#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Ukrainians prepare Pavlovka-Nikolske counter-attack. Russian Mi-35s on Vuhledar. NATO has run out of ammunition


The Russian Special Operation in Ukraine has taken a turn that NATO allies do not like. According to German Defence Minister Pistorius, Ukraine will not achieve rapid success now, the end of the conflict is not yet in sight.

In view of an operational improvement on the Ukrainian ground, the US has said it will help Ukraine launch a counteroffensive in the spring. On 14 February, US Secretary of State Lloyd Austin told the contact group meeting in Ramstein that eight countries will supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine: Germany, Poland, Canada, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands. The US, Poland and the Czech Republic will also provide tanks in addition to those already sent.

And again the US, Germany, the Netherlands will supply Patriot air defence systems to Ukraine, France and Italy – SAMP/T. Several countries are working on the supply of ammunition. And it is precisely on the issue of ammunition that the US-NATO military facility falls. No one has any more ammunition to give to Kiev. Putting a surplus of weapons into production costs time and money and the disadvantage with Russia is abysmal.

Moscow has been preparing for option ‘B’ to the possible failure of the Minsk agreements, which then happened, since 2014 and has structured itself with new industrial war plants that have been working around the clock since 24 February. And again, new factories for ammunition were opened, converted workshops for agricultural vehicles into workshops for repairing vehicles at the front. Companies were founded ad OK for new weapons.

Still on the subject of weapons, Spain has made it known that it has no combat aircraft requested by Ukraine, according to sources in the Iberian Defence Ministry.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelensky was angry when he heard that there was no ammunition and said: ‘We are a democratic state. We cannot take someone to war with sticks. We are not such a state’.

In Moldova, the fear of invasion is growing: The leader of the Moldovan CUB party, Igor Munteanu, said that it is necessary to establish a visa regime with Russia and Belarus and to separate from Transnistria. If the danger is real, then it is necessary to introduce new policies towards citizens that could threaten the constitutional order, primarily from Russia. This is the perfect moment. As far as Transnistria is concerned, a regime should be implemented to protect the administrative demarcation line between the occupied region and the rest of Moldova’s territory.

US Deputy Secretary of State Jose Fernandez visited Chisinau. In an interview with Chisinau television, he reported that Washington had invested USD 300 million in Moldova (since 24 February last year). Including the ‘security’ sector. The US will continue to cooperate with Moldova in this direction. And it will continue to help diversify its energy resources.

At the front, the battle has reached the south-eastern part of Vuhledar, where the Russians are advancing. Pushilin gave the news. Crews of Mi-35 attack helicopters of the Western District Air Force destroyed camouflaged command posts and armoured vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

This was stated by the Russian Ministry of Defence, which then described the operations: the helicopters moved in open combat formation for freedom of manoeuvre and piloting, the formation shape changed during the flight. Russian pilots deftly disengage from enemies. They are assisted by modern electronic vehicle filling, on-board defence systems and the colossal experience of the crews gained during the SVO.

In the afternoon of 14 February in the Battle for Bachmut the Russians took Red Mountain (Krasnaya Gora). The Russian troops completely took the settlement of Krasnaya Gora in northern Bachmut. They will pave the way for the operational encirclement of the Ukrainians, after which the Ukrainian armed forces will have no options. The battle for Bachmut (Artemivsk) according to Social Sphere is costing Ukraine dearly, and if the soldiers are surrounded and suffer heavy casualties, it could undermine the credibility of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s administration in Ukraine and abroad.

At 1pm on 15 February, the situation at the front was as follows.

Fighting continued near Vuhledar, in a dacha district south-east of the city. Marines from the 155th TOF Brigade have slightly improved the situation, driving 72nd Brigade units away from several houses. The situation remains unstable. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have almost completely undermined the entrances to Vuhledar and the settlement itself, securing it from an assault on the periphery. Despite the losses, reinforcements were deployed in the area of operations. In addition to two tanks from the 1st Tank Battalion of the 1st Tank Brigade arrived in Vuhledar. With the support of the engineering forces of the 72nd Brigade, the firing positions of the heavy armoured vehicles are being equipped.

In recent days, at least three columns with personnel, armaments and equipment have arrived from the Liman sector in the Mirnograd (Dimitrov) and Pokrovsk (Krasnoarmeysk) area, probably from the 80th Reconnaissance Brigade.

Earlier it was reported that a part of the units left in the direction of Bachmut to hold the Chasov Yar-Krasnoye line, while the other part of a BTGr was transferred to Bogatyr to reinforce the grouping near Vuhledar.

Now the combat alignment and organisation of communications between the assault groups of the 72nd Brigade, 80th Brigade and the 18th Battalion of the 35th Marine Brigade is underway. In the next few days, the AFU is planning a counter-attack in the Dacha area with subsequent reaching of the Pavlovka-Nikolske line.

Graziella Giangiulio

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