For those new to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, here’s a summary.
The below two Feb 10th situation reports, show firing by Russia’s forces on Feb 9th. The explosion graphics indicate the areas hit by this fire.
1: The conflict area lies within Ukraine’s eastern Oblasts (Provinces) of Luhansk (blue) and Donetsk (yellow). These both border Russia (brown).
2: Russia-led forces occupy part of those Oblasts, including the two regional capital cities of Donetsk & Luhansk (beige).
3: From Ukraine’s southern Azov Sea coastline (bottom light blue) to the outskirts of Luhansk city in the north, the active front line stretches for around 500km.
4: Since Sept 2014, Russia-led forces in Ukraine have had total control over 409km of Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia (thick red line). Effectively, this means Russia has complete control over 409km of Ukraine’s eastern border. Much of the border area is remote & sparsely populated, making it easy for Russia to send in supplies and military forces. Along with controlling numerous Ukrainian border crossings, Russia also controls two rail lines into eastern Ukraine.
5: Since 2015, the front line has remained virtually unchanged, with each side dug in along it. Over the last few years, both sides have occupied a few small undefended villages and settlements located between the front lines, but since 2015, it has mainly been a long-range firing conflict. I say long-range, but some military positions are only a few hundred meters away from each other.
6: Inside the occupied territory, two Russia-backed, so-called republics were created: The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) & Luhansk people’s Republic (LPR).
7: These self-proclaimed republics, haven’t published any wage expenditure accounts or explained how they could afford to pay the monthly wages of the tens of thousands of troops defending their territory. Neither have they presented any verifiable evidence as to how they acquired their vast amounts of military hardware, including hundreds of tanks.
8: After almost 6 years of daily firing along the front line and weekly live firing exercises, the Donetsk & Luhansk republics forces have never run out of ammunition. It’s safe to say they have an endless supply.
9: Previously, the DPR & LPR claimed they capture all their hardware and ammo from the Ukrainian army, but if the front lines been static for the best part of five years, they haven’t had an opportunity to capture diddly squat.