Thursday, 02 November 2017 10:00


Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 02.11.2017 
Putin’s War is relentless. There is no ceasefire in Russia’s invasion of Europe in Donbas. In the month of October, Russian armed forces attacked Ukrainian defenders and Ukrainian civilians 544 times on the Mariupol, Donetsk, and Luhansk battlefronts. That’s an average of one attack every 1 hour 22 minutes over the whole month. Russia attacked with mortars, grenade launchers, tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, large-bore artillery, multiple-launch rocket systems, anti-aircraft guns, heavy machine guns, and small arms. Ukrainian casualties were 11 armed services members killed in action and 47 wounded in action. The worst single day for Ukraine was October 25, when four soldiers were killed and four were wounded. Defensive positions of the Ukrainian armed forces were attacked by the Russian invader/occupiers of Donbas, but the homes and businesses of civilians were targeted too. 
On the Mariupol and Donetsk battlefronts, Russian armed forces are the 1st Army Corps (so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic”). On the Luhansk battlefront, Russian armed forces are the 2nd Army Corps (so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic”). This army is made up of Russian regular and irregular soldiers, commanded by Russian officers, armed and equiped by Russia, and paid by Russia.
In October, Russia attacked Ukrainian towns, villages and fortified positions on the Mariupol battlefront 163 times
Vodyane = 25 attacks 
Shyrokyne = 18 
Hnutove = 16 
Talakivka = 15 
Pavlopil = 15 
Starohnativka = 13 
Maryinka = 12 
Novotroitske = 6 
Lebedynske = 3 
Bohdanivka = 2 
Staromykhailivka = 1 
Berezove = 1 
92 out of 163 attacks (56%) were against targets that are within 10 km of Pikuzy. Pikuzy is a village seized by Russian forces in violation of the Minsk Agreements, which is 10 km away from the outskirts of Mariupol. If the Russian invaders were to capture Mariupol, this would be a significant step to building a “land bridge” to Ukrainian Crimea, which Russia illegally occupies.
In October, Russia attacked Ukrainian towns, villages and fortified positions on the Donetsk battlefront 227 times
Avdiivka = 31 attacks 
Zaitseve = 25 
Pisky = 18 
“Butovka” mine = 15 
Kamianka = 14 
Mayorsk = 13 
Nevelske = 12 
Opytne = 10 
Verkhnotoretske = 10 
Luhanske = 9 
Novoselivka Druha = 4 
Krasnohorivka = 3 
Novohorodske = 2 
Shumy = 2 
Novoluhanske = 2 
Artemove = 1 
Svitlodarsk = 1 
Myronivskyi = 1 
92 out of 227 attacks (40%) were against civilian and military targets that are 10 km from the Yasynuvata block post and the “PromZone” of Avdiivka. These are places that are 10 km from the centre of Donetsk city. Between Donetsk and Horlivka and between Donetsk and Debaltseve the only place where the Russian invaders do not completely control the highway is along the battlefront between Yasynuvata and Avdiivka. The Russians attacked Avdiivka every single day in the month of October because control of the M-04 highway is important to them.
In October, Russia attacked Ukrainian towns, villages and fortified positions on the Luhansk battlefront 155 times:
Krymske = 21 attacks 
Novooleksandrivka = 13 
Triokhizbenka = 11 
Popasna = 8 
Stanytsia Luhanska = 8 
Troitske = 7 
Valuiske = 5 
Novozvanivka = 4 
Lobacheve = 4 
Novotoshkivske = 3 
Kryakivka = 2 
Katerynivka = 2 
Shchastya = 1 
Orikhove = 1 
Bohuslavske = 1 
Zolote = 1 
52 out of 155 Russian attacks (33%) were along the Siverskyi Donetsk river. 41 out of 155 attacks (26%) were along the Bakhmut Road. The Russian invaders have been probing defences along the Siverskyi Donets river for years, and they’ve been practicing river crossings with infantry and armour. For Ukrainian defenders the Siverskyi Donetsk river is a natural barrier which protects the northern part of Luhansk region, which still lies within Free Ukraine.
Russia violates the ceasefire every day and night, often using weapons proscribed by the Minsk Agreements and often firing from residential areas. Ukrainian defenders fire back only some of the time, when the Russians are using aimed fire and when they are not using human shield tactics. Every Russian attack fails to capture ground. Putin is well and truly stuck in a quagmire which is entirely of his own making. He cannot win the war that he stupidly started for no good reason.
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