, but that changes nothing. For me, such “ceasefires” are [imaginary]. Forgive my expression, but I could spit at such ceasefires.
Having been entirely disappointed by the peace inititiative of the Ukrainian side, the militia attacked the enemy early in the morning:
Strelkov: The checkpoint at Krasniy Liman was hit at close range with AGS (automatic machine grenade launcher). We inflicted serious losses to enemy manpower at BZS (refuelling station). Using RPO-A Shmel (reactive or rocket-assisted portable flamethrower), our intelligence-gathering group conducted a strike against their rest and encampment positions, hitting the windows precisely.
Question: Supposing, for a moment, that they will, after, cease-fire and establish some sort of corridors … Would anyone want to leave?
Strelkov: Yesterday alone, we received approximately 40 volunteers. Today, I am expecting around 50. To date, I have witnessed only an inflow of [volunteers] to our region. People join the ranks of the militia, receive weapons and take their places at our combat positions. Any outflow is insignificant. Of course, we do get craven people, there are also deserters. There are those, who, having come under fire, become terribly afraid and announce their desire to [leave]. As in any army, their share is about 10%. I think that there will be no one willing to take Poroshenko’s offer either in the Slavyansk garrison or the in the garrisons of the neighbouring cities.
According to Strelkov, his initiative shows that Poroshenko is trying to keep a good face while playing foul. Even now, Ukranian force, in large columns, are moving from Berdyansk to Mariupol and, from there, to the North – North-East. Their intention is to assume starting positions for an offensive along the border.
According to [Strelkov], they are planning to cut off the Lugansk and Donetsk oblasts from their natural food and fuel supply channels – channels, which theoretically, could be used for equipment and weaponry.
Strelkov: In the end, we are still hoping that Russia will help us sooner or later. But, for now, the Ukrainian side will conclude concentrating their forces in the course of the next twenty-four hours, will conduct new air and artillery strikes, and will commence an offence along the border in both direction – from the North and from the South. No other conclusion is possible, unless, of course, Vladimir Vladimirovich personally intervenes in this situation and takes some sort of measures to completely undermine the plans concocted by the Kiev occupation powers.
Interview by Alexander Kots and Dmitry Steshin
(Komsomolskaya Pravda (“KP”))
Translated from Russian by Gleb Bazov / Edited by S. Naylor
“Immediate and wide-scale assistance from Russia is needed”
The Commander-in-Chief of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Militia believes that, if Moscow does not intervene, the self-defence units will be unable to withstand [the onslaught] of the Ukrainian Army.
The Commander-in-Chief of the DPR Militia told us about the massive artillery shelling of residential neighbourhoods in Kramatorsk and offered an unpromising prognosis.
Right now you’re hearing explosions: the enemy is shelling the outskirts of Slavyansk and the city of Kramatorsk with several batteries of heavy howitzers. The massive strikes are directed exclusively at residential neighbourhoods and industrial complexes. While Slavyansk has, by now, become accustomed to constant, unending, day and night artillery strikes, in Kramatorsk there’s now a state of panic. For the first time, apartment buildings and private houses there have been hit with heavy munitions. There are fires, explosions, a multitude of dead and wounded.
This is being done to show all the cities of Donbass exactly what will happen to them in the future. They’ve [nearly] obliterated Slavyansk. Almost half the city’s population has fled to Russia. Now they’ll obliterate Kramatorsk—and Kramatorsk is larger than Slavyansk. We’ll end up with several more tens of thousands of refugees, the major part of whom will end up in Russia. As far as I’m aware, Russia is entirely unready to receive tens, hundreds, thousands and then millions of refugees.
After Kramatorsk will follow Druzhkovka, Konstantinovka, Gorlovka, Makeevka, Donetsk, Lugansk, and then—everywhere else. We can see [perfectly well] how the Ukrainian Army acts: they don’t strike at the positions of the Militia, [they strike] at the infrastructure; they promise to grant safe passage to repair brigades, and then they fire on them; they claim that we hit our own schools and water-purification facilities. As if we do it all, like terrorists, while they’ve got nothing to do [with this destruction].
A brief prognosis: the enemy has transferred its main infantry and tank forces to the north of the Lugansk oblast and to the south of the Donetsk[oblast]. Each day they advance by ten to fifteen kilometres, methodically cutting off the “rebellious” regions from the border with Russia. Cutting [us] off from any and all help; [cutting us off] from arms and ammunition—which, hypothetically, could someday be supplied; from food and medicines. I can assure you that if Russia doesn’t take immediate steps, they’ll achieve success.
Even the several thousand Militia, who are now concentrated along the border (armed with several tanks, a few artillery pieces, and perhaps even a large number of machine guns and grenade launchers) will be unable to withstand for a long time the aviation, artillery, and the multitude of tanks. The ratio of tanks can be estimated at 1:500; of APCs, 1:300; and of artillery, 1:800.
There’s no point even mentioning air power. A week, two, three—maybe even a month—will pass and the most battle-ready detachments of the Militia will be bled dry and, sooner or later, will be routed and eliminated. This, how the enemy operates, we’ve observed in Mariupol.
There they surrounded the city, blockaded it with checkpoints, using their equipment, and cut it off from any possibility of help. After that, their punitive units entered. These special units, composed of the so-called volunteers, are in reality mercenaries: the Azov, Donbass and other [such battalions]. Once done, they clean-up the city of the few Militia there and move on to the next one. Meanwhile, a garrison is moved into this city, which takes up key positions, roots out all the “malcontents,” and places them in filtration camps… That’s what awaits us.
Now let’s talk about the social debate, where two alternatives are offered: a full-scale war or non-interference in the affairs of Novorossiya. This non-interference means instilling into Russian society a belief that the local Russians—by themselves and without Russia’s help—will be able to defend Novorossiya, repulse the enemy’s onslaught and hold for as long as may be necessary in order to give Russia time to make some kind of decision. The second alternative is a belief that the commencement of war is not in Russia’s interest, that it will lead to serious economic consequences. I can say this: the war that, even now, is already being waged, will end disastrously for Russia, in an economic sense. Russia will suffer economically from this war because it didn’t intervene in time, it didn’t introduce peacekeeping forces. [Russia] could have occupied the entire Donetsk and Lugansk regions when they rose up against the adversary. It could have been done painlessly immediately after the referenda. But Russia didn’t [intervene] and from that moment on we began losing ground.
As things now stand, a peacekeeping intervention is impossible without engaging in a large-scale war, involving air-strikes, artillery fire, tank incursions; involving a partial mobilization of the Russian Army. I’ll tell you honestly: we’re biding time, we’re mobilizing our paltry resources and people; but we can’t catch up with the enemy. Some think that the Ukrainian Army will fall apart, should you only spit at it. It’ll fall apart once it meets a counterpart able to match it at least part-way. But what we have here isn’t even a fight between David and Goliath, it’s [an encounter] between an elephant and an ant. An ant can cause lots of pain biting an elephant. But even an old and sick elephant will crush an ant. Even if its legs buckle, the elephant will crush it with its sheer mass.
It shouldn’t be forgotten that the enemy receives economic, financial and military aid from all of Europe and the United States. The hryvnia floats after two months of war not because it’s a stable currency—that’s just ridiculous. How can anyone imagine that we could stand our ground [when our enemy receives] such massive support? Yes, we can hold Slavyansk a month—maybe a month and a half—but sooner or later they’ll still eliminate us. We can’t transfer our garrison to another city without abandoning this territory. We can organize five Slavyansks, which will be encircled and eliminated, together with their inhabitants.
There’s only one alternative to war or complete abandonment of Novorossiya—immediate de facto recognition of Novorossiya and the Donetskand Lugansk People’s Republics and the provision of real, large-scale and urgent military assistance to them. I’m addressing Russia as Commander-in-Chief of the Donetsk People’s Republic Militia and as a patriot of Russia and the Russian people. You can take it as an address in the name of [the entire] Donetsk Militia.
Now, as for the tactical situation report: at the moment, there are five enemy howitzer batteries near Slavyansk. They’re comprised of twenty full-fledged heavy artillery pieces, with calibres ranging upwards from 122mm. Four to five mortar batteries, with calibres of 120mm and 80mm. The enemy has fortified its positions well, and its infantry numbers exceed ours. Furthermore, the enemy forces at each of its checkpoints equal our garrisons in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk combined—and I mean our entire garrisons. I’m not even raising the equipment’s functional state. We’ve not even one tank: the enemy has them at each checkpoint.
There are six tanks at their checkpoint near the turn onto Krasniy Liman. If I were to send the Militia to assault this checkpoint, they’d be hit with mortar fire in the open field before even getting there. And then, from high up, [enemy] aviation would bomb them; then the howitzer fire; and then the tanks would crush them. What we’ll get is [a repetition of the battle] at Donetsk Airport, except with even higher casualties. When the Militia, bled dry, would retreat to their starting positions, they’d not only have no means to advance, but also no means to defend. This breakdown is the same on every front. We can bite the enemy, we can attack from the flanks, we can operate in sabotage-intelligence groups and destroy one or two armoured elements a day.
All made possible solely by the heroism of the fighters, who can penetrate into the enemy’s deep rear and hit him point-blank. But heroism alone, lightly armed with grenade launchers and several mortars, can’t swing the balance of the battle—we can only defend. Unfortunately, the enemy has superiority over us on every section of the battlefield. There are rumours that we have armoured vehicles, tanks. Never are there more lies than during war and fishing! I know that Alexander Mozgovoi conducted a good operation, seized some trophies, destroyed a few others. But all this is peanuts. The enemy can replace any number of destroyed or seized equipment from the interminable Soviet reserves; we don’t even have a secure rear for repairing armoured elements, and we’ve no spare parts or supplies. One APC can’t stand against twenty or thirty. And even the three old, aged tanks, which were restored in Gorlovka with great difficulty—even these three tanks can’t match thirty. Or, rather, sixty or ninety. Ukrainian tanks can be counted in the hundreds. We won’t even speak about the Su-25s flying overhead—we do shoot them down, from time to time, but they maintain full air superiority.
Translated into English by Gleb Bazov / Edited by S. Naylor & @GBabeuf
Situation around Slavyansk mostly didn’t change. However we are starting to see small pull backs of infantry and some pull back of machinery away from the city. The enemy keeps shelling Semenovka, however there was no shelling of the city itself over the past day. They moved here a fresh unit of the National Guard. We already had two skirmishes with them, one during the day, one in the evening. The incidents happened in the Slavyanks Kurort and the other between two villages of Artem and Severni. In both skirmishers National Guard suffered defeat, I believe at least two killed and 5-6 wounded, from our side one guy is lightly wounded.
The enemy keeps setting up mines around the area and strengthening their block posts. I believe they trashed the idea of storming the city. However they are still probing our defenses, with reconnaissance groups. The skirmishers that I described earlier happened against such groups.
I believe the enemy has decided that they will break their teeth in Slavyansk, so they will look for easier prey. Also, around Krasni Liman, our mobile mortar group, with infantry support shelled a Ukrainian military block post around Kirovsk village, which is just west of Krasni Liman. The enemy has suffered severe casualties and at very least 1 military machine was destroyed. What machine was it, we are still trying to find out, there was a lot of fire and smoke, but its hard to tell what specifically was hit.
Also we carried out an attack at another block post on a highway Kharkov-Rostov with a turn to Krasni Liman, we damaged a tank with a direct hit. I will not say it was destroyed, since you cannot destroy a tank with a mortar round. However we did take it out of service for awhile, our group observed how it was was towed out of the ditch and put on a truck.
So basically what we have is a lot of small positional confrontations which are normal for a type of war that is going on. Over the past day we had 4 wounded, unfortunately one of them has died. Regarding the enemy losses, I gave you an estimate, however I cannot state them exactly.
Q. What are your thoughts about the army of South East and their downing of the transport military plane IL-76?
About time. Its unacceptable for the enemy to land in Donetsk and Lugansk without any consequences. Finally some fighters and commanders showed themselves adequate and were able to organize anti-air defense and started downing planes of the insolent enemy that thinks himself safe over our territory.
Q. Does militia in Donetsk region have the ability to carry out similar attacks, since the enemy planes land and take off from Donetsk airport?
I believe that they can do it. However I have very little ability to communicate with and to command our forces in Donetsk. Because of that I cannot give you exact reasons why such things are not happening in Donetsk. Perhaps they have good reasons for not doing it.
Q. In the internet there is some new information regarding two newly downed planes. Do you have any information?
We have some preliminary information that over Horlovka, our people have downed a SU-25. However that information has not been confirmed yet, and I would like to wait for confirmation before stating it as a fact. We do know that today Horlovka was hit by an air strike. I believe the strike was supposed to target city police building. The strike missed the building but, but did hit close by. There are three people dead and 7 wounded, as to who these people are, fighters or civilians. I don’t have this information at this time.