Combined militant-and-Russian troops increase number of attacks, bring multiple rocket launchers back to the contact line. Command is on rotation, officers – troops on active duty are sent from Russia.
Kyiv, May 19, 2016. On May 1 1st and 2nd army corps of combined militant-and-Russian troops started rotation of command personnel. “Arriving on rotation are the units of the Russian Federation Armed Forces that include officers from Chechnya, North Ossetia, Volgograd, Adygea, the Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia, Dagestan as well as from Armenia and Abkhazia (occupied part of Georgia),” said Vadym Skibitskyi, representative of the Main Intelligence Department of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Skibitskyi explained the staffing policy of the 1st and 2nd army corps – preference is given to former military or mercenaries that come from Ukraine, have relatives in Ukraine or resided here for some time. “In such a way it is expected to lay the basis for the so-called ‘wave of repatriates” who are allegedly returning to their historic Fatherland and will be presenting themselves as indigenous persons,” explained Skibitskyi. According to intelligence information they are being promised increase of remuneration, assigning of ranks early, career advance, priority entry rules to military academies including the General Staff academy as well as a possibility to choose their next deployment place.
Main Intelligence Directorate got to know that Major-General of the Russian Federation Armed Forces Nikolay Yefimov arrived to take up the post of the Deputy Commander Chief of Staff of the 1st army corps deployed to Donetsk. “Major-General’s priority task is to set up a new ideological platform to keep high the morale of personnel of the 1st and 2nd army corps as well as of residents of the occupied Donbas. To achieve this it is planned to widely use populist messages that present enforcement structures ‘DPR’ and ‘LPR’ developing based on ‘people’s support’, spread the ideas of the ‘Russian world’, federalization of the Ukrainian state etc.,” said Skibitsky.
At the same time the number of servicemen filing resignation notes is rising. According to intelligence entire units of the 6th separate motor rifle regiment in Stakhanov claim willingness to resign. Among the reasons is a high number of losses that produces a negative impact upon the militant morale. Thus since May 1 militants have lost at least 20 killed and 50 wounded, 13 and 23 of which respectively are regular Russian troops. “Number of killed and heavily wounded Russian servicemen on active duty has considerably increased lately resulting from hitting own mines due to unsystematic mining and loss of minefield maps,” noted representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate.
Skibitsky also noted that as the May holidays ended the number of provocative attacks upon positions of ATO forces is gradually growing. Militants made a total of 142 attacks over the last week, attacks over the week that preceded it amount to 80. Militant groups are again actively using 122-mm howitzers when shelling industrial areas of Avdiivka. Highest intensity of attacks stands in the Donetsk sector numbering 76 attacks over the last week that is three times bigger than over the previous week (27 attacks).
Intelligence also registered that multiple rocket launchers had been returned to the contact line. Thus 40 units of 122-mm Grad systems were discovered near Amvrosiyivka, Horlivka, Donetsk, Makiyivka, Mineralne, Mius, Novoselivka, Ternove, Yasynuvate; four units of 300-mm Smerch systems in Pervomaysk and three 200-mm units of Uragan systems in Makiyivka. According to intelligence information Russia has supplied to militants 10 armored vehicles, 1000 tons of fuel and over 100 tons of ammunition. Thus 12 152-mm self-propelled artillery systems Akatsiya were brought to Donetsk that is a direct violation of the Minsk agreements. It was registered that five mobile electronic warfare systems Leer-2 were delivered in Donetsk. “Operating the system in question requires special radio-engineering expertise and thus proves that Russian regular troops are directly taking part in combat actions on the temporarily occupied areas in eastern Ukraine,” emphasized Skibitsky.