My friends, in short, the situation is this: from the early morning until almost 1700 there was intense fighting for Logvinovo. The Ukrops threw all of their reserves for a breakthrough - no less than three battalion tactical groups numbering up to eight hundred people, with the support of not less than forty tanks. According to the militia, fresh, well-armed and well-trained battalions went in the battle. Despite the fact that they had to advance practically in the open, in full view of the heights held by the militia, under crossfire, they rushed forward with exceptional persistence, ignoring the losses, skillfully using terrain folds and maintaining tactical order.
According to intelligence, these were shock battalions, which the Ukrainian command was saving for a decisive offensive. These battalions have completed a full course of study under the guidance of American and Polish instructors on Yavorovsky base and were recently covertly relocated to the area of the ATO. But despite the surprise attack, and its strength, the Ukrainian storm-troopers failed to break through the defense of the militia. Having suffered huge losses at the stage of advance and deployment, the attackers failed to break into Logvinovo and the attack chocked on the approaches to the village. The last two tanks were burned just a few hundred meters from the positions of the militia. (Vladislav Shurygin)
This is what was going on just north of Debaltsevo while Putin, Merkel, Hollande and Poroshenko talked the night away in Minsk. I've read that nearly half the discussions revolved around whether the Ukrainian forces at Debaltsevo were in a salient or a cauldron. Hollande tried hard to convince Poroshenko of the later. The discussion group in Minsk must have thought the lot of those poor bastards bleeding on the steppes surrounding Debaltsevo was of great strategic importance. I agree. As a salient, Debaltsevo remained a serious threat to both the military and political survival of Novorossiya. From here the Ukies could have severed the link between Donetsk and Lugansk as they damned near did last summer. As a cauldron, the Ukies stand to lose another 5,000 plus soldiers as well as a lot of equipment and supplies. This is the fourth major cauldron in six months. This is a military disaster for the Kiev junta. It may also be a political disaster for the junta. The Pravy Sektor battalions of Yarosh and his allies have threatened to overthrow Poroshenko. Will Nuland's boy toy, Yats, be part of junta 2.0 or a victim of it? Will Germany, France and the U.S. continue to cheer for such an overtly nazi unelected regime in Kiev?
Here's another wrinkle. "This morning NAF scouts spotted NATO tanks inside the encirclement (Cauldron) at Debaltseve. According to their information the possibility is strong that up to 25% of the trapped army may be NATO." If so, these are probably Polish and/or Lithuanian volunteers. If they are German, French or U.S. people, as Warren Zevon says, the shit has hit the fan. I'm sure Putin is already aware of who's in the cauldron. I doubt he will risk nuclear war, no matter who's in the cauldron. What the shaved apes that pass for our national security experts and leaders will do is an open question.
Fighting continues around the Debaltsevo cauldron. The eventual fate of the surrounded Ukies was best summed up by Eduard Basurin, Deputy Defense Minister of the DPR, in his 14 February morning briefing:
Basurin: We received intelligence that the Ukrainian military in the Debaltsevo cauldron have been told that they should not surrender and have to wait until Feb 15. Their command promises to withdraw or rotate them to moved out with the help of the OSCE. That is why they don’t give up. I do not know what will happen in the course of the day. I suppose the attempts to break through will be continued. They understand that they cannot cope without ammunition, fuel and food.
Journalist: What will be the fate of those Ukrainian military men who will stay in the cauldron after February 15?
Basurin: I am not a bloodthirsty man. Perhaps they will starve.
Journalist: Does it mean they will not be shelled, but they will not be let out of the pocket either?
Basurin: Right. I am sorry, but why the hell should we let them out? We give them a chance to stay alive. They are our enemies. Our real enemy, who has come to our land. Yes we will carry out the obligations. Nevertheless if the enemy undertakes attacks, they will be adequately rebuffed.
It is my opinion that the half-assed ceasefire afforded by Minsk 2.0 will not save those trapped in the cauldron. They will be captured or killed. At this point the continued survival of Novorossiya is much less in jeopardy than the regime in Kiev. The ceasefire will also give the fighting forces on both sides a chance to breath. The Ukrops will have to rebuild again. Rebel forces like Givi's Somali battalion and Motorola's Sparta battalion have been in intensive fighting for weeks. They must rest. Despite all the talk about marching on Kiev, the forces of Novorossiya just cannot do that.
A few more worthwhile links: