A summary of what Russia-led forces have been up to of late.
(Update of the update: Today, 6 Ukrainian soldiers have been reported wounded by heavy shelling by Russia-led forces. Sizable increase in their firing today. More.)
2020 has seen a marked increase in the use of mortars, artillery & anti-tank rockets by Russia-led forces. There’s no real military benefit to their use, as bombardments are never followed up by advances to capture Ukrainian territory. The only benefits lie in keeping its forces on their toes and the propaganda value. The propaganda angle being any Ukrainian return fire is labelled as a deliberate act to injure civilians. However, Russia’s fake news rarely needs any genuine Ukrainian incoming fire to make up stories about it.
The one notable difference in 20202 is the significant daily firing occurring in the Luhansk region. Traditionally, Russia-led forces there have been far less active than those in the Donetsk region. Ironically, this increased firing is attributable to the creation of the small, Zolote disengagement area. Since its establishment, Russia’s forces have seen fit to fire every day on the surrounding settlements & broader area. So it’s more of a disaster area, than disengagement area.
May 1st video showing the effects of Russia-led heavy artillery fire.
Thus far April has blended into May. We’re getting a steady daily rate of fire, which rises in intensity, then dips, then rises again. I call it Russia’s firing shuffle. For a few days the focus of shelling will be in Donetsk region, then shifts to Luhansk. As the below situation map for May 6th illustrates, the Donetsk region (yellow) was again the unlucky recipient of most of Russia’s lead. The Russia-led firing focussed on Ukrainian defences adjacent to the occupied city of Donetsk, inc the town of Avdiivka. Moving south, it travelled down towards the coastal city of Mariupol, with the unlucky village of Pavlopil again on the receiving end. Due to the increased mortar & anti-tank rocket fire, thus far May has seen a good many Ukrainian soldiers wounded. No doubt it won’t be too long before we hear the sad news of more deaths. March and April saw 16 soldiers killed.
Worth noting, the various guided rocket systems used by both sides on the front line are primarily used to knock out bunkers and firing positions. The fearsome accuracy of such weapons means, if you have a good view of your target, you can even shoot a rocket straight through the observation aperture of a bunker. Because of the danger these missiles pose, few tanks and vehicles risk driving close to the front line. Both sides do occasionally report military trucks hit by rockets, but in the main, it’s physical defences which get targeted.