MBT "Oplot-T" on the railway platform
The last meeting of the tripartite contact group in Minsk to resolve the conflict in the Donbas was 22 December 2015. Despite the fact that questions of withdrawing large-caliber artillery and MLRS were discussed again, the general background of consultations, in the light of the continuing aggressive actions of Kiev against the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, showed complete uncertainty even in the near future (the parties agreed on a cease-fire for the New Year holidays). The result of this useless meeting was not long in coming.
Starting from the night of December 22, shelling by junta territories of young republics with artillery was significantly intensified. The density of fire impact on the roadblocks and strong points of the VSN (VS Novorossiya) from the side of the Ukrainian Armed Forces each time increased exponentially, and reached its apogee on December 26 in the evening. Residents and military personnel of the army of Novorossiya in Donetsk and Gorlovka witnessed the strongest artillery attack on the strongholds and residential areas on the northern faces of these strategic cities of the DPR. A “continuous and powerful buzz” was reported: in other words, the enemy used MBT, RPG, 82-x and 120-mm mortars like BM-37 and 2B11 along the entire line of the North-Western Front. For the first time in several months, the VSU issued an incomplete “package” of the BM-21 “Grad” in the Kalininsky district of Donetsk. Given that the area is located in the northeastern part of the city (removed from the contact line, and is considered to be a relatively backcourt zone), it is safe to talk about attempts to loosen and weaken the internal defensive lines of the Donetsk operational direction to attempt to break the junta’s forces into the city infrastructure.
Starting from December 27 and ending on the first days of January 2016, the shelling intensity decreased significantly, but even on New Year's Eve all of Donetsk was “admired” not by fireworks, but by hundreds of tracer shells of the APU anti-aircraft guns working on UAV reconnaissance units of the Supreme National Command, who conduct round the clock reconnaissance in order to control the line of demarcation. Many experts attributed the relative pre-Christmas lull to the coming on New Year's Eve, but this did not happen; and not even because of the telephone conversation between the leaders of the “Norman Four”, but because of the enormous organizational and tactical complexity of these actions, which require long preparation and proper distribution of armored personnel carriers and infantry and assault echelons.
In Kiev, they are well aware of the whole utopian idea of breaking through the LDNR front line, nevertheless, the “hot heads” of nationalist military formations (the Azov, Aydar, Donbass and the remnants of the SS), as well as the illegally elected government gets quite ambiguous from Washington instructions for the continuation of the aggression in the Donbass: the American masters intend to win the “party” in Ukraine by all means. Otherwise, Kiev will lose Washington’s financial and technical support. And the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is now thinking about how to launch an offensive in the eyes of the West more effectively than to provoke it, and later on, how to put yourself in the role of the most injured party that needs support.
At the same time, the material and technical part of the training has already been fully completed, the rest is tactical aspects, which are now expressed in the delay of the new escalation.
FOR THE NEXT WHEEL OF MILITARY CRIMES AGAINST LDNR KIEV PREPARED ALL AVAILABLE RESERVES AS DEPRECATED, AND NEWEST ARMAMENT
By the beginning of 2016, the APU had concentrated more than 300 units of armored military equipment, artillery and several dozen anti-aircraft and artillery complexes, air defense missile systems and short-range MANPADS at the contact line. The number of personnel of the armed forces of Ukraine with foreign PMCs (Turkish, Polish and Georgian) near the front line exceeds 150 - 170 thousand people, which is 3 times the composition of the BCH. A similar correlation of forces in the Novorossia theater was observed even before the previous “offensive” of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which ended with the Debaltsevskiy boiler, Donetsk airport and other tactical territorial units, where Kiev was defeated. A similar scenario awaits the next military company of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Donbas, but not without nuances.
