1. Personnel management. The command of the 72nd Brigade has been able to maintain control of units in combat. Soldiers retain confidence in their commanders, and for the first time there are no requests for help and attempts to call someone up due to “we are under attack and have nothing to retaliate with.” On the contrary, many fighters note the efficiency of our fire support. Normally, when contact with a soldier is lost in combat, his family members get extremely anxious. This time, the connection also disappeared — there is no connection in dugouts in combat. However, when the panic began, people quickly received all necessary information and calmed down. There was confidence. The commanders of the 72nd Brigade are to be praised for that.
2. Information support and communication. For the first time we see military and government communication services trying to be flexible in covering the situation and hold regular briefings on the ground. The 72nd Brigade interacts perfectly with civil volunteers, with the relatives of fighters. I would especially like to highlight the important work of press officer of the 72nd Brigade Olena Mokrenchuk. Thanks to her dedicated and professional work on covering the situation inside the brigade, the official information on the developments was perceived as credible. (Unfortunately, Olena's grief was harder than that of others — her nephew, 72nd Brigade fighter Roman Klimov, died in Avdiivka's industrial area on Feb. 2).
3. For the first time during a complicated combat operation the informational attacks of Russian secret forces against the Ukrainian social media, with their traditional tales of dozens and hundreds of killed, allegedly disguised by Kyiv, have totally failed. The rate and time of reporting about dead and wounded, the speed of the reaction, the fast evacuation — all of it has secured trust to the official data. This is probably my first time during a combat operation that I wasn’t checking the reports on the killed because the government was reporting timely and relevantly, right after the families were notified. The official information provided by Ukraine about the Russian provocation has been dominating the Western media thanks to the fact that in Ukraine, the state and the public have been enjoying a united and substantiated position on Avdiivka. All major Western media cover the crisis with sympathies for Ukraine.
4. Providing humanitarian aid and security to residents of Avdiivka. For the first time the state has demonstrated coordinated and efficient activities. The activities and statements by the president, the Cabinet, the Donetsk regional civil-military state administration, utility services, the Interior Ministry, the National Guard of Ukraine, the State Emergency Service on repair of utility system, restoration of heating, provision of humanitarian aid, organization of heating stations, organizing feeding are not only rapidly covered by the media, but are in fact true. I am not certain about who did what and how much, but the images are convincing, and the feedback from people out there confirms it. This might be the first time that the aid from the state was not only faster than that from the volunteers, but also truly all-inclusive. The Russian command intended to create chaos and demoralization by means of the terrorist shelling, but it failed — the situation in Avdiivka was efficiently taken under control.
5. The civil society. We’ve seen an unprecedented wave of sympathy and support to the Ukrainian fighters and residents of Avdiivka. Journalists, volunteers, politicians have flooded Avdiivka, and the situation has been covered not only in media, but also in social media. Avdiivka became the key subject for the entire country, and has consolidated the media scene. Humanitarian aid flooded in again. The people have found a goal that is worth helping. Thousands of Kyiv residents arrived at Maidan Nezalezhnosti to say goodbyes to fallen heroes, and these amazing solidarity acts have united the people around public grief. Avdiivka has become a key subject for the country; all eyes are on the certain problem of the certain city, its residents and defenders. Ukraine is seeing its real civil society emerging, which is able to seriously influence the situation in the country.
Yurii Butusov, Censor.NET
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