19:17 GMT +327 March 2017
Live
    Ukrainian servicemen stand on an armoured personal carrier (APC) with an Ukrainian flag, before leaving for Ukrainian forces' positions in Staroignativka village, Donetsk region on August 12, 2015

    Kiev Gathers Huge 65,000-Strong Army on Frontline Near Donetsk

    © AFP 2017/ SERGEY VOLSKII
    Europe
    Get short URL
    21109921376

    With the Minsk ceasefire agreements formally still in force, the situation in eastern Ukraine's Donbass region remains extremely tense amid reports about Kiev's mass troop deployments in the area.

    In violation of the Minsk ceasefire agreements, the Armed Forces of Ukraine has deployed heavy weapons and a large number of troops to the frontline in eastern Ukraine's Donbass region, Russian media outlets said.

    The reports came amid intensified artillery shelling exchanges between the warring sides in the area, including near the city of Mariupol.

    The Armed Forces of Ukraine has deployed a considerable number of men along the entire frontline, estimated to comprise of about 65,000 soldiers and officers of different subordination, level of training and motivation.

    This number includes between 68 and 70 battalions, comprised of 26 battalion groups plus separate company units.

    Aftermath of artillery attack on Donetsk
    © Sputnik/ Sergey Averin
    Aftermath of artillery attack on Donetsk

    The Ukrainian army's General Staff finally shifted to the battalion group tactics, reshuffling various kinds of troops after defeat in Debaltsevo.

    Given this development, the army's recent shelling of the village of Sartana on the outskirts of Mariupol can be seen as nothing more than an attempt to drill the interaction of these battalion groups.

    Right now, several army brigades remain on the frontline, including the 24th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade and the 92nd Motorized Infantry Brigade, armed with eighteen Grad multiple launch rocket systems and self-propelled artillery platforms, as well as six tanks, ten armored personnel carriers, six howitzers, anti-aircraft guns, plus lots of small arms and anti-tank weapons.

    Ukrainian servicemen stand in a trench on the position of Ukrainian forces near Popasna, in the Donetsk region, on August 18, 2015
    © AFP 2017/ OLEKSANDR RATUSHNIAK
    Ukrainian servicemen stand in a trench on the position of Ukrainian forces near Popasna, in the Donetsk region, on August 18, 2015

    The army's air assault troops are represented by the elite 80th brigade, which suffered heavy losses during fighting near Lugansk airport last year.

    These troops also comprise the 122nd separate battalion and the 95th separate airmobile brigade and the 25th brigade, which is equipped with mothballed armored personnel carriers, including the BTR-70.

    The battalion groups include a whole array of company units related to tank, artillery, marine and National Guard troops as well as special units of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry.

    All of these brigades form a 65,000-strong army, which includes more than 400 tanks, about 2,400 armored vehicles, 132 Grad multiple launch rocket systems and over 800 guns and mortars.

    The current situation is reminiscent of autumn 2014, which also saw heavy shelling between the conflicting parties and the massive deployment of troops near the frontline.

    Compared to last year, however, the situation on the current frontline remains more stable despite a spate of hot spots in the area and the increasing accumulation of troops and heavy weapons there.

    Related:

    OSCE's Work Hampered on 'Unprecedented Basis' in East Ukraine
    Polish Border With Ukraine to Feature Remember Volhynia Massacre Billboard
    Ukraine Should Be Worried About US Presidential Election - Lawmaker
    Putin Calls External State Management in Ukraine 'Shameful Practice'
    Tags:
    soldiers, situation, battalion, frontline, shelling, weapons, troops, Ukraine
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment
    • After the smoke clears again the Banderites can try their luck in Poland.
    • avatar
      gorman.thomas
      I am sorry that my government is using others to fight its proxy wars. I am an isolationist myself and as such I am not interested in meddling with other countries problems.
    • avatar
      affordable.guy
      It is not hard to see how this can escalate out of control. Just in time to blame the financial collapse on the Russians.
    • markvonsild
      Maybe russia should get out of Ukraine. Then there would be no war would there?
    • Dirk Ramseyin reply tomarkvonsild(Show commentHide comment)
      markvonsild,
      Please pay closer attention to the facts. Russians are in Russia, not Ukraine.
    • avatar
      markvonsild
      I would say the same to you. You are aware that only Russian state owned propaganda is repeating this blatant lie that somehow all the tanks, artillery, buk missiles, professional army guidance etc just appeared out of nowhere. Are you that stupid? You still believe that all the professional Russian soldiers on Crimea where just "local self defense"? Even after Putin admitted that of course they where professional Russian soldiers. Are you paid by Kremlin to be naive?
    • avatar
      Jlprojectin reply tomarkvonsild(Show commentHide comment)
      markvonsild, are you paid by the White house to be so ignorant and rude?
      Or Nuland is paying you in cookies
    • markvonsild
      sorry I appeared rude. but you did not answer my question?
    • choticastile
      Guess we can't see the FB comments from this vantage point, but simply wish to say, that when the sh1t starts flying in Ukraine, the 65k will wish themselves anywhere else but where they find themselves -- confronted with people who in one voice chorus "Never Say Die!" Yes, it ain't gonna be your auntie's tea party for sure and maybe it blows into WW3 and we're all gone, but then the murdering butchers and their insane US controllers will be gone too, Russia and the brave people of Eastern Ukraine dying with honour to the last - defending human beings, not overrunning foreign countries sewing wholesale death and destruction as the US does all over the planet. Those who stand up for what's just and right, their spiritual awakening is assured. Its now or never. Millions of people globally are meditating and praying for Russia and you will overcome, will restore the irrefutable balance of the Cosmic Pendulum -- The Law that's way beyond the puny minds of the most evil of humankind!
    • Harlaus
      Ukraine,a peaceful country in eastern Europe, is now caught in a civil war. That's what democracy has brought to it.
      Unfortunately Kiev chose this outcome, and they shall pay the price.
    • Russia is 100% capable of defending her interest, i suggest the UkroNazis will be taught a lesson they heard about Georgia few years ago.
    • in reply to (Show commentHide comment)
      Ukraine will be Georgia 2.0 if they provoke the angry bear from hibernation
    • avatar
      Zhukov
      It would have been better if Russia had sucker punched the US backed Ukrainian nazis in FEB of this year. The US neocons used the last 6 months to rearm and staff their criminal proxies. The next Ukrainian blitz will be the other major event besides the Feb. coup. There could also be a blitz .against Transneistria at the same time. WW3...
    • hp b
      Chance of desertion: 80%
    • RUSSIA/PUTIN IS A GUARANTOR OF MINSK-2 - IF PORKY NOW BREAKS THE AGREEMENT AND TRIES TO ADVANCE INTO DONBASS, RUSSIA WILL DECIMATE HIS 65K UKIE ARMY WITH A RAIN OF ISKANDERS COVERING THE AGREED/GUARANTEED MINSK-2 LINE OF DEMARCATION (WITH ALL ISKANDER BATTERIES FIRING FROM WITHIN RUSSIAN BORDERS). The 400m range of the Iskanders means the separatists to whom PUTIN GAVE MINSK-2 GUARANTEE, have nothing to worry, one step by porky inside demarcation line and davit kezerashvili medicine will be given to the kapos.
    • avatar
      anne00marie
      Isn't Poroshenko allegedly going to beg Merkel and Hollande to let him use nukes, blame the false flag on the Russians and move in NATO?
    • avatar
      anne00mariein reply toaffordable.guy(Show commentHide comment)
      affordable.guy, When does the financial collapse start? September? When does Jade Helm finish? September and when does the excessive Spanish exercise, involving NATO start? September. Poroshenko, is allegedly going to ask Merkel and Hollande to allow him to nuke Donbass, a false flag to blame Russia and move NATO into Ukraine. No doubt the Western Media will be on board with a President nuking his people, they seem to have no problems with everything else he has done.
    • avatar
      affordable.guyin reply toanne00marie(Show commentHide comment)
      anne00marie, T TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU, what a bloody mess.
    • in reply to(Show commentHide comment)
      , I agree. I don't know if the usa will dare to respond or not (maybe just blaming Russia via the propagnada as usual).
    • avatar
      innocappuccinno
      Russia must nuke Israel right after Porkosh nukes Donetsk
    Show new comments (0)