Fierce fighting continues in the vicinity of Debaltseve. To take this settlement under its control, the Russian-terrorist troop command threw all of its reserves into the fight.
For example, in Stakhanov, which previously held large concentrations of local insurgents and Russian mercenaries, as well as weapons and equipment, by the morning of 02.18.2015, there remained only 300 terrorists at maximum, 2 BM-21 “Grad” vehicles (not combat-ready) and a mortar battery – other forces and resources were deployed nearDebaltseve. A similar situation is in Horlivka, where all the resources were also transferred to the vicinity of Debaltseve (in particular, 11 tanks and 5 AFVs got moved from this area into Kalynivka and the area north of Vuhlehirsk). A “reinforcement” for insurgents passed from Donetsk to Yenakiieve through Yasynuvata – about 300 people, 4 tanks, 2 ZU-23-2, 3 trucks with D-30 towed howitzers, 2 BMP-2, 2 BTR-80, and 4 covered trucks. This manpower and vehicles were gathered in two districts of Donetsk(Petrovsky and Kuibyshev) to participate in the Debaltseve operation.
A new strike tactical force of Russian-terrorist troops which IR has reported about, who arrived earlier in Verhulivka yesterday morning (February 17, 2015) along with another company tactical group that operated here before, went on the offensive. Another enemy tactical group (up to two reinforced companies) hit Debaltseve from the northeast. Overall, the enemy has used about 25 tanks, up to 35 ACVs with the support of 3 artillery battalions in the fight (up to 40 barrel artillery and 12 MLRS units). As a result, the enemy was able to break into the city and initiate street combat there. The enemy continues to maintain fire control of the road between Debaltseve and Artemivsk from towering heights (towering (command) height 307.9 is also occupied by the enemy) and prevents the units defending themselves inside the city from re-supply. By yesterday evening, the Ukrainian artillery inflicted fire strikes on enemy combat formations in the vicinity ofLohvynove and east of Debaltseve.
On the outer perimeter of the bridgehead in the vicinity of Faschivka, Ukrainian troops repulsed an attempt by Russian-terrorist forces to attack a Ukrainian checkpoint. As a result of return fire by Ukrainian servicemen, a terrorist BMP-2 (it was abandoned by the crew) and a BTR- 70 (finished off from an RPG) have been destroyed. The enemy has been driven back with thick flank fire to its [former] start line.
In the vicinity of Shyrokyne, having occupied a tall residential building near the village yesterday morning, a division of Russian-terrorist forces began to carry out attacks on Ukrainian positions with two mortars. Two hours later, the division was shot down by Ukrainian troops and began to retreat toward Novoazovsk. As a result of return fire by Ukrainian troops, another terrorist group moved back to the northeast from the eastern edge of Shyrokyne under the cover of two tanks. One of the tanks was put out of action by the fire of Ukrainian units ([it] was evacuated).
East of Luhansk, a group of armored vehicles was recorded on the march, heading south. The group included 3 tanks, 4 BMP-2, a BMP-1, 2 BTR-80, and 5 covered trucks. This “demo” terrorist group has been put in place to depict a “withdrawal of heavy weapons” by Russian-terrorist forces “in execution of Minsk agreements.”
The ‘DNR’ [Donetsk people’s republic] police are trying to ban the formerly disabled insurgents (particularly with torn off limbs) from appearing in public. At the moment, the “policemen” are trying to conduct “outreach” activities, urging disabled terrorists to seldom leave their homes. Several conflicts over this have been observed.
Dmitry Tymchuk, Head of the Center of Military-Political Studies, Coordinator of the Information Resistance group, Member of Parliament (People’s Front)
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine