Operational data from Information Resistance:
We are recording an increase in the activity of Russian-terrorist troops and a resulting escalation of conflict in the ATO zone in Donbas. During the past 24 hours, militants have carried out shellings and provocations, using small arms, grenade launchers, ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft systems, 82 mm mortars, as well as tanks (in one instance), and 120 mm mortars (in another instance). During the past 24 hours, militants were particularly active west and northwest of Donetsk, in the vicinity of Horlivka, and in the area of the Svitlodarsk bridgehead. Russian-terrorist units were also increasingly active south of Donetsk and in the coastal regions.
In certain areas, the militants are rapidly increasing their reconnaissance and sabotage activities (mainly mine-laying), using DRGs. The level of professionalism of these DRGs is notably diverse – groups of Russian GRU Spetsnaz are operating professionally, while groups of local militants trained in their “training centers” demonstrate a very low level of competence (even as far as detonating their own mines and tripwires).
Operating with two groups of mobile fire from the direction of Zhobunky and the private residences estate south of the Chervonoarmiiske Highway, militants shelled two advanced ATO strongholds in the vicinity of Pisky. The militants used heavy machine guns (at least two BTR-80’s fired from the direction of the private estate); from the direction of Zhobunky, the militant infantry group operated from the neutral strip, using 82 mm mortars and AGS-17 for fire support in addition to small arms.
From the direction of the DAP and Spartak, militants deployed 82 mm mortars and an SPG-9 against ATO positions in the vicinity of Opytne and the former anti-aircraft defense unit (8 shots were fired). Additionally, militants used a ZU-23-2 to fire on Ukrainian troop positions south of Avdiivka, from the direction of a 272.2 m high ground (near the Yasynuvata junction).
Militants pulled up additional firepower – 82 mm and 120 mm mortar units – to the northern outskirts of Horlivka (Poselok 6-7 estate, and near the Haharina Mine). Terrorists opened mortar fire (82 mm) on Leninske (where no Ukrainian troops are positioned). Additionally, militants opened heavy fire (using 4-5 AGS-17’s, at least two SPG-9 details, heavy machine guns, and 120 mm mortars) from the direction of waste banks near Poselok 6-7, firing at the ATO stronghold between Shumy and Mayorske. Militants also actively shelled the area of Zaitseve – Zhovanka (small arms, 82 mortars, ZU-23-2).
Militants also stepped up their activity in the Kominternove – Vodyane area. Namely, terrorists fired on Vodyane (where no Ukrainian troops are positioned) from the southern outskirts of Kominternove, using two “Vasilek” 2B9 automatic 82 mm mortars and AGS-17’s.
Militants fired on the ATO forces’ strongholds near Troitske from a tank (HE projectiles, up to 10 shots). Cover for the tank was provided by a BMP-2 (which did not open fire) and several AGS-17’s (which fired actively to prevent the ATO forces from deploying anti-tank weapons).
Militants organized supply lines for the reinforced battalion (BTG) which has been advancing in stages to the area east of Horlivka (see IR comment of 01.11.2016). Ammunition and equipment are being transferred to the deployment area of this BTG from the railway station in Debaltseve through Vuhlehirsk (six trucks of various types spotted during the past 24 hours).
In the Petrovskyi district of Donetsk, south of the horse riding club, a militant armored group has been spotted. The group includes three BMP-2’s, one BTR-80, two MT-LB’s, and up to one reinforced platoon of personnel (25-30 militants, including those on board armored vehicles). This armored group was proceeding south.
Militants have reactivated the reinforcement of their positions along the Zaichenko – Sakhanka line, as well as northwest of Telmanove. The right flank of the militants positioned near Zaichenko received four more armored vehicles (three BMP-2, one MT-LB) from the direction of the “reserve base” in Patriotychne. The artillery that previously operated east of Dzerzhynske (three units of BM-21 “Grad” MLRS, and at least five D-30A 122 mm howitzers) was moved north, to an area east of Kranoarmiiske (in the Shevchenko – Kozatske – Porokhnya triangle).
Militants are transferring reinforcements towards Krasnyi Oktyabr and Nova Mar’ivka. Up to one platoon of militants and ten pieces of equipment (including ACVs: several BTR-80’s) were transferred here from the direction of Telmanove. Ammunition is also being transferred to this area by motor transport.
The military leadership of the “LNR” continues reinforcing the tactical group deployed along the Kalynove – Veselohorivka – Sanzharivka line. Reinforcements are arriving through Bryanka, Almazna, and Virhulivka. Namely, four MT-LB’s, two Ural trucks (one shelter with a towed field kitchen), and two BRM-1K were spotted between Almazna and Hannivka. The convoy was proceeding in the direction of Veselohorivka, moving by dusk and observing concealment measures. The appearance of tanks near Kalynove (at least four spotted) and their use in the shelling of the advanced positions of Ukrainian troops indicates that the “LNR” forces in this direction of operation have been considerably reinforced. Combined with the “DNR’s” battalion tactical group (including artillery) emerging east of Horlivka, this gives rise to concerns about the enemy’s potential action in the area of the Svitlodarsk bridgehead and in the Artemivsk area of operation in general.
In the occupied territory, Russian military servicemen are conducting geodetic surveys in several sections along the demarcation line, to assess the degree of frost penetration into the ground – possibly to estimate the possibility of using armored vehicles of the Russian Armed Forces and the “DNR” for an offensive against Ukrainian troops. Specifically, such ground surveys are being conducted south of Donetsk, in the strip reaching as far as Dokuchajevsk.
The “DNR” command states that the incidence rate of infectious diseases among militants has increased. The situation is critical with terrorist units operating in the vicinity of the DAP – some 50% of those militants are undergoing treatment, and the Donetsk central infectious diseases hospital is filled to overcapacity. The medical stations for the “DNR” gangs are not stocked with antibiotics or fever-reducing drugs; their supply is expected shortly from Russia.