Frontline Update: January 23 Morning.
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
The offensive is still continuing with limited objectives. There are definite tactical successes, but one should not feel euphoria over the capture of small towns or checkpoints. Orders have been issued, and they will be carried out in due time. The main event is still ahead of us, the “northern wind” has not begun to blow, therefore one should not confuse the current offensive with that which occurred in August. Back then the operations were characterized by maneuver and that situation changed rapidly, whereas now we are seeing a thought out breakthrough of an enemy defense in-depth, where the main burden falls on Novorossia forces that have been transformed from individual detachments into a genuine army.
Considering enemy raiding groups entering Donetsk. This is the result of flaws in the personnel movement control system, as a result of which we cannot say that there is strict control over who enters Donetsk. Even with a low-level of conspiratorial work, enemy raiders can enter Donetsk and therefore they have their agents in the town, including specially prepared military formations as well as intelligence services. They are combated by our military police which is also relying on the civilian population. Successful capture of the “hooligans” are often due to the civilian population giving us signals, therefore let me remind you one more time—if you see something suspicious, call the military police, it may save lives and help destroy or capture fascist raiders.
Peski still have not been fully captured, the enemy has a fairly dense defense here, therefore offensive operations have ceased. Junta’s artillery in this area works chaotically, whereas it’s more systematic under Avdeevka. That town is firmly under junta control, the artillery positions there have not suffered such heavy losses as under Krasnogorovka or Peski. Enemy losses here ran in the hundreds mainly due to the attacks on the airport. Most of the attackers never reached the airport because they were hit by Grads and artillery on the approaches, which caused heavy losses. Our sources note the clumsy planning of the operation, as a result of which soldiers were simply sent to be slaughtered. Enemy tank breakthrough toward the Putilovka bridge is being investigated.
Concerning losses—Novorossia total losses are up to 300-350 killed and wounded. These are significant losses, though far lower than those of the junta, which only in the airport area lost up to 1200 killed, wounded, captured, and missing (and these losses were not dictated by the logic of the battle, they were lost due to incompetence even though they had enough forces to organize a proper counterattack). The casualty ratio on other sectors is less extreme than in the airport sector, where the junta generals caused heavy loss of life for the sake of propaganda. Most of our casualties are caused by enemy artillery fire. It is difficult to say how many civilian casualties there are—over the last week their number reached approximately 150-170, though possibly more.
No confirmation concerning the junta attack aircraft claimed shot down over Gorlovka. Likewise no activity from the “LPR aviation”, so far we are only using drones of domestic and foreign manufacture, and their work is being analyzed by those whose job it is to do so. The flow of volunteers has increased, but as before they are mostly suitable to forming rifle units, while there is still a shortage of technical specialists, tank and AFV crews. No problems with ammunition or winter uniforms, an abundance of small arms.
There is movement concerning state-building, discussion of introducing own currency have been revived (though this is a medium-term project), next month they will be discussing unifying the legal systems to form a basis of a federated/confederated state unit. But, as before, all of that takes the backseat to military operations and diplomatic maneuvers. So everything is developing very slowly due to other circumstances.
One last addition:
“DPR head [Zakharchenko]: The offensive will continue until it reaches the borders of the Donetsk region.”