As you know, artillery preparation before an offensive operation is the basis of military strategy. And its effectiveness directly depends on the depth of the enemy’s rear area, as well as the characteristics of the artillery weapons in service with the airborne reconnaissance and counter-battery radar drones. In the ten months of the absence of the active phase of the hostilities in the Donbas, the Ukrainian Armed Forces deployed near the front line most of the “re-preserved” large-caliber receiver and rocket artillery systems. In Artyomovsk, Selidovo, Krasnoarmeysk and Georgievka, entire trains arrived with the ACS Akatsiya, Gvozdika, and Giatsint-S. On the Mariupol direction (from Berdyansk), several operational tactical missile systems 9K79-1 “Tochka-U” were noticed (the range of OTBR 9М79-1 is 120 km), which were already used during previous escalations.
By the New Year, the transfer of equipment had drastically reduced to almost zero, which indicated that the junta's troops were sufficient for long-term battles and sent a signal to prepare the VSN for retaliatory actions. Thus, at the end of the year, the Makeevka artillery brigades of the DPR army moved to the western outskirts of the city to prepare for a retaliatory strike. But back to “Point-U”. Why were they transferred just under Mariupol?
From this point of Donbass, the Tochka-U complex has access to any strategically important point of the Donetsk People's Republic, including Novoazovsk. I will say more, it is from the Azov region that the most favorable and safe trajectory of the 9М79-1 missiles is launched for VSN targets located in the northern part of the Telmanovsky region. Ascending and descending sections of the trajectory pass over the territory controlled by the Ukrainian army, outside the range of the anti-aircraft missile systems of the DPR army. And last year the junta realized that in the peaceful Donetsk “Point” it wouldn’t be possible to beat: about a dozen of BR data were successfully intercepted by the effectively built Donetsk air defense. The redeployment of the complexes to Mariupol indicates only one thing: the Ukrainian Armed Forces will try to make a breakthrough to the south of the Donetsk-Makeevka agglomeration (along the line "Dokuchaevsk-Belaya Kamenka"), i.e. on the southern front of the republic, where the “Telmanovsky Isthmus” has a small depth of the rear zone, the most vulnerable to offensive actions. The attack on the Donetsk-Makeevka agglomeration will be local in nature, the purpose of which will be to divert the DPR army from the main goal of the Armed Forces of Ukraine - cutting off the southern group of DPR troops (in Novoazovsk) from the central (in Donetsk), which I mentioned in the last article .
Regarding the breakthrough of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to the Red Partizan in order to block the traffic interchange between Donetsk and Gorlovka, as well as the violation of the entire line of the Western Front of the DPR, I’ll tell you more thanks to the information provided by one of the numerous drivers who follow Novorussia in the territories controlled by the Armed Forces.
On December 27, 2015, one of the motorists driving through the town of Selidovo (30 km from Donetsk), captured on a digital camera a convoy of tractors with a completely new modification of MBT developed by the Kharkov Design Bureau of Heavy Engineering “KHKTM named after A.A. Morozova ", which had not previously been seen on the theater of Donbass. According to the profile of the tower of the combat vehicle, it immediately became clear that this was MBT BM Oplot-M for the Thai contract (also known as Oplot-T), which was delivered to Thailand in the amount of two parties of 5 tanks (10 "Oplot-T"). The first batch was delivered to Thailand in February 2014, the second in May 2015. The Oplot-T seen in Selidovo, apparently, belong to the third installment of the unsuccessful Thai contract, which provides for the sale of 49 Oplot.
"Oplot-T" is transported on the heavy truck semi-trailer CHMZAP 5212a by KrAZ truck. Picture taken by the driver of the car in the village. Selidovo (in 30 km from the delimitation line in the Donbas). It is also known that the 10 OBT version of the T-84U Oplot and 10 OBT T-84A are available in the APU. Modifications have reservation parameters similar to Oplot-M. Thus, the number of different modifications of the “Bastion” in the APU can reach 30 units, which forces the BCH to focus on equipping the units with the most advanced versions of anti-tank complexes. Rapid destruction of tanks of this type can be achieved only by firing several anti-tank calculations simultaneously from the front and side (stern) projections of the machine. Even the "veteran" T-72B (in 2,5 times less protected) could withstand up to 25 hits from various anti-tank weapons in frontal projection
At the moment there is no accurate information on the pace of production of tanks Oplot-M at the “Plant them. V.A. Malysheva "in Kharkov. After 6 months after the delivery of the second batch of tanks, the company could, in theory, manufacture from 3 to 7 vehicles, taking into account the pressure and some “infusions” from the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, but can such a number of Oplot-T tanks seriously affect the alignment of forces The western front of Novorossia is a big question.
MBT "Oplot-T", as, in fact, BM "Oplot-M", is the deepest modernization of MBT T-84A "Oplot", which has long been known for the highest indicator of equivalent armor front armor plate from OBPS and KS (frontal armor armor of the tower The stronghold is comparable to the MBT T-90С indicators and is 900 - 1100 mm from BPS, 1250 - 1400 mm from KS), which is 1,5 times higher than that of another Bulat version of the Kharkov T-64 BM, which was easily destroyed anti-tank weapons of the New Russia back in 2014 and 2015.
Unlike Bulat, Oplot-T also has much better power density (23,5 hp / t) and mobility, it is equipped with a more efficient DZ Duplet, and most importantly, the main envelope of frontal armor plates of the tower and hull is made of steel sheets obtained by electroslag remelting (10 - 15% increase in armor resistance). Despite this, the MSA and the armament of the Oplot-M BM, represented by the Buran-Katrin-E gunner's thermal sight (1-IR infrared matrix), and the KBAZ tank gun (analogous to the outdated Russian 246М-1), did not allow the Ukrainian car to exceed the parameters of the Russian T-90C and T-90CM, which was finally confirmed by the Thai side, which at the end of the year, after purchasing 10 BM Oplot-M, became interested in Russian tanks.
Nevertheless, BM "Oplot-M" continues to be a "tough nut" for the army of New Russia. The above indicators of body armor remain within the safe maneuvering angle of the machine (+/- 30 ° from the longitudinal axis of the bore). DZ “Duplet” protects against such ATGMs as Metis-M, as well as most of the feathered BPS, including “Lekalo” and “Lead-1”, and, taking into account the best mobility, with a pair of three shots “Malyutki” and T-64BBV ” kill "Oplot" will not work.
In case of insufficient defense Red Partizan, even 10 -15 "Pillies" junta may well break into the village under the cover of artillery, mortars and Gradov, as well as with the support of anti-tank calculations ATGM FGM-148 "Javelin". As the servicemen of the DPR army say, such a “breakthrough” will end with another tactical “pot” within the Donetsk-Makeevka agglomeration. But imagine how many victims among the civilian population such a "pot" can be different.
The attempt to break the Armed Forces of Ukraine into the Red Partizan can be explained not so much by cutting off Gorlovka from Donetsk as by trying to deepen the radius of fire impact of the junta’s barrel and rocket artillery through the rear supply centers of Novorossia located near Saur-Grave, Snezhnoy and the Russian border, which are now out of reach. In this case, the “automatic” goal of the Ukrainian Armed Forces will be Korsun, located near Enakievo. The attack on the Red Guerrilla and Korsun will instantly end for the junta with a new “boiler”, but it can bring huge losses to both the VSN and the people of Donbass, and therefore requires preemptive actions.
First, the creation of special operational anti-tank brigades in Yasinovataya, Donetsk and Gorlovka to identify and destroy the APU armored units on the western frontier of Donetsk and Gorlovka.
Secondly, similar anti-tank brigades should be concentrated in Starobeshevo and Telmanovo to stop the main offensive "backbone" of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the Southern Front. The main offensive forces of the army of Novorossia should be focused on the same direction, since it is known that on the western bank of the Kalmius river, and right up to the Crimean border, the Ukrainian Armed Forces do not have a single decent fortified area to protect their anti-people interests.
Now we continue to observe a period of regular operational silence in the Donbas. Only occasionally, short clashes occur on the Western and Northern fronts of the republics with the use of mortars, AGS and small arms. The meteorological situation in the Donbass also contributes to the conduct of large-scale military operations, strong frosts have sufficiently strengthened the ground for the use of heavy armored vehicles, and the clean atmosphere is suitable for long-term visual observations of the enemy. All the equipment has long been close to the line of demarcation, documented “Minsk-2” is not extended, and the extension is not a guarantor, and therefore a new round of escalation in the Donbass can begin at any time.