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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Liveblog Day 160
Press by
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Large Convoy of Russian Armour, Artillery and SAMs Filmed in Eastern Ukraine
4 years
Ukrainian Forces Retake Debaltsevo, Move on Shakhtersk, Torez and Gorlovka
US Releases Satellite Evidence of Shelling From Russia

There are videos and reports today of a large column of armoured vehicles heading westwards through the Lugansk and Donetsk regions. 

Among the vehicles filmed are at least 6 BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, 2 Strela-10 mobile surface-to-air missile launchers, 8 MT-LB armoured personnel carriers (each towing an artillery piece), 2 trucks loaded with anti-aircraft guns, a number of minibuses (presumably carrying troops) and a large articulated lorry.

This video was reportedly shot in the Lugansk region today: 


This video was purportedly filmed in Krasny Luch. Though we see less of the convoy, we can see the same distinctive range of units (a BMP-2, Strela-10 and MT-LBs with artillery).

Here is another video purportedly filmed in Krasny Luch, showing the BMP-2s and a Strela-10. Finally, there is another video of Krasny Luch on July 27 which also shows elements of this convoy.



We have not yet been able to geolocate these videos, but this column has not been seen before in Ukraine and an escalation of force in response to the massive Ukrainian offensive under way today is to be expected.

Given the number and the type of weapons seen, and the lack of corresponding reports of their loss by Ukrainian forces, it seems reasonable to conclude that these have come from Russia, most likely crossing the border from the Russian town of Donetsk to the Ukrainian town of Krasnodon. 

Previous convoys of armour have travelled westwards from Krasnodon on the Russian border, through Lugansk and onto the M-04 road through Debaltsevo and Perevalsk to Yenakievo, whether they have either carried on to Donetsk or split north or south.

However as Ukrainian forces have moved on and apparently retaken Debaltsevo, this route is now blocked.

140727-russian-imports-northern-route-cu

An alternative southern route from Krasnodon to Donetsk runs along the H-21 road via Krasny Luch, Snezhnoye, Torez and Shakhtersk. This route is now blocked too by Ukrainian forces:

140727-russian-imports-southern-route-cu

If this large column, which combines battle-deployable armour, troops, artillery and anti-aircraft weapons, carries on to the west, then it will pose a severe threat to Ukrainian forces advancing on Torez and neighbouring towns.