Briefing with Eduard Basurin, deputy commander of Donetsk Peoples Republic defense forces, broadcast on Newsfront, January 27, 2015, translated to English by Kristina Rus and published on Fort Russ
After a loss suffered on January 26, the enemy turned to offensive activities on separate fronts.
Fearing encirclement, Ukrainian forces are leaving the Debaltsevo ledge. On Donetsk front, the enemy with the forces of the 25th airmobile brigade undertook unsuccessful attempts to attack Donetsk airport. The attack has been repelled. During the fighting, militia burned 4 tanks and 4 BMD. The loss of live forces was up to 50 people killed.
On Debaltsevo front, the enemy has unsuccessfully attempted to regain control over North Eastern part of Debaltsevo. Counter attack by NAF pushed UAF to its former positions.
On Mariupol front, there were no active military operations.
Over the last 24 hours as a result of military operations, total losses of security forces of Ukraine were: 21 tanks, 14 BMP and BTR, 7 field artillery weapons, as well as up to 170 killed and wounded. 11 Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered.
I want to emphasize that repeated announcements by Kiev about large losses of NAF is a typical propaganda fake. In a Ukraine of 40 million people, as is well known, losses of a thousand people are easy to hide for the Kiev junta.
We have a lot fewer people. We all know each other, we are all acquainted. Therefore such losses, if we really had them, would be impossible to hide. We really do have losses, in the last weeks we lost 62 fighters who we said our goodbyes to.
However, the losses of Ukrainian forces for the same period are not comparable – more than 1,100 people. The bodies of most of the killed Ukrainians are laying in the fields for more then a week. No one from the commanders of Ukrainian forces is trying to take them out.
More than 70 Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered since January 9th.
We would like to bring to the attention of the world community and international organizations the increasing shelling of our cities by the Ukrainian artillery, which leads to mass deaths among peaceful residents, including children. The number of killed and wounded among the peaceful residents of Donetsk is in the hundreds. Although for Poroshenko, all of them are separatists.
Instead of objective and diligent investigation of these crimes with participation of representatives of OSCE, Ukrainian authorities continue to engage in propaganda demagogy and hide their own war crimes. As a result, the number of victims among the peaceful population is growing.
Ukrainian troops are demoralized, which is shown by an unprecedented incident, which occurred last night. During overnight clashes, a wounded soldier from 128th separate mountain-infantry brigade surrendered and talked during questioning about the facts of using “zagradotriads” [army police] from the territorial battalions against Ukrainian soldiers. As a result of shooting at Ukrainian soldiers head on from the positions of the National Guard, more then 20 people died on the spot, several dozen more were wounded. The rest of the soldiers of the 128th brigade ran away, according to him.
During today we recorded 45 violations. Due to shelling of the central districts of Gorlovka, 2 people were killed immediately, and 6 wounded. Among them – 2 children, 9 and 8 years old. Today in Gorlovka, in the afternoon on Lenin Prospect, a driver (born in 1980) of a car was killed by shrapnel on the spot. One person was killed in Donetsk, 2 wounded.
The losses of DPR army are: 3 killed, 12 wounded.
Also, I would like to point out that in Gorlovka during an attempt to put out fires, first responders were caught in shelling. They were unable to finish their job and had to wait for about half an hour; only after that they were able to leave.
This is all I have for now.
Are there any injured first responders and do you have any details about the shooting of a bus driver?
There were no injured among the first responders. Regarding the driver of a bus #25, he is in a hospital in stable-serious condition. No one else was injured, we were lucky that there was no one else on the bus.
Could you comment on the situation in Zeranovka? There was a video from militia online. We would like to find out who controls this village now?
The message that you saw online is true, this locality is under the control of DPR. This is South-West of Gorlovka.
There was information online in the morning that UAF is completely controlling Peski and Avdeevka, and that our guys retreated.
No, this is not true. Peski is a neutral zone. No one party controls it entirely. Part of Peski is controlled by the militia, part – by UAF. We never announced that we controlled Avdeevka, so the announcement by the Ukrainian side that we had left – how could we leave it, if we were never there? Yes, we are on the outskirts of Avdeevka.
When will the road from Gorlovka to Donetsk be safe for civilians?
UAF artillery has 50 km range, so until it is pushed far beyond Gorlovka, we can not talk about safety.
Has Mariyinka come under the control of the militia?
No, not entirely. 40% is controlled by the militia, the rest of the territory doesn’t belong to anyone, is under clashes.
How is the situation in Elenovka?
After the capture of this locality nothing else happened. Artillery shelling does continue.
You said that UAF is trying to return the control of North-Eastern district of Debaltsevo, does it mean that they had lost control over it?
If you look at the map carefully, the so-called Debaltsevo ledge, we call it the Debaltsevo Tongue, from two sides – DPR and LPR – certain activities are taking place in order to allow us to encircle this formation. UAF is trying to use various methods to avoid it. One of the methods is to leave some of the positions, which it used to control. If someone is retreating, then someone else is taking it.
Which positions did they vacate, and was it occupied by the militia?
I cannot tell you everything, then it wouldn’t be interesting to come here tomorrow [laughter]
Have there been any new localities which were captured by DPR?
Azarianovka is completely under our control, this is what I can name. All the other localities I cannot name, because there are still clashes.
What are the hot spots?
Hot spots: Debaltsevo ledge is still under fighting. I know you are all waiting for the door to shut. For now it is not as easy to do, as we would like it to be. Here, in the area of Gorlovka highway. Krasny Partisan. There are other localities behind Krasny Partisan which have to be liberated, and taken under our control. Also those areas near the airport, and also those areas in the West, like Mariyinka. Besides this large town there are smaller localities.
Has UAF used aviation over the last 24 hours?
We have not recorded that.
What is the situation near Krasny Partisan?
It would be nice if it was faster, but it is not. You have to understand, UAF is resisting. We ask them not to resist, but they are resisting [smiling]. You know these cases of shooting, we recorded them even before. The territorial battalions were created for the cities. And then they were sent here. They were supposed to serve only on the territory of their own city. In the summer, in the fall, when there were active military operations, when these cauldrons were created, they wanted to surrender in large quantities. And we fixated that they were shot. We always reported this. Now this repeated again. When this happens again they will put up resistance. We recorded that nationalist battalions and the army were shooting at each other, they had some kind of fighting between each other. It is very difficult to hide such facts. They have cell phones, yes their cellphones are taken away. But they will find a way to report to their friends and family, that they were shot, by their own. And we will help, you will help, this is why you are here. This is how we can shake up this situation. So that there are not just single cases, when a mother learns about her child, when he is captured here, but does not let him go in the first place. The more protests there are in Ukraine the fewer Ukrainian soldiers will die.
Did the militia shell the city of Svetlodar? Ukrainian soldiers report that there was shelling of a hospital of that city, with some injured. It’s near Debaltsevo, towards Artemovsk.
You know, on one hand, Ukrainian military announces a lot of interesting things. On the other hand, this is war. Nevertheless, all commanders know that shelling of populated areas where civilians reside is banned. I have nothing else to say about this. We are not there. This is only reported by Ukrainian journalists, there are no other journalists there, they are not allowed there. Whether this happened or not we can find out only when we get there. [Many Russian journalists are banned from Ukraine, and are subject to arrest and deportation. The media and TV channels are controlled by the oligarchs in power, such as Poroshenko and Kolomoisky].