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Latest from Debaltsevo: Cauldron Holds as Azov Battalion Launches Offensive near Mariupol

  • Ukrainian attempts to restore the supply route for the encircled group on the M-103 road have failed. The Cauldron remains
  • Azov Battalion has launched an offensive near Mariupol
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The latest update from Colonel Cassad: 

The village of Logvinovo that was captured on the morning of February 9th has been held by the NAF forces. The attempts to recapture the settlement and to restore the supply route for the encircled group on the M-103 road have failed and therefore February 9th has become the first day of the existence of a truncated version of the Debalcevo cauldron. Fighting in the area of Logvinovo attained a "positional nature" with the active use of artillery according to the junta. The failure of unblocking actions will lead to a further increase in the density of the emergent lid of the cauldron. In essence the Debalcevo group was split in two, due to which more than 5 thousand people ended up being encircled, among them there are about 1-1.5 thousand of rear service personnel who couldn't evacuate from the cauldron early enough. Currently our command is deploying reinforcements and performs measures on mitigating possible offensive actions by the enemy with the goal of unblocking the encircled group. If the Debalcevo cauldron is to be liquidated, then holding the positions in the area of Svetlodarsk will become quite expensive for the junta. Furthermore, the threat of encircling the second part of the Debalcevo group to the north of Svetlodarsk also cannot be ruled out. The main problem of the junta is rapid exhaustion of resources in the encircled group — in two days of intensive military action serious problems with fuel, lubricants, and heavy weapon ammunition will start. Already yesterday the enemy has retreated by 4 km in the area of Chernukhino and further implosion of the pocket is imminent. Chernukhino itself according to the announcements from the sides has also transferred under the NAF control. The enemy currently accumulates armor in the bottleneck near Svetlodarsk for a more serious attempt to beat a corridor to Debalcevo. In the coming 1-2 days a powerful strike may be expected towards Logvinovo from the side of Svetlodarsk. An attempt to break out from inside the encirclement cannot be ruled out either.

A new report from TASS seems to confirm that the cauldron is still in place. 

Meanwhile the infamous Azov battalion has launched an offensive near Mariupol, the outcome of which is still not clear. Here's how Cassad describes the Ukrainian offensive: 

On the Mariupol front the enemy today launched an offensive on the front from Shirokino to Granitnoye, occupying several settlements in the neutral strip (for now they are only showing a photo from Pavlopol), and also one of the NAF checkpoints. The motivation here is quite transparent: to improve the front line before Minsk and to at least somehow improve the situation of the junta forces on the front under Debalcevo (however, the strikes in the area of Yelenovka and Gorlovka would be more logical). Among the announced goals of this offensive there are Shirokino, Sakhanka, and Oktyabr.

Donetsk and Gorlovka, and also a whole number of frontline cities were subjected to a large-scale artillery shelling of a terrorist nature.

Both sides seem desperate for a decisive (and favorable) outcome that they can use for peace-bargaining. And at the moment it looks like the rebels have the upper had. 

UPDATE: Here's how Reuters describes the Ukrainian offensive: 

The Ukrainian national guard has launched an offensive against pro-Russian separatists near the southeastern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine's security council said in an online statement on Tuesday.

The secretary to the National Security and Defense Council, Oleksander Turchynov, "is near Mariupol, where units of the national guard broke through enemy defenses and went on the offensive," the statement said.

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