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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Liveblog Day 172
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Ukrainian Forces Break Out Of Encirclement But Leave Border Vulnerable
7 years
5 Ukrainian Officers Reportedly To Be Tried In Russia

There are reports that more than 1,000 Ukrainian troops and border guards have broken out of an area along the border in which they have been trapped by separatist forces for several weeks. The successful withdrawal does, however, leave a large section of the border with Russia unsecured. This gap is likely to be useful for the infiltration of Russian weapons and separatist fighters, and may even be of strategic importance in the event of a Russian invasion.

LIGA Novosti reports that a source in the ATO headquarters has given them details on the evacuation. According to the source, the operation was conducted from two sides, with Ukrainian forces advancing from their current positions near Saur-Mogila to open a corridor, as the besieged units moved away from the border towards them. The operation was a success and the groups were able to connect and the encircled forces able to withdraw westwards.

The servicemen who were evacuated had been encircled in the area around Dolzhansky, Dyakovo and Krasnopartizansk, known as Sector D. These areas have been under heavy, regular attacks from both separatist fighters and Russian artillery and Grad rockets, fired from across the border.

Amongst those who were withdrawn were members of the 72nd, 24th and 51st mechanised brigades, the 79th airborne brigade, the 3rd special forces regiment and border guards.

The troops left the area in their own vehicles but destroyed all the equipment that they were unable to take with them.

According to Yuri Butusov the editor-in-chief of Censor.NET, six border guards and three soldiers were killed during the breakout. Details on wounded are still emerging